NASA: Precious Bennu asteroid specimens safe

After several days of feverish work and agony, NASA engineers were able to seal the container that collected material from the asteroid Bennu, a cosmic fossil from the time the Solar System was formed. The OSIRIS-Rex mission is now expected to bring the samples to Earth in 2023. Last week, OSIRIS-Rex approached the asteroid Bennu and blew the surface with a burst of nitrogen gas, which ejected surface material and sent it to a collection canister. Space Leak The operation proved extremely successful: NASA He hoped to collect at least 60 grams of extraterrestrial material, but the canister was filled with stones and two kilograms of dust. One of the stones blocked the cover, causing part of the precious cargo to leak into space. The mission engineers took days to deal with the problem and close the half-open door. Although the exact amount of material will only be known when the samples reach Earth, wholesale calculations indicate that this is a sufficient amount of mass of about one kilogram. The collection container (top) was placed inside a capsule that will fall to Earth on a parachute ( NASA) “We are announcing today that we have successfully completed the operation,” said Rich Burns, managing director of the US mission. I’ve officially closed the Sample Return Capsule! The sample of Bennu is sealed inside and ready for our voyage back to Earth. The SRC will touch down in the Utah desert on Sep. 24, 2023. Thanks, everyone, for being a part of my journey #ToBennuAndBack— NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) October 29, 2020 OSIRIS-Rex will remain in orbit around the asteroid until March, when he will leave for Earth. The canister is scheduled to parachute in September 2023, seven years after the mission was launched from Cape Canaveral. diameter around 500 meters, and preserves unchanged the materials from which the Solar System was formed 4.6 billion years ago. The organic molecules believed to be hidden inside may help confirm or disprove the theory that the raw materials for the appearance of life arrived on Earth from asteroid impacts. OSIRIS-Rex is the first US mission to collect asteroid samples, but the Japan has successfully completed two such missions in recent decades. Samples of the second Japanese mission are expected to arrive in December. Studying the composition of the asteroids could one day help protect Earth itself if the planet finds itself in the path of a stray space rock. Bennu himself is expected to approach alarmingly close to Earth at the end of the next decade, although the probability is rather small, one in 2,700. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest News from Greece and the World, at

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