On October twentieth, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft gently touched the Bennu asteroid, let loose a puff of air, and picked up the company’s first pattern of free-range asteroid rubble. However NASA is now racing to safe the pattern, as OSIRIS-REx’s assortment head is wedged open and slowly dropping materials that it dared to take from a roaming house rock.
OSIRIS-REx launched in 2016 to intercept and acquire a pattern from the 1640-foot-wide Bennu asteroid. Its objective, to gather no less than 60 grams of fabric from the house rock, may facilitate analysis in chemistry, planetary science, and different big-brain topics. Whereas we’ve got loads of meteorite samples, asteroids are “uncontaminated,” as they haven’t handed by way of our ambiance.
NASA could be very critical about its 60-gram objective, and even deliberate to ship poor OSIRIS-REx again to Bennu if it didn’t acquire sufficient materials. However the company is going through a special drawback. Pictures obtained October twenty third verify that the craft has an ample pattern, however evidently some asteroid particles are wedged within the assortment chamber’s mylar “lid.”
To stop unfastened materials from slipping out of the open assortment chamber, NASA is forgoing the “pattern mass measurement” exercise scheduled for Saturday, amongst different objects on the OSIRIS-REx schedule. For now, NASA will deal with stowing its treasured pattern in a Pattern Return Capsule, which can preserve materials secure because the craft returns to Earth.
NASA plans to offer OSIRIS-REx updates over the weekend. You could find extra data on the agency’s website.