Two years after launching from Florida, a NASA spacecraft on an old asteroid, Bennu, closes for a selection of spacecraft that could reveal clues to the beginning of life in the solar system.
The spacecraft OSIRIS -REX – Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer – even clenched its first blurred image of the cosmic body that deals with the size of a small mountain, about 500 meters in diameter . The spacecraft is designed to circulate Bennu, reaching out with a robot arm to "high five" its surface and then return the sample collecting to earth in 2023.
The first pictures of Bennu were taken on August 1
Bennu was chosen from about 500,000 asteroids in the solar system, as it circles around the earth's path around the sun, it is the right size for scientific study and is one of the oldest asteroids known for NASA. Astronomer says it represents a slight risk – one in 2,700 chance – colliding with Earth 2135.
It is also a colonial asteroid, the kind of cosmic body that may have delivered life-giving material to Earth's billions several years ago. The OSIRIS REX mission is not the first to ever visit an asteroid and tries to try back – Japan has done it before and Europe has managed to land on a comet. But it is the first asteroid test return mission for NASA, and it aims to take back the largest test ever, in the order of 60 grams.
In December, the spacecraft launches a detailed survey of the asteroid's surface, which NASA has defined as "arrival" on the asteroid. Orbital inclusion is expected on 31 December. However, the test is not taken until July 2020.