As of Sunday afternoon, OSIRIS-REx was less than 20 miles from a asteroid, that itself is now about 76 million miles from Earth in a circuit around a sun. The qualification will camber a remaining stretch to Bennu after another banishment of a thrusters, that a group will guard closely.
The booster — a roughly cube-shape qualification about 8 feet on any side — will spend about a year contemplating and mapping Bennu. If all goes well, a qualification will reduce a 11-foot robotic arm to a aspect of a 1,600-foot-wide asteroid for a few seconds in 2020 to siphon adult a representation of regolith (the dirt and pebbles believed to make adult a asteroid).
The representation will lapse to Earth for study, scheduled to arrive in Sep 2023. It will be a biggest representation brought behind from space given a Apollo era and a initial representation of an asteroid ever returned to Earth by a U.S. space mission.
Japan’s Hayabusa goal returned a tiny sample of an asteroid famous as 25143 Itokawa in 2010; a inheritor craft, Hayabusa-2, arrived during an asteroid called Ryugu final year and is approaching to lapse a representation in 2020.
“OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa 2 are messenger missions,” Dante Lauretta, a heavenly scientist during a University of Arizona and a principal questioner for a OSIRIS-REx mission, pronounced in September. “We work together to know a story of a solar system.”
The OSIRIS-REx goal is designed to raise a bargain of asteroids and a expansion and expansion of a solar complement as good as to produce insights into how life arose. The seven-year, $800-million goal is also dictated to assistance consider a feasibility of asteroid mining and to assistance scientists find ways to keep vast asteroids from colliding with Earth.
Bennu, that is one of 700,000 famous asteroids in a solar system, is characterized as potentially dangerous since there’s a possibility it could strike with Earth in a late 22nd century.
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