NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Refines Its Path To Asteroid Bennu

Posted: Jul 7 2018, 1:44am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Refines Its Path to Asteroid Bennu
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

The spacecraft has successfully performed a second Deep Space Maneuver as it speeds toward asteroid rendezvous

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft continues its journey to Asteroid Bennu after successfully completing its second Deep Space Maneuver on June 28. According to the space agency, the engine burn was completed as planned and kicked off a crucial series of maneuvers that will keep spacecraft on the correct course for its rendezvous with Bennu.

The maneuver resulted in a 37 miles per hour change in the vehicle’s velocity and utilized 28.2 pounds of fuel.

Launched in September 2016, OSIRIS-REx is the NASA's first-ever mission to collect a sample from an asteroid. The mission is heading to a nearby asteroid Bennu, which is an exotic black rock rich in carbon.

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will bring the asteroid sample back to Earth for study and help revolutionize our understanding of asteroids and their origin and composition. The mission is equipped with several scientific instruments to map asteroid Bennu and to identify locations for collecting a sample. Scientists already know that Bennu is about 1,600 feet wide and may have formed 4.5 billion years ago. Since it is a remnant of the building blocks of the universe, it may still hold clues to the earliest history of the solar system.

Researchers are convinced that Bennu contains natural resources such as water, organics, and metals - ingredients essential for life. If the composition of Bennu has remained unchanged since its formation billions of years ago, OSIRIS-REx could find organic materials on its surface and even primitive, microbial life. However, it is highly unlikely to find life in such a harsh environment with little atmosphere and gravitational field.

The spacecraft’s next engine burn is scheduled for early October which will slow down its speed from approximately 1,130 to 320 miles per hour. OSIRIS-Rex will reach its target on December 3, 2018, and return to Earth in 2023.

This story may contain affiliate links.

Loading...

Find rare products online! Get the free Tracker App now.


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Pomsies, Oculus Go, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus