December 04, 2018
OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will eventually scoop up material for analysis back home
NASA probe reaches Bennu – asteroid that could one day hit Earth
After a two-year chase, a NASA probe has reached the ancient asteroid Bennu. The robotic explorer Osiris-Rex pulled within 12 miles (19km) of the diamond-shaped object on Monday and will go into orbit around it on 31 December. No spacecraft has ever orbited such a small body.
Bennu is considered a potentially hazardous asteroid – it is due to make a close pass of Earth about 150 years. If it collided with Earth, Bennu would probably cause a crater.
Osiris-Rex aims to collect at least 60 grams (two ounces) of dust and gravel, the first such attempt by the US after a smaller mission to another asteroid by Japan.
The spacecraft won’t land but use a three-metre mechanical arm in 2020 to momentarily touch down and pick up particles. The sample container is planned to break loose and head toward Earth in 2021.
The collection – parachuting down to Utah – would represent the biggest such haul since the Apollo astronauts hand-delivered moon rocks to Earth in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Scientists hope to learn more about the source of water in the solar system and the origins of organic molecules from which life first arose. Getting their hands on pristine asteroid material might also yield clues about how to mine them for valuable materials and defend against wayward ones that might threaten Earth.
NASA probe reaches Bennu – asteroid that could one day hit Earth
Flight controllers applauded and exchanged high-fives on Monday once confirmation came through that Osiris-Rex made it to Bennu – exactly one week after Nasa landed a spacecraft on Mars.
“Relieved, proud, and anxious to start exploring!” tweeted lead scientist Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona. “To Bennu and back!”
Bennu is 76m miles (122m km) away so it took seven minutes for word of the success to reach flight controllers at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, where the spacecraft was built.
Bennu is estimated to be just over 1,600ft (500 metres) across. Researchers will provide a more precise description at a scientific meeting on Monday next week in Washington.
About the size of a large car, the spacecraft will shadow the asteroid for a year, before scooping up some gravel for return to Earth in 2023.
A Japanese spacecraft, meanwhile, has been hanging out at another near-Earth asteroid since June, also for samples. It is Japan’s second asteroid mission. This latest rock is named Ryugu and is about double the size of Bennu.
Ryugu’s specks should be here by December 2020 but will be far less than Osiris-Rex’s promised booty.
NASA probe reaches Bennu – asteroid that could one day hit Earth
Nasa has brought back comet dust and solar wind particles before but never asteroid samples. Japan managed to return some tiny particles in 2010 from its first asteroid mission, named Hayabusa.
Contact with Bennu will not significantly change its orbit or make it more dangerous to Earth, Lauretta stressed.
The $800m Osiris-Rex mission began with a 2016 launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its odometer read 1.2bn miles (2bn km) as of Monday.
Both the spacecraft and asteroid’s names come from Egyptian mythology. Osiris is the god of the afterlife, while Bennu represents the heron and creation.
Osiris-Rex is actually a Nasa acronym for origins, spectral interpretation, resource identification, security-regolith explorer.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton Are Engaged! | E! News
October 27, 2020
X9IdVVW7KCs
Cardi B Slams Racist Claims About Her Birkin Bags | E! News
October 27, 2020
dRjULO-rMAM
Kim Kardashian's Luxury 40th Birthday Celebration | E! News
October 27, 2020
LpW9CKVaZK0
Olivia, Sophia and Aurora Culpo on sharing clothes and their new fashion line | Page Six News
October 27, 2020
1rj8Oy1Q9iM
‘RHOC’ alum Vicki Gunvalson addresses Steve Lodge breakup rumors | Page Six Celebrity News
October 27, 2020
q2hWzuxekUw
Kanye West reacts to Jennifer Aniston saying not to vote for him | Page Six Celebrity News
October 27, 2020
9jg_X_6a-B8
Nicole Kidman & Hugh Grant on Becoming a 'Sexy' Couple for 'The Undoing'
October 26, 2020
VQz_8ZvaSb0
Aloe Blacc: Live from My Den
October 23, 2020
-ol2cCTBZeI
Tyler Perry on Producing During the Pandemic and Weighing In on Politics
October 23, 2020
GCtEmmdmAz0
Arnold Schwarzenegger Recovering Well After Another Heart Surgery | TMZ TV
October 27, 2020
0kKv4bsg-CM
Offset Cuffed Then Released After Run In with Pro Trump Crowd | TMZ TV
October 27, 2020
qY-fHxGEt_s
Jennifer Aniston Says Don't Vote Kanye West, 'It's Not Funny' | TMZ TV
October 27, 2020
f0hbBJzSyxY
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Stoke City
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Stoke City
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Watford
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Watford
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Coventry
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Coventry
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Reading
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Reading
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Norwich City
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Norwich City
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Barnsley - QPR
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Barnsley - QPR
26
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Roma
26
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - West Bromwich Albion
26
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Augsburg
26
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Celta Vigo
25
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Leicester City
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Verona
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Napoli
25
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Southampton - Everton
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Huesca
25
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Arminia Bielefeld
25
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Werder Bremen - Hoffenheim
25
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Newcastle United
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Granada CF
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - Udinese
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Villarreal
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Spezia
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Alaves
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Crotone
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Madrid
24
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Schalke
24
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Eintracht Frankfurt
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Sheffield United
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Real Betis
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Manchester City
24
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Preston NE
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Swansea City
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Blackburn
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Luton
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Barnsley
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Brentford
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Wycombe Wanderers
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Crystal Palace
24
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Bologna
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Eibar
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Osasuna - Athletic Bilbao
21
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Bayern Munich - Atletico Madrid
21
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group B
Inter Milan - Borussia Monchengladbach
21
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Ajax - Liverpool
20
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group H
PSG - Manchester United
20
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Ferencvaros
18
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Benevento
18
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United
17
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Arminia Bielefeld - Bayern Munich
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Manchester United
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Barcelona
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Crotone - Juventus
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Cadiz
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.