NASA OSIRIS REx Probe to Touch Down on Asteroid Bennu on October 20
NASA OSIRIS-REx Probe to Touch Down on Asteroid Bennu on October 20
NASA has chosen a site called Nightingale, a rocky area 16 metres in diameter, for the OSIRIS-REx's robotic arm to attempt to collect a sample.
By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 25 September 2020 13:33 IST
Photo Credit: NASA/ Goddard/ University of Arizona
This artist's rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu
The spacecraft is about the size of a large van
Osiris-Rex and Bennu will be approximately 207 million miles from Earth
It will deliver its payload to Earth on September 24, 2023
After a four-year journey, NASA's robotic spacecraft OSIRIS-REx will descend to asteroid Bennu's boulder-strewn surface on October 20, touching down for a few seconds to collect rock and dust samples, the agency said Thursday.
Scientists hope the mission will help deepen our understanding of how planets formed and life began and provide insight on asteroids that could impact Earth.
"Years of planning and hard work by this team are essentially coming down to putting the TAGSAM (Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) into contact with the surface for just five to 10 seconds," said Mike Moreau, OSIRIS-REx deputy project manager.