After several moments of anxiety, the control of NASA's Osiris-Rex mission confirmed the encounter of the place probe with the asteroid Bennu, also known as "the asteroid of death". Rich in carbon, the heavenly body can contain the chemical precursors of the origins of life and the oceans of our planet and that's why the research on its surface is so important.
"We arrived," telecommunications engineer Javi Serina announced during a NASA broadcast of the mission of Lockhed Martin Space in Colorado. This is an important step in the mission of Osiris-Rex, whose goal is to teach a close-up object in close range and hook samples to bring them back to Earth in 2023.
Mark Fisher, the chief spacecraft engineer for the Osiris-Rex mission at Locahed Martin Space in Colorado, said the maneuver to reach Benzou was paved the way for the "precision flying regime we will do over the next year and a half to make a map and Discover everything we can and for Osiris-Rex to determine the best place to go to find a sample of the asteroid and bring it back. "
In the next months, the ship will make a total of five passes over the North Pole, the equator and the South Pole at 7 kilometers. The major scientific objectives of the preliminary phase are to evaluate the mass of Benno, refine the asteroid of rotation model and generate a global model at a resolution of 75 cm.
The objective of the mission is to collect a pattern of the rough surface and Get back to Earth. However, before doing all this spacecraft Will be allocated almost two years To post his contours.
It is estimated that around July 2020 the ship will briefly touch the surface of Bennu To collect at least 60 grams (equivalent to about 30 sugar packets) of ground and rocks.
The spacecraft will then pack the pattern into a capsule and travel back to the ground, The capsule in the desert of West Utah in 2023, Where scientists will be waiting to pick it up.