NASA’s Osiris-Rex to land on planet Benu: What will happen here

NASA's Osiris-Rex to land on planet Benu: What will happen here

The artist’s eclipse of NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft is collecting samples from the ocean floor.

NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft Next week a giant planet will make a brief contact and grab some rocks and dust from its surface to return to Earth for study. Event mark a Major first for NASA And a potential boon to our understanding of science, space exploration and the solar system.

Sample collection of touch-and-go (TAG) ships 101955 Benu Tuesday, October 20 at 3:12 p.m. Is set to land at NASA TA And. And will broadcast the tricks live Agency website Starting Tuesday at 2 p.m. Here’s everything to learn more about Osiris-Rex, Bennu and NASA’s plan to launch a planet.

When did the mission begin?

Osiris-Rex has existed as a concept since at least 2004, when a team of astronomers first proposed the idea to NASA. After more than a decade of development, the spacecraft Launched September 8, 2016 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Atlas V rocket tops from United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The spacecraft spent the next 26 months traveling to Benu, officially arriving on December 3, 2018.

Since then, the mission team has spent nearly two years traveling through the diamond-shaped space rock, surveying and mapping it to choose its best location. In recent months, rehearsals have begun before attempts to collect incoming samples, and now the team says it is ready to play TAG with Benu.

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Why Benu?

Benu is the so-called “wreckage of the wreckage”, meaning it was formed in the deep cosmic past when gravity slowly forced the remnants of an ancient collision to gather. The result is something like a body-shaped object, like a spinning top with a diameter of about one-third (500 meters) and a surface filled with large boulders and boulders.

Benu is considered to be a window into the past of the solar system: an ancient, carbon-rich body that carries the building blocks of both planet and life. Some of these resources, such as water and metals, could be mined for future use on Earth or in space exploration.

Another feature of the ship that makes it particularly interesting to scientists and humans in general is that it has a chance to affect the Earth in the distant future. On List of NASA impact risks, Benu has been rated No. 2. The current figures show dozens of potential effects in the last quarter of the 22nd century, although all have a minute’s chance to actually go through.

How will TAG work?

For anyone who has ever been involved with robots or may have even entered a robotics competition, the Osiris-Rex mission seems like the ultimate dream come true for a young robotist. The touch-and-go sampling process is a complex, high-end task that has been establishing a significant climbing moment for years. If successful, it will play a role in history and our future in space.

The plan is for Osiris-Rex to touch a rock on the Bannu. Landing site Dieted Nightingale. The van-sized spacecraft is just as large as a transparent space that would need to interact with building-sized boulders around the landing area to touch a relatively clean space. However, the arm of a robotic specimen will be the only part of the Osiris-Rex that will actually be placed on the surface. One of the three pressurized nitrogen canisters will ignite a fire to ignite a sample of dust and small rocks that can then get stuck in the head of the arm collector to keep it safe and back on the ground.

It will take about four hours to reach the surface of Benu, about the time it takes for the storm to form a complete revolution. After this slow approach, the actual TAG sampling process is significantly less than 16 seconds.

Preparations for the TAG have not been as planned. The mission’s management initially expected that Benu’s surface would have significantly more potential landing spots, covered primarily with better materials than sand or gravel. This shows that Benu’s surface is very rough and was not welcomed.

After spending a lot of time evaluating the mission over the past two years, the team decided to try “threading the needle” through the border-filled landscape at Nightingale and some other backup sample sites. It is still possible that the surface will be too rocky to get the best sample. If this happens, the team may choose to try again on a different site. Osiris-Rex is equipped with three nitrogen cones to ignite and degrade the surface, which means the team makes three attempts to capture a specimen.

What then?

Immediately after collecting its samples, Osiris-Rex will set fire to its thrusters to return to Benu. The spacecraft will continue to hover over Bannu for the rest of 2020 before embarking on a two-year voyage to return to Earth next year.

On September 24, 2023, Osiris-Rex prepares to jetten its sample return capsule, which will land in the Utah desert and be retrieved for study.

Wasn’t this done before?

Yes. Japan’s Hayabusa astronaut successfully returns small grain from small planet 25143 Itokawa On Earth in 2010. Its successor, Hayabusa-2, successfully In 2019, Hurricane Katrina fired a special copper bullet at Ryugu And then got some shrapnel. That specimen is currently returning to Earth.

How can I see?

Follow NASA live broadcastThat Tuesday at 2 p.m. You can also follow Osiris-Rex Twitter feed To get the latest updates.

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About the author: Raven Weber

Musicaholic. Unapologetic alcohol maven. Social media expert. Award-winning coffee evangelist. Typical thinker.

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