NASA in early October Successful collection of rock samples On Friday from the asteroid Bennu, a relatively small and well-preserved space rock about 200 million miles from Earth, NASA released images of the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx, approaching and briefly touching the littered Bennu. The incident seen in the space agency’s tweet below shows OSIRIS-REx carefully descending onto Bennu’s rock-covered surface.
spaceship Collect over 60g, Or about 2 ounces of fine ingredients Touchdown, Lasts less than 16 seconds. For planetary scientists, this asteroid material is very valuable. Bennu hasn’t changed much since the formation of the solar system.4.5 billion years ago), so the sample gives us a glimpse into our past and how our planet was formed.
“They are like time capsules from the very beginning of our solar system,” said Richard Binzel, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a scientist on the OSIRIS-REx mission. To Mashable. “It’s like sampling the original material for making the planet.”
(The first ambitious mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth, Hayabusa Mission in Japan, Came back in 2010.)
NASA called it the “Touch-And-Go (TAG) Sample Collection Event.” This maneuver was actually a quick “tag” on the Bennu surface. OSIRIS-REx carefully approached the asteroid for more than 4 hours, then briefly blasted nitrogen gas to stir the pieces with Bennu’s sample collector. Then the ship exploded immediately.
OSIRIS-REx captures too much surface material Some fine grains also fall out Before the collectors are kept to return home. The spacecraft is expected to arrive on Earth on September 24, 2023 with valuable cargo.