NASA released photo of “damage” to asteroid Bennu by spacecraft

NASA released photo of "damage" to asteroid Bennu by spacecraft

a Spacecraft OSIRIS-REX was completed on 7 April this year, a final tour around the asteroid Bennu, which it has seen since 2018. The aim was to document changes in the rock surface after the maneuver called TAG (Touch and Go). Samples collected Which will be brought back to Earth. NASA released a photo of the “damage” caused by the spacecraft on Friday (16).

Location of OSIRIS-REX landing on asteroid Bennu. Credit: NASA

During the maneuver, OSIRIS-REX probed approximately 50 cm deep into the asteroid’s surface and simultaneously fired a charge of nitrogen pressurizing the rocks to collect the sample. As the spacecraft’s propellers moved away from the asteroid, they also dispersed material from the surface, throwing rocks and dust.


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In this final orbit, OSIRIS-REX photographed Benue for about six hours, covering more than one full rotation of the asteroid at a distance of 3.5 km. About 4 GB of data has been collected, and it will take “several days” to transfer it to Earth.

The reason for this is that OSIRIS-REx shares antennas Deep space network With other NASA missions, such as Firmness, And there is a window of four to six hours a day for data transfer only. As the asteroid Bennu is about 300 million km from us, the transfer speed is only 412 kilobits, just over 50 KB per second. Slower than a dial-up connection to the Internet.

Last “stage” of spacecraft on Asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REX will remain in the Benue neighborhood until May 10, when it begins its two-year journey to bring samples of the asteroid back to Earth. Arrival is scheduled for September 23, 2023.

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Japanese in early december Brought to earth Specimens from another asteroid, Ryugu. However, the amount of material delivered by the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft was very small: when opening the collection container, the Japanese Space Agency (JXAA) team confirmed that “a granule sample of black sand is believed to have originated from Ryugu” capsules, and gas. The remains of “inside the Earth’s atmospheric composition separated”, confirm the asteroid’s journey.

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Raven Weber

About the author: Raven Weber

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