Egypt News | Science and Technology / NASA spacecraft lands on the asteroid “Bennu” today to obtain samples and return them to Earth


NASA is preparing to land on a roof Asteroid Benno Today, to get samples of scattered space rocks to bring them back to Earth by 2023, and the space agency has announced that its craft OSIRIS-REx It will land for a few seconds on the surface of the asteroid.

According to the British “Daily Mail” website, the vehicle will land at 22:00 GMT (17:00 Eastern Time) on October 20 in an area called NightingaleIt is a 52-foot-high rocky site in the northern hemisphere of the asteroid.

Specified location

Once landed, the spacecraft’s robotic arm will attempt to collect samples from the surface and return to Earth, a journey that is expected to take up to three years..

Scientists hope that the mission will deepen our understanding of how planets formed, begin life, and provide insight into asteroids that could affect Earth..

A site has been selected Nightingale Because it forms one of the clearest areas on the surface of the asteroid with the best access to fine-grained materials, and yet there are building-sized rocks surrounding the site, leaving a spot the size of a few parking spaces that can land in..

“The next time you stop in front of your house or in front of a café and wander indoors, think of the challenge of moving between Osiris Rex at one of these locations from 200 million miles away,” said Mike, deputy project manager at NASA.

Asteroid Benno
Asteroid Benno

Once it exits its half-mile orbit around Benno, it will take four hours for the spacecraft to reach just below the surface, and the movement will rise when Osiris Rex’s arm extends 11 feet and touches Benno for about 10 seconds..

Bennu is located between Earth and Mars about 207 million miles (334 million km) from our planet, for this reason, it will take about 18.5 minutes for the signals to travel between Osiris Rex and NASA headquarters..

The spacecraft will operate autonomously during the unprecedented touch-and-launch maneuver, with an 18-minute delay in wireless communication in every direction, and the ground controllers for building the Lockheed Martin spacecraft near Denver will not be able to intervene, meaning that a manual landing is impossible, as All hopes for a successful landing depend on the autonomous system on board.

Osiris Rex is supposed to collect at least 2 ounces (57 grams) of Bennu rock material to return to Earth, and this will be the largest sample selection since the Apollo missions, and if the collection of Benno’s surface materials is successful, it will be returned to Earth on September 24, 2023..

Date: 2020-10-20


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