OSIRIS-REx captures his first images of asteroid Bennu – Astronomy Now



An artist impression of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft during an attempt to collect soil and stone from the surface of asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft is expected to glide around the asteroid at the end of the year. Image: NASA

Two years after its launch, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has taken the first photographs of asteroid Bennu, with which it has set up a step-by-step approach and rendezvous to get the New Year's Eve probe into orbit around the quarry. to place. After a full year of close observations to map the asteroid, measure the gravitational field and determine its composition, the spacecraft will attempt to collect stones and soil samples returned to Earth for detailed laboratory analysis.

Lead researcher Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona said OSIRIS-REx recorded five initial Bennu images at a distance of 2.18 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) on August 17, which is the 500 meters wide (1600 meters) asteroid as a point of light from the 13th magnitude that moves over a field with equally dark stars.

"I can not explain enough what it meant for this team," said Lauretta during a teleconference with reporters on 24 August. "I know that Bennu is just a bright spot here, but many of us have been working for years and years to bring down this first image and it really is the beginning of the great scientific expedition that OSIRIS-REx is." & # 39;

The images showed that the asteroid was "exactly where we thought it was, so it's there and it's waiting for us," he said. "The spacecraft was also where it needed to be and pointed in the (right) direction, so our navigation team did a great job by getting us on this approach path."

Asteroid Bennu is seen here, surrounded by green, while it moves across a star field on 17 August. The images were captured by NASA's NASIRIS-REx spacecraft at a distance of 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles). Image: NASA

Bennu was discovered in 1999 in a job that runs across the earth. It is one of the potentially most dangerous asteroids discovered with a probability of 1 in 2,700 to hit the earth in the 22nd century.

The $ 1 billion OSIRIS-REx mission is designed to map Bennu in great detail, using a laser system to map the topography of the asteroid, three cameras to characterize surface marks and spectrometers to mar the details of Bennu's chemical composition. By doing so, scientists will collect data that shed light on how an asteroid can be diverted or disassembled on a collision course with the Earth.

But the highlight of the OSIRIS-REx mission will come in 2020 when the spacecraft will descend to a few meters from the surface of Bennu and push a collector at the end of a 3-meter-long robot arm on the surface to a maximum of 2 kilos ( 4.4 pounds) or to collect stone and soil. If all goes well, the sample will be returned to earth in 2025 for detailed laboratory analysis.

Lauretta said that the spacecraft in October should start resolving functions on the surface of Bennu. As of December 3, OSIRIS-REx will fly in formation with the asteroid before it lands in orbit at the end of the month.

That milestone is just one of the three major encounters that are scheduled for NASA spacecraft this autumn. The InSight Mars lander of the office is on its way to hit the red planet on November 26 to explore the deep interior of the red planet.

And within hours of OSIRIS-REx reaching a job around Bennu on December 31, NASA's New Horizons probe will pass a tiny Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule on New Year's Day, giving scientists a close-up look of a lump of debris left over from the birth of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. New Horizons achieved its main goal in 2014 when it flew past Pluto.

"It will be the season of science, we will enjoy it every minute, and it will be a great time for all of us," said Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA's Planetary Science Division. "I hope everyone is ready to stay awake all night on the 31st and enjoy the whole package."


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OSIRIS-REx captures his first images of asteroid Bennu – Astronomy Now



An artist impression of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft during an attempt to collect soil and stone from the surface of asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft is expected to glide around the asteroid at the end of the year. Image: NASA

Two years after its launch, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has taken the first photographs of asteroid Bennu, with which it has set up a step-by-step approach and rendezvous to get the New Year's Eve probe into orbit around the quarry. to place. After a full year of close observations to map the asteroid, measure the gravitational field and determine its composition, the spacecraft will attempt to collect stones and soil samples returned to Earth for detailed laboratory analysis.

Lead researcher Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona said OSIRIS-REx recorded five initial Bennu images at a distance of 2.18 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) on August 17, which is the 500 meters wide (1600 meters) asteroid as a point of light from the 13th magnitude that moves over a field with equally dark stars.

"I can not explain enough what it meant for this team," said Lauretta during a teleconference with reporters on 24 August. "I know that Bennu is just a bright spot here, but many of us have been working for years and years to bring down this first image and it really is the beginning of the great scientific expedition that OSIRIS-REx is." & # 39;

The images showed that the asteroid was "exactly where we thought it was, so it's there and it's waiting for us," he said. "The spacecraft was also where it needed to be and pointed in the (right) direction, so our navigation team did a great job by getting us on this approach path."

Asteroid Bennu is seen here, surrounded by green, while it moves across a star field on 17 August. The images were captured by NASA's NASIRIS-REx spacecraft at a distance of 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles). Image: NASA

Bennu was discovered in 1999 in a job that runs across the earth. It is one of the potentially most dangerous asteroids discovered with a probability of 1 in 2,700 to hit the earth in the 22nd century.

The $ 1 billion OSIRIS-REx mission is designed to map Bennu in great detail, using a laser system to map the topography of the asteroid, three cameras to characterize surface marks and spectrometers to mar the details of Bennu's chemical composition. By doing so, scientists will collect data that shed light on how an asteroid can be diverted or disassembled on a collision course with the Earth.

But the highlight of the OSIRIS-REx mission will come in 2020 when the spacecraft will descend to a few meters from the surface of Bennu and push a collector at the end of a 3-meter-long robot arm on the surface to a maximum of 2 kilos ( 4.4 pounds) or to collect stone and soil. If all goes well, the sample will be returned to earth in 2025 for detailed laboratory analysis.

Lauretta said that the spacecraft in October should start resolving functions on the surface of Bennu. As of December 3, OSIRIS-REx will fly in formation with the asteroid before it lands in orbit at the end of the month.

That milestone is just one of the three major encounters that are scheduled for NASA spacecraft this autumn. The InSight Mars lander of the office is on its way to hit the red planet on November 26 to explore the deep interior of the red planet.

And within hours of OSIRIS-REx reaching a job around Bennu on December 31, NASA's New Horizons probe will pass a tiny Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule on New Year's Day, giving scientists a close-up look of a lump of debris left over from the birth of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. New Horizons achieved its main goal in 2014 when it flew past Pluto.

"It will be the season of science, we will enjoy it every minute, and it will be a great time for all of us," said Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA's Planetary Science Division. "I hope everyone is ready to stay awake all night on the 31st and enjoy the whole package."


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OSIRIS-REx captures his first images of asteroid Bennu – Astronomy Now



An artist impression of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft during an attempt to collect soil and stone from the surface of asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft is expected to glide around the asteroid at the end of the year. Image: NASA

Two years after its launch, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has taken the first photographs of asteroid Bennu, with which it has set up a step-by-step approach and rendezvous to get the New Year's Eve probe into orbit around the quarry. to place. After a full year of close observations to map the asteroid, measure the gravitational field and determine its composition, the spacecraft will attempt to collect stones and soil samples returned to Earth for detailed laboratory analysis.

Lead researcher Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona said OSIRIS-REx recorded five initial Bennu images at a distance of 2.18 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) on August 17, which is the 500 meters wide (1600 meters) asteroid as a point of light from the 13th magnitude that moves over a field with equally dark stars.

"I can not explain enough what it meant for this team," said Lauretta during a teleconference with reporters on 24 August. "I know that Bennu is just a bright spot here, but many of us have been working for years and years to bring down this first image and it really is the beginning of the great scientific expedition that OSIRIS-REx is." & # 39;

The images showed that the asteroid was "exactly where we thought it was, so it's there and it's waiting for us," he said. "The spacecraft was also where it needed to be and pointed in the (right) direction, so our navigation team did a great job by getting us on this approach path."

Asteroid Bennu is seen here, surrounded by green, while it moves across a star field on 17 August. The images were captured by NASA's NASIRIS-REx spacecraft at a distance of 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles). Image: NASA

Bennu was discovered in 1999 in a job that runs across the earth. It is one of the potentially most dangerous asteroids discovered with a probability of 1 in 2,700 to hit the earth in the 22nd century.

The $ 1 billion OSIRIS-REx mission is designed to map Bennu in great detail, using a laser system to map the topography of the asteroid, three cameras to characterize surface marks and spectrometers to mar the details of Bennu's chemical composition. By doing so, scientists will collect data that shed light on how an asteroid can be diverted or disassembled on a collision course with the Earth.

But the highlight of the OSIRIS-REx mission will come in 2020 when the spacecraft will descend to a few meters from the surface of Bennu and push a collector at the end of a 3-meter-long robot arm on the surface to a maximum of 2 kilos ( 4.4 pounds) or to collect stone and soil. If all goes well, the sample will be returned to earth in 2025 for detailed laboratory analysis.

Lauretta said that the spacecraft in October should start resolving functions on the surface of Bennu. As of December 3, OSIRIS-REx will fly in formation with the asteroid before it lands in orbit at the end of the month.

That milestone is just one of the three major encounters that are scheduled for NASA spacecraft this autumn. The InSight Mars lander of the office is on its way to hit the red planet on November 26 to explore the deep interior of the red planet.

And within hours of OSIRIS-REx reaching a job around Bennu on December 31, NASA's New Horizons probe will pass a tiny Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule on New Year's Day, giving scientists a close-up look of a lump of debris left over from the birth of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. New Horizons achieved its main goal in 2014 when it flew past Pluto.

"It will be the season of science, we will enjoy it every minute, and it will be a great time for all of us," said Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA's Planetary Science Division. "I hope everyone is ready to stay awake all night on the 31st and enjoy the whole package."


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