Home / Science / NASA’s asteroid sampling spacecraft looks at the ‘mess it up’ on Bennu.

NASA’s asteroid sampling spacecraft looks at the ‘mess it up’ on Bennu.

The moment Osiris-Rex touched Bennu’s surface.

NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

In October 2020 NASA The Osiris-Rex spacecraft bites off the asteroid Bennu.Before Osiris-Rex returned to Earth to hand over his bounty, it took a moment to revisit the heist scene. The spacecraft made the last closest flight past Bennu on Wednesday to uncover what NASA calls “the extent of the mess.”


NASA said Osiris-Rex successfully built the overpass and took almost six hours to photograph the asteroid. “It will take until April 13 at least for the Osiris-Rex to downlink all the data and new images of Bennu’s surface recorded during flight,” NASA said in a statement Wednesday.

The Osiris-Rex is slightly greedy during its pick-up operation. Overflow of gravel That must be kept faster than expected It left a mark on the asteroid.

“The Osiris-Rex team decided to add this final overpass after Bennu’s surface was greatly disturbed by the sampling event,” NASA said. “During the touchdown, the spacecraft’s sampling head sank 1.6 feet (48.8 centimeters). It hits the asteroid’s surface and simultaneously shoots high-pressure nitrogen gas. “The propulsion that shoots back Osiris-Rex also interferes with the surface.

The spacecraft had moved just 2.1 miles (3.5 kilometers) from the asteroid’s surface, the closest mark since the sampling was taken.

The Osiris-Rex will continue to circle Bennu until May 10, which will begin its two-year journey back to Earth.Bennu fragments will be handed over to scientists by the abandoned Sample Return Capsule spacecraft. By spaceship

In the meantime, NASA will compare the before and after images of the sample site to see how big the Osiris-Rex tattooed on the Bennu.

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