The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is on its strategy to Earth to drop off rocky samples from asteroid Bennu on Sunday, marking NASA’s first try and retrieve a bit of a pure area rock.
The highly-anticipated drop-off has been seven years within the making, however the wait is lastly over. OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to drop off the capsule containing the asteroid pattern on September 24 at 10:55 a.m. ET. You may tune in to the historic second stay by means of NASA TV, the NASA app, and the company’s website, or by following the feed beneath. Protection will start at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.
The plan is for the spacecraft to drop off its valuable cargo throughout an in depth flyby of Earth, after which the capsule containing the asteroid samples will carry out a parachute-assisted touchdown on the Division of Protection’s Utah Check and Coaching Vary. The capsule has to land inside a 37-mile by 9-mile ellipse (59 km by 15 km) about 13 minutes after it’s launched by the spacecraft.
OSIRIS-REx launched in September 2016, and reached asteroid Bennu in December 2018. The spacecraft spent almost two years observing the area rock earlier than touchdown on Bennu and snagging a sample from its surface in October 2020. On Could 10, 2021, OSIRIS-REx bid farewell to Bennu and commenced making its manner again residence to drop off its valuable cargo.
That is NASA’s first try at retrieving a pattern from an asteroid and it’s been a very long time within the making. Bennu is a small, near-Earth asteroid that makes an in depth cross to Earth each six years or so. Scientists consider Bennu might need damaged off from a a lot bigger carbon-rich asteroid about 700 million to 2 billion years in the past, and drifted a lot nearer to Earth since then.
By bringing the asteroid pattern to Earth, scientists will be capable of carefully analyze the area rock to assist uncover clues as to how life could have originated on Earth and whether or not asteroids carried the constructing blocks of life to our planet.
After delivering its pattern to Earth, OSIRIS-REx will start making its manner in the direction of its subsequent mission, exploring asteroid Apophis. Accordingly, the mission can be renamed to OSIRIS-APEX (OSIRIS-Apophis Explorer).