© 2020 Condé Nast. Stunning images taken from the historic OSIRIS-REx mission show the moment the spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Bennu more than 200 million miles away from Earth to collect a sample of dirt and dust Tuesday night.
This is America’s first attempt to gather samples from an asteroid, something already accomplished by Japan — twice.
New images taken by the OSIRIS-REx mission show the historic first touchdown of a NASA spacecraft on the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. The NASA mission appears to be a victim of its own success after the spacecraft trapped more asteroid rubble than it could carry. News NASA probe leaks asteroid samples into space. The mission was programmed in advance and the spacecraft was instructed to operate autonomously during the unprecedented touch-and-go maneuver. NASA has said previously that the probability of a city destroying asteroid hitting Earth is 0.1 percent every year, and even if it does hit our planet there is a 70 percent chance it lands in the ocean. These materials were found in veins running through rocks and had to be formed as a result of free flowing water that was on the larger, long destroyed celestial body that created Bennu. This animation from NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies depicts asteroid 2020 SW's trajectory as it safely passes Earth on Sept. 24, 2020.
Then, it performed a "Checkpoint" burn at 410 feet away. Above is the moment the spacecraft's 11-foot robotic arm made initial contact with the asteroid's surface and smashed some porous rock, A nitrogen gas bottle then fired on the surface to kick up material like rocks and dust and suck it up in a 'rubble shower'. The team on Earth received confirmation at 6.08pm EDT that successful touchdown occurred. As a result, Osiris-Rex had to reach out with its 11-foot robot arm while dodging massive boulders to grab samples. Scientists hope the mission will throw light on how the Solar System began 4.5 billion years ago, once the samples are examined when the spacecraft returns home in 2023.
The space agency said a direct impact is not likely “based on 21 observations spanning 12.968” days.
WIRED Media Group Asteroid news: NASA has flagged an asteroid that could hit Earth the day before the US election (Image: Getty) Researchers from NASA added the asteroid… Express. Instruments on the spacecraft also took more observations for science and navigation purposes, which is also part of the sample collection plan. On Wednesday Lauretta said: 'I must have watched it a hundred times last night.
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