Capture the closest image of one of the oldest asteroids known to NASA technology



Two years after the launch from Florida, a spacecraft from the NASA is approaching an old asteroid, Am now, to obtain a spatial dust sample that could give indications about the beginning of life in the solar system.

The probe, OSIRIS-Rex, has even reached its first hazy image of the cosmic body, which is about the size of a small mountain, about 500 meters in diameter.

The spacecraft is designed to move around Bennu to about 1.5 or 2 kilometers from the surface, to bring a monster to the earth in 2023.

Bennu's first images were taken on August 17th at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers from the $ 800 million spacecraft.

"This is as close as we have ever been to Bennu," said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator of OSIRIS-REx, at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

"It is important because we are now near the asteroid, closer than we have ever been, even during the approach of the asteroid to earth."

Bennu was chosen from the approximately 500,000 asteroids in the solar system because it revolves around the sun in the vicinity of the earth's path, is the right size for scientific study and is one of the oldest asteroids known to NASA.

Image of Bennu obtained by the OSIRIS-REx probe at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers NASA | Agence France-Presse
Image of Bennu obtained by the OSIRIS-REx probe at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers NASA | Agence France-Presse

Astronomers say there is a chance of a 2700 collision with Earth in 2135.

It is also a carbon-rich asteroid, the kind of cosmic body that could supply materials to the earth that would favor life billions of years ago.

The OSIRIS-REx mission is not the first to visit an asteroid and tries to collect a sample. Japan did it earlier and Europe has managed to land on a comet.

But it is the first asteroid sampling mission for NASA, and the goal is to bring the largest sample in history to Earth, on the order of about 60 grams.

American men who walked around the moon during the Apollo era in the sixties and seventies gathered and transported 382 kilograms of moonstones to earth.

In December, the spacecraft begins with a detailed study of the surface of the asteroids, which NASA has defined as "arrival" on the asteroid.

The orbital insertion is expected before 31 December. However, the sample will not be taken until July 2020.


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