NASA asteroid-sampling spacecraft to head explore at ‘the mess it made’ on Bennu

The moment Osiris-Rex touched Bennu’s surface.

NASA/Goddard/College of Arizona

In October 2020, NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft took a bite out of asteroid Bennu. Ahead of Osiris-Rex returns to Earth to ship its bounty, it be going to revisit the scene of the heist.The spacecraft will fabricate one last very cease flyby of Bennu on Wednesday to seem for “the extent of the mess it made,” NASA introduced.  

Osiris-Rex modified into as soon as quite greedy all thru the sample steal operation, deciding on up an overflowing amount of gravel that needed to be stowed sooner than expected. It left a designate on the asteroid.

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“The Osiris-Rex crew determined so as to add this last flyover after Bennu’s surface modified into as soon as vastly fearful by the sample assortment match,” NASA stated. “One day of touchdown, the spacecraft’s sampling head sunk 1.6 feet (48.8 centimeters) into the asteroid’s surface and simultaneously fired a pressurized payment of nitrogen fuel.” The thrusters fired to support Osiris-Rex away moreover fearful the surface.

NASA has scheduled the flyover for April 7 with the goal of taking pictures photos of the assortment put of dwelling from a cease distance of real 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) away.

Osiris-Rex will continue to dangle spherical at Bennu till Might well also 10, when it’ll kick off a two-three hundred and sixty five days return spin support to Earth. The bits of Bennu would perhaps be delivered to scientists by approach of a Sample Return Pill jettisoned by the spacecraft. 

In the intervening time, NASA will web to verify the earlier than-and-after photos of the sample put of dwelling to explore real how sizable of a tattoo Osiris-Rex left on Bennu.

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