Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP) – This week’s possession of a NASA spacecraft is filled with so much storm debris that the open space is jammed and precious particles are moving into space, scientists said Friday.
The news was announced by scientists three days after the space shuttle Osiris-Rex touched the planet Benu, NASA’s first attempt at such a mission.
Dante Loretta, chief scientist at the University of Arizona mission, said the 200-million-mile exercise on Tuesday collected hundreds of grams of material far more than expected to return to Earth. At the end of the robot’s arm, the sample box penetrated so deep into the planet and with such force, however, they sucked the rocks and got stuck around the edge of the lid.
Scientists estimate that the sampler pressed 19 inches (48 centimeters) into the thick, thick, and black area.
“We are almost the victim of our own success here,” Loretta said hastily at the management news conference.
Loretta said there was nothing that flight controllers could do to remove the obstacles and prevent Bennu’s other cats from running away, moreover, put the samples back into the capsule as soon as possible.
So, the flight crew was scrambling early Tuesday to put the sample container into the capsule – much sooner than originally planned – for the long-haul home.
“Time is of the essence,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s science missions.
This is NASA’s first planetary sampling mission. Benu was chosen because of its carbon dioxide content, which makes it one of the safest buildings in our solar system. Getting fragments from this cosmic time capsule could help scientists better understand how the planet formed billions of years ago and how life on Earth came into being.
Scientists were shocked – and then disappointed – on Thursday when they saw pictures of Osiris-Rex coming after its successful touch in Benu two days earlier.
A cloud of effigy particles could be seen hovering around the spacecraft as it returned from Benu. According to Loretta, the position appeared to be stable, once the robot’s arm was locked in place. But it was impossible to know how much was already lost.
The ਦੇ 800 million mission needed to bring back at least 2 ounces (60 grams).
Despite what is on board, Osiris-Rex will still leave close to the planet in March – the earliest possible departure given the relative location of Earth and Benu. The samples will not be returned until 2023, seven years after the spacecraft left Cape Canaveral.
Osiris-Rex will keep moving away from Benu and will not circle again, as it awaits its scheduled departure.
Due to sudden events, scientists will not be able to determine how much the sample capsule holds until it returns to Earth. They initially planned to rotate the spacecraft to measure the material, but this trick was canceled because it could throw more debris.
“I think we’ll have to wait until we get home to see how much we have,” Loretta told reporters. “As hard as you can imagine, it’s difficult. … But the good news is that we see a lot of content. ”
Japan, meanwhile, is waiting for its second set of samples from a different star, due back in December.