Science & Technology

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx completes its final tour of the asteroid Bennu before traveling 180 million miles to Earth

The artist’s concept shows the planned flight path of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft during the final flight of the asteroid Bennu scheduled for April 7.Credits: ASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

NASAof OSIRIS-REx Completed the last elevated road in Bennu around 6am EDT (4am MDT) on April 7, and is now slowly away from the asteroid. However, the mission team will have to wait a few more days to see how the spacecraft changed the surface of Bennu when it took the asteroid sample.

The OSIRIS-REx team added this flyby to document the surface changes caused by Touch and Go. (TAG) Sample collection operation October 20, 2020. “By investigating the distribution of excavated material around the TAG site, we can learn more about the mechanical properties of asteroids, as well as the properties of surface and subsurface materials,” said principal Dr. Dante Lauretta. I am. Researcher at OSIRIS-REx at the University of Arizona.

Top-down view of the asteroid Bennu

This image shows a top-down view of the asteroid Bennu, with the asteroid’s equatorial ridge and parts of the Northern Hemisphere illuminated. It was taken on March 4, 2021 by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft PolyCam camera from a distance of approximately 186 miles (300 km). The spacecraft’s camera is aimed directly at Bennu’s North Pole. Two large equatorial craters can be seen at the edges of the asteroid (center and center left). This image was taken during the post-TAG operation phase of the mission as the spacecraft slowly approached Bennu in preparation for the final observation flyby on April 7.Credits: NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

During the flyby, OSIRIS-REx imaged Bennu for 5.9 hours, covering more than the full rotation of the asteroid. I flew within a distance of 2.1 miles (3.5 km) to the surface of Bennu. This is the closest distance since the TAG sample collection event.

It will take at least April 13th for OSIRIS-REx to downlink all the data on the surface of Bennu recorded during the flyby and the new photos.Share Deep Space Network antennas with other missions such as Martian patience, There is usually 4-6 hours of downlink time per day. Mike Morrow, Deputy Project Manager for OSIRIS-REx at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said: “Bennu is currently about 185 million miles from Earth, which means that the downlink data rate can only reach 412 kilobits per second, so it will take days to download all the fly-by data.”

OSIRIS-REx Depart Bennu

NASA is inviting the general public to watch OSIRIS-REx depart from Bennu on and NASA TV on May 10, 2021 at 4 pm EDT.

Once the mission team receives the images and other equipment data, we will study how OSIRIS-REx cluttered the surface of Bennu. During landing, the spacecraft’s sampling head sank 1.6 feet (48.8 cm) on the surface of the asteroid, simultaneously firing pressurized nitrogen gas. The spacecraft thrusters kicked up large amounts of surface material during backaway combustion, firing rocks and dust in the process.

OSIRIS-REx, A valuable pristine asteroid cargo that will stay near Bennu until May 10th, launching a thruster and launching a two-year cruise home. The mission will deliver asteroid samples to Earth on September 24, 2023.

KinetX Flight Navigator Leila McCarthy

Leilah McCarthy of KinetX Flight Navigator is helping to process navigation images to target NASA’s OSIRIS-REx final flyby on the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. Credits: KinetXInc./Coralie Adam

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland provides OSIRIS-REx (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer) overall mission management, system engineering, and safety and mission assurance. .. Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, Tucson, is a senior researcher, and the University of Arizona also leads the scientific observation planning and data processing of scientific teams and missions. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver builds spacecraft and provides flight maneuvers. Goddard and KinetX Aerospace are responsible for navigating the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is NASA’s third mission in the New Frontiers program, managed by NASA’s NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the Science Missions Bureau in Washington.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx completes its final tour of the asteroid Bennu before traveling 180 million miles to Earth NASA’s OSIRIS-REx completes its final tour of the asteroid Bennu before traveling 180 million miles to Earth

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