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Sun Oct 18, 2020, 01:48 PM

Touch-and-go: US spacecraft sampling asteroid for return

Source: ABC News



CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- After almost two years circling an ancient asteroid hundreds of millions of miles away, a NASA spacecraft this week will attempt to descend to the treacherous, boulder-packed surface and snatch a handful of rubble.

The drama unfolds Tuesday as the U.S. takes its first crack at collecting asteroid samples for return to Earth, a feat accomplished so far only by Japan.

Brimming with names inspired by Egyptian mythology, the Osiris-Rex mission is looking to bring back at least 2 ounces (60 grams) worth of asteroid Bennu, the biggest otherworldly haul from beyond the moon.

The van-sized spacecraft is aiming for the relatively flat middle of a tennis court-sized crater named Nightingale a spot comparable to a few parking places here on Earth. Boulders as big as buildings loom over the targeted touchdown zone.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/touch-us-spacecraft-sampling-asteroid-return-73679332?cid=clicksource_4380645_4_heads_hero_live_headlines_hed



If successful, collected samples will get back to Earth in 2023.

8 replies, 1037 views

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Reply Touch-and-go: US spacecraft sampling asteroid for return (Original post)
groundloop Oct 18 OP
keithbvadu2 Oct 18 #1
Warpy Oct 18 #6
Nitram Oct 18 #2
SergeStorms Oct 18 #3
greblach Oct 18 #4
Sudsy Oct 18 #5
diverdownjt Monday #8
Sherman A1 Oct 18 #7

Response to groundloop (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 02:08 PM

1. And it grabs a piece of rubble that landed on this asteroid from somewhere else.

And it grabs a piece of rubble that landed on this asteroid from somewhere else.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 06:12 PM

6. Big chunks of stuff are always attracting smaller chunks of stuff in the area

but it's pretty much all the same stuff. This mission is to see exactly what that stuff is made of.

Our own planet is still attracting the same stuff, it just tends to burn up when it hits our atmosphere so it's harder to study on the ground, even when it's inside one of the bigger chunks. This is a chance to study it before heat degrades it.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 02:28 PM

2. Thanks for sharing this. Hope it succeeds.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 03:52 PM

3. Collected samples....

millions of years from now some civilization will do the same to our own planet, Earth. They'll come back with a cargo bay full of discarded plastic water bottles and cigarette butts.

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Response to SergeStorms (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 05:16 PM

4. Ha!

Great point...

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 05:55 PM

5. Now,

if we can just figure out how to move these things around.

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Response to Sudsy (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 19, 2020, 05:45 AM

8. Before you move one...

make sure you can stop it the other end.....
You don't want something like that gettin' away from you.


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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 06:31 PM

7. Cool!

Thanks for posting.

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