NASA says OSIRIS-REx all set to chase Asteroid Bennu

NASA says OSIRIS-REx all set to chase Asteroid Bennu

In an attempt to disclose secrets of the solar system and understand how life started on earth, NASA is launching a mission to chase asteroid 101955 Bennu. It is going to be the first mission where a probe will run after an asteroid, collect a sample from its surface, and return it to earth.

As per NASA, the spacecraft- Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) - will leave earth on September 8 after a launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The space agency provided details about the mission on Saturday (August 20) atPayload Hazardous Servicing Facility of KSC.

The (OSIRIS-REx) will start its next-month journey to the asteroid with a weight of about 4,650 pounds. It is expected to reachBennu in 2018. Using its robotic arm, the probe will collect 2 to 60 ounces of sample from the asteroid’s surface. That sample is expected to reach earth in 2023.

“The launch of OSIRIS-REx is the beginning a seven-year journey to return pristine samples from asteroid Bennu. The team has built an amazing spacecraft, and we are well-equipped to investigate Bennu and return with our scientific treasure”, said Dante Lauretta, Principal Investigator of the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Bennu has been a matter of discussion since last few months due to two prime reasons:OSIRIS-REx mission and the asteroid’s chances to hit earth. It is being speculated by some space experts thatBennu, which was first found in 1999 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research, may affect earthlings in 22nd century. However, NASA has debunked such rumors, and said that even if Bennu hits the planet, it may not affect people on earth as its size is small.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has various types of high-tech instruments to conduct an asteroid sample mission on Bennu.


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