On Tuesday, OSIRIS-REx efficiently landed on asteroid Bennu in an try to gather floor materials. These NASA GIFs element the preliminary landing.
On Tuesday, OSIRIS-REx efficiently touched down on asteroid Bennu. The Contact-and-Go (TAG) try was designed to gather a pattern of the asteroid’s floor. This materials may present new insights in regards to the formation of our photo voltaic system, the origins of life, and extra. Following the profitable landing on Bennu, NASA launched a sequence of GIFs detailing the craft’s descent, assortment try, and ascent. Two of those GIFs are listed under.
SEE: Images: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx, asteroid Bennu, and different sights from the spacecraft’s journey by way of our photo voltaic system (TechRepublic)
This GIF was created utilizing a sequence of photos from OSIRIS-REx’s SamCam imager. These images had been snapped after landing on Bennu because the spacecraft ascended from the asteroid.
Throughout the assortment try, solely the craft’s Contact-And-Go Pattern Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) head got here into contact with the Nightingale sampling website on Bennu. NASA obtained affirmation of the profitable landing at 6:08 p.m. EDT.
SEE: OSIRIS-REx on Bennu: The mission’s challenge scientist particulars “grasping” asteroid sampling, challenges, and extra (TechRepublic)
As soon as positioned on the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx discharged a pressurized nitrogen container to agitate and elevate floor materials enabling assortment onboard. If the spacecraft gathered sufficient materials on this preliminary TAG try, OSIRIS-REx will stow the pattern in preparation for its return to Earth.
Nevertheless, if exams decide that the craft didn’t gather sufficient asteroid materials, NASA will plan for a second try in January 2021. The craft is ready to try this assortment pattern a complete of 3 times utilizing pressurized nitrogen containers onboard and it is specifically designed TAGSAM.
Total, OSIRIS-REx spent roughly six seconds on the asteroid’s floor earlier than backing away, in response to NASA’s preliminary information. The spacecraft spent about 5 seconds accumulating floor materials and the “majority of pattern assortment occurred throughout the first three seconds,” in response to NASA.
The spacecraft is scheduled to depart Bennu en route for Earth with the pattern in tow within the months forward. If profitable, the spacecraft will ship the pattern again to Earth in September 2023. Right now, OSIRIS-REx’s Pattern Return Capsule (SRC) and picked up materials can be parachuted again to Earth and land within the west desert of Utah.