2 years NASA's $ 800 million mission to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter two months after its launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Base is at an important point Monday as the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will rendezvous according to scientific goals Will reach. Round carbon-rich asteroid Bennu.
Astronomers estimate that the rock composition of the asteroid was formed about 4.5 billion years ago, so it has not changed a bit. By collecting and analyzing asteroid samples, scientists can tell a lot about the origins of our solar system, the origin of organic molecules that can cause planets and life on Earth.
However, before anyone can navigate through the samples at Bennu, NASA must first collect and search it. There are a few key steps to doing this. The first phase starts on Monday, around 9 am on Monday, when OSIRIS-REx, the abbreviation for OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer) arrives. We begin the process of surveying the surfaces of Bennu and asteroids for several months. On NASA TV (above), astronauts can view the arrival time to air live on mission control between 11:45 am and 12:15 pm Eastern Time. NASA is scheduled to air its arrival preview program at 11:15 am.
After arriving in Bennu, OSIRIS-REx manages for several weeks around asteroids and collects data on mass, topography and composition. The spacecraft will survey about twelve miles and start a series of low – altitude flights across an 800 – foot – high asteroid surface before entering the orbit of the asteroid on the eve of the New Year. If NASA succeeds, Bennu will be the smallest thing an organ will orbit.
The goal at this point is to identify sample sites that are safe and scientifically promising. Please note that this is a "visit" site, not a sample "site". OSIRIS-REx does not actually touch the asteroid surface. Instead, in a series of maneuvers scheduled for the mid-2020s, the spacecraft will raid toward a surface that is close enough to collect Bennu surface samples with a 10 foot long robotic arm. Mission planners at OSIRIS-REx aim to obtain at least 2 ounces of sample, but the spacecraft is designed to accommodate 4.4 pounds of space dust. Anyway, it is the largest of the samples NASA has collected since the Apollo mission in 1970.
Assuming everything went well, OSIRIS-REx leaves Bennu in the spring of 2021 and begins a two and a half year journey to Earth. But we are ahead of ourselves. OSIRIS-REx should dance with Bennu for two years before departing on the way back. The dance starts today.
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