The moment when the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx touches the asteroid Bennu

 The moment when the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx touches the asteroid Bennu

NASA has released 82 images of the asteroid explorer OSIRIS-REx landing on the asteroid Bennu on the 21st and taking a sample of its surface.

The image is a series of photos centered on the sampling system (TAGSAM) of OSIRIS-REx, and can be viewed as a time-lapse continuous video. If you look at the pattern, you can see how the spacecraft slowly approaches the asteroid, touches down, and immediately afterwards injects gas to raise the soil and rocks on the surface.

Asteroid Bennu is a near-Earth asteroid with an average diameter of about 560 m discovered by Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Exploration (LINEAR). It is estimated that a celestial body with a diameter of about 100 km, which was born with the formation of the solar system, is one of the fragments scattered by a large-scale collision that occurred about 1 billion years ago.

On the surface of the earth, a vein of carbonate has been found, which is a trace of the water flow inside the original celestial body before it was destroyed. In addition, it is said that the surface of Benne is rich in organic matter containing carbon. If OSIRIS-REx returns in 2023 and the sample return capsule (SRC) parachute is successfully dropped, the sand and stones loaded in it may reveal something that could lead to the origin of life.

Trelawney Ross