NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission Successfully Brings Asteroid Bennu Samples to Earth

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission Successfully Brings Asteroid Bennu Samples to Earth

OSIRIS-REx’s mission over the past seven years has not been in vain. After traveling 6.2 billion kilometers, the mission carried out by the United States Space Agency (NASA) succeeded in bringing samples of the asteroid Bennu to Earth.

Bennu is an asteroid discovered in 1999. Quote France Media Agency, OSIRIS-REx released a capsule carrying Bennu samples on Sunday (24/9) from an altitude of more than 67 thousand miles. The capsule penetrated the atmosphere for 13 minutes and slid down at a speed of more than 27 thousand miles per hour with temperatures of up to 2,760 degrees Celsius.

The cargo successfully landed at 08.52 local time in the desert area of ​​the Department of Defense military test and training site in the Great Salt Lake Desert, Utah. He arrived three minutes ahead of schedule.

Once it was confirmed that there was no leak, the capsule was then taken by helicopter to a sterile location. An airtight seal on the capsule was essential to avoid contamination with desert sand.

“I cried like a baby in the helicopter when I heard the parachute had opened and a soft landing was made,” OSIRIS-REx principal investigator Dante Lauretta was quoted as saying. BBC.

The capsule carries around 250 grams of dust and rock pieces from the asteroid Bennu. Yesterday (25/9) the sample was sent to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston for additional research. NASA plans to announce the results of its first research at a press conference on October 11.

Even though it looks small, this amount is more than enough for the tests that NASA will carry out. Chief Scientist at JSC NASA Eileen Stansbery emphasized that her party can analyze very small particles with very high resolution.

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NASA will store 70 percent of the samples at JSC for analysis for years to come. Another 25 percent will be distributed to more than 200 scientists at 35 different facilities.

Most of Bennu’s samples will be saved for research for future generations. NASA Planetary Science Division Director Lori Glaze said that this is a “treasure” for scientific analysis for years to come for generations of children or those who have not even been born yet.

The success of the OSIRIS-REx mission is eagerly awaited by NASA. Because, for the first time, they took samples from an asteroid and managed to bring them back to Earth safely. In 1972, NASA succeeded in taking rock samples from the lunar surface during the Apollo 17 mission.

Bennu is not an ordinary asteroid. It is called the most dangerous asteroid in the world because it has the highest score on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. Because, on September 24, 2182 or 159 years from now, it is estimated that Bennu may hit the earth with such great force that the continents could split apart. The chance of this collision is small, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible at all.

Meanwhile, the success of the OSIRIS-REx mission was celebrated by Queen guitarist Brian May many miles away from Utah. Because he was involved in helping identify the sampling site for the Bennu asteroid.

May is an astrophysicist specializing in stereoscopy, a science concerned with the technique of displaying the illusion of depth from two-dimensional images. He was also one of the founders of the London Stereoscopic Company.

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In a live broadcast on the NASA TV YouTube channel, May was disappointed not to be able to attend. Because, he had to practice for the Queen concert at Wimbledon. ”I am very proud to be a member of the OSIRIS-REx team. “I can’t be with you today, but my heart is there with you as these precious samples arrive,” said the Imperial College London doctoral graduate as quoted by NME. (sha/fam/wan/c14/ttg)

2023-09-26 03:55:56
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