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NASA builds spacecraft to reach asteroid Bennu; Mission aims to collect soil samples

According To NASA, The Mission Is Worth $800 Million And Is Aimed Towards Collecting A Small Sample Of Rocks And Surface Soil From Bennu, One Of The Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Navnidhi Chugh | Updated on: 12 Oct 2016, 04:17:19 PM
NASA Tested Spacecraft to reach Asteroid Bennu (source: nasa.gov)

Washington:

In order to reach the asteroid Bennu, the US Space Agency has made a spacecraft. The asteroid has been reported to be dangerous as it can collide with Earth. The spacecraft has fine-tuned trajectory to reach the asteroid. The exploration is to bring a sample collection. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) by its exploration could change our understanding of the solar system.

Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM) thrusters  were fired last weekend by The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to adjust its trajectory on the departing journey.

"We're very excited about what this mission can tell us about the origin of our solar system, and we celebrate the bigger picture of science that is helping us make discoveries and accomplish milestones that might have been science fiction yesterday, but are science facts today," told NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

The mission is worth $800 million. The mission is aimed towards collecting a small sample of rocks and surface soil from Bennu, one of the Potentially Hazardous Asteroids according to NASA.

Bennu is a kind oif asteroid, considered as remainders from the formation of our solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago. According to scientists, asteroids may have provided water and other molecules to Earth and other planets. Scientists have estimated that Bennu may harm earth sometime between 2175 and 2199. Bennu has size of a small rock mountain.

OSIRIS-REx will  map and photograph the asteroid's surface in August 2018 to understand its chemical and mineralogical composition and also select the sample site. In July 2020, the spacecraft will touch the asteroid for only three seconds in order to collect 60 grams of loose rocks and dust. For this it will use a device called the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism and gather the material in a sample return capsule.

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First Published : 10 Oct 2016, 03:53:00 PM

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NASA Asteroid Bennu

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