The NASA spacecraft will sample the asteroid to see the “mess it made” at Benno


When Osiris Rex touched Benno’s surface.

NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

In October 2020, NASA The Osiris-Rex spacecraft bit the asteroid Bennu. Before Osiris-Rex returns to Earth to hand over his bounty, he will revisit the site of the theft. The spacecraft will make its final very close flight to Bennu on Wednesday to discover “how messy it is,” NASA announced.

Osiris-Rex was a bit greedy during the sampling process, so he took the file An overflowing amount of gravel It should save sooner than expected. I left a mark on the asteroid.

“The Osiris-Rex team decided to add this last bridge after the roof of Bennu was significantly disturbed by the sampling event,” NASA said. “During the landing, the spacecraft’s sampling head sank 1.6 feet (48.8 cm) to the surface of the asteroid and simultaneously released a charge of compressed nitrogen gas. The defenses launched to propel Osiris Rex away also disrupted the surface.

NASA identified a flyover on April 7 with the aim of capturing close-up images of the group’s location just 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) away.

The Osiris-Rex will continue to gather at Bennu until May 10, when it will embark on a two-year return journey to Earth. Bennu’s parts will be sent to scientists via a capsule returning samples discarded from the spacecraft.

Meanwhile, NASA will be able to compare before and after photos from sample sites to see the size of the tattoo that Osiris Rex left in Benno.

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