NASA spacecraft is poised for long-anticipated rendezvous with asteroid

NASA spacecraft is poised for long-anticipated rendezvous with asteroid

Using a circular device much like a car's air filter, and a reverse vacuum to stir up and collect dust, the device aims to grab about two ounces (60 grams) of material from the asteroid's surface, and return it to Earth for further study. OSIRIS-REx will cautiously approach its target before slipping into orbit for more than two years of scientific observations. Once a site is selected, the spacecraft will land for about five seconds to collect a sample of the surface material, using a burst of nitrogen gas to liberate material from the surface into the sampler head. He expects those pictures to be back on Earth around 10 December, when a press conference is scheduled at the AGU fall meeting in Washington, D.C. There, the OSIRIS-REx team plans to present early Bennu science results.

Asteroids are material left over from the early solar system, which means they offer a unique look into its composition. Astronomers have studied Bennu intensely from a distance, and they know that it's a carbonaceous, or carbon-rich, asteroid.

'Some of the mineral fragments inside Bennu could be older than the solar system.

The probe will orbit the asteroid for 18 months and bring back a sample that could help explain how planets formed and may help explain how life began.

OSIRIS-REx's mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth.

The low gravity of smaller objects like asteroids makes it more hard to target missions. Instruments on board will allow enable us to identify different chemicals on it. "We'll do this first globally, and from there prioritize two candidate sample sites".

Stowing the sample
Stowing the sample

An artist's impression of Bennu. Astronomers believe there is now a 1 in 2700 chance that it could hit Earth in the mid-to-late 22nd century, or in about 150-200 years in the future.

Both Bennu and Ryugu are considered potentially hazardous asteroids. Every six years, Bennu passes within 185,911 miles of Earth.

OSIRIS-REx has a camera suite, a laser altimeter for 3D mapping, a thermal emission spectrometer to take temperature and mineral content and spectrometers to measure X-rays, almost infrared and visible light. One of the things it will measure is the Bennu's "Yarkovsky acceleration".

"OSIRIS-REx seeks answers to the questions that are central to the human experience: Where did we come from?" Polycam is an eight-inch telescope that was the first camera to acquire Bennu and will be used to perform high-resolution mapping, while the Mapcam is used to search for plumes and satellites, and to take RGB color and near-infrared images for spectral imaging, topographic mapping, and color photography. "Now we embark on gaining experience flying our spacecraft about such a small body".

OSIRIS-REx will continue doing this over the next four weeks, during close flybys over Bennu's north pole, equator and south pole that will bring the probe as close as 4.4 miles (7.1 kilometers) to the asteroid's surface. We can actually get images to the sub-millimeter level, so we will be able to see grain sizes, boulders, craters of the surface of Bennu. Read the original article.

Related News:



Most liked

Rajinikanth's '2.0' enters the 500 Cr club
We at Dharma Movies are so proud to be associated with the Hindi version of this movie marvel". The film which hit the theatres on November 29, is made under the banners of Lyca Production.

A New Far Cry Game has Been Announced
If you want to get a feel for what a Far Cry game entails, be sure to check out Far Cry 5 at retailers. We'll report more on this new project when it is formally revealed at The Game Awards tomorrow night.

Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez to retire from Test cricket
They looked to be headed for a lead of over 150 when Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq were batting but eventually mustered just 74. Somerville ended his first test innings with the ball with 4-75 off 36 overs, bowling well to the tail.

Google is shutting down Allo, to no one’s surprise
Following the footsteps of a certain fruit-based competitor, Google is putting all their eggs in the Android Messages basket. If you want to save any of your Allo conversations, you can export them through these instructions .

Boy, 9, Gets Town's Snowball Fight Ban Lifted
Dane Best says he took up the cause on behalf of his friends and classmates. "Because his grandpa couldn't". Board members voted unanimously to lift the ban.

Yemen peace talks to start on Thursday in Sweden
At the same time, he called on Houthi insurgents to remain "vigilant against any attempt at a military escalation on the ground". The reduction of violence, Sanaa Airport, humanitarian access and economic challenges will be discussed, Griffiths said.

Fears growing for backpacker Grace Millane missing in New Zealand
The image showed her on Auckland's Victoria Street near the SkyCity entertainment complex at around 7.15pm on Saturday. Brother Michael Millane, 29, said the family are now anxious and her disappearance is "totally unlike her".

President Trump pressuring OPEC to increase oil production ahead of crucial meeting
Iran is suffering both as a result of lower prices and a decline in its oil exports because of the U.S. sanctions. The oil market reacted negatively, dropping 52 cents to $61.56 a barrel in London.

Nuggets' Gary Harris exits vs. Raptors with hip injury
Beasley's running dunk after a Toronto miss nudged the lead back to 10 for the Nuggets, who led 86-78 after the third quarter. The Raptors shot a frightful 2-for-12 from three-point range in the first quarter, but still managed to keep it close.

Everyone is digging Tom Cruise’s PSA about motion smoothing
Cruise added that filmmakers are working with manufacturers to adjust how motion smoothing is activated on televisions. In the video , they suggest googling "turn off motion smoothing [your brand of TV here]".

Kevin Durant: Media Creates 'Toxic' Atmosphere Around LeBron James
So his talents benefit more from a guy who can pass and penetrate and get him open. "It doesn't matter", James explained. In a recent interview with Bleacher Report , Durant discussed the challenges associated with playing with James.

Huawei Technologies CFO arrested in Canada, accused of violating Iran sanctions
Ian McLeod, spokesperson for Canada's Justice Department, said on Wednesday the arrest took place in Vancouver on December 1. The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. government was trying to persuade companies in allied countries to avoid Huawei.

Rigger Who Died At Joburg’s Global Citizen Festival Identified As Siyabonga Ngodze
It also celebrated what would've been the former South African President, Nelson Mandela's , 100th birthday. While the majority got home safely afterwards, others were targeted by thieves as they left the stadium.

Life expectancy for Americans down again, according to CDC report
In fact, current life expectancy trends now rival the year 1918 , when the country was reeling from the influenza pandemic. Snyder says through medication like methadone, they're able to help people through their addictions and minimize deaths.

David Attenborough: 'The collapse of our civilizations is on the horizon'
Guterres said governments should embrace the opportunities rather than cling to fossil fuels such as coal, a dig at hosts Poland. "I remind all Parties that this is a deadline you set for yourselves and it is vital you meet it", Guterres added.