Officials of the Osiris-Rex probe, which landed on the asteroid Bennu earlier, say the combination may have performed very well.
According to the “BBC”, “NASA” says that the images that were sent to the ground show that a rock has opened the door of the container and that part of the sample is leaking. NASA is now trying to store it safely.
“A large portion of the mass collected was seen to leak,” said mission chief Dante Loretta. He added that he believed the vehicle collected about 400 grams of crumbs. “What worries me right now is that the particles are leaking out because we’ve been almost a victim of our success here,” he said.
According to the “BBC”, Thomas Zurbuchen, Assistant Director of Science at NASA, told reporters, “The space agency is focused on making sure that no more is wasted,” “Time is of the essence.”
The collection container will now be stored inside the spacecraft, which means it will not be possible to measure the exact amount of sample taken.
“Although we may have to move more quickly to store the sample, it is not a bad problem,” Zurbuchen added. And “we’re very excited to see what appears to be an abundant sample that will inspire science for decades after this historic moment.”
Scientists hope that the mission will shed light on how the solar system began 4.5 billion years ago, just by examining samples when the spacecraft returns to Earth in 2023. The asteroids contain debris from the formation of the solar system.
It is noteworthy that «OSIERS-REX» is part of NASA’s first-ever mission to return samples from an asteroid to Earth. Oasis-Rex launched in September 2016 and spent two years traveling to the asteroid Bennu.
Since its arrival in 2018, the spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid and mapping it in detail, in order to find just the right place to take a sample, and start its journey to Earth in March.
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The source of the original news site: Al-Masry Al-Youm – Science and Technology