OSIRIS-REx touches an ancient asteroid Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard describes a historic moment on October 20, 2020 when the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft touched an ancient asteroid.
OSIRIS-REx used a robotic arm to collect dust and rocks from the surface of Bennu, an asteroid that is more than 200 million miles from Earth. This well-preserved, ancient asteroid, known as Bennu, is currently more than 200 million miles (321 million kilometers) from Earth. Bennu offers scientists a window into the early solar system as it was first taking shape billions of years ago and flinging ingredients that could have helped seed life on Earth. Despite concerns that the surface of Bennu might be too rocky, the probe’s touchdown produced a dramatic shower of debris but was still able to land without any issues.
The contents of Bennu will be delivered to Earth in 2023, and will give scientists a glimpse into the solar system when it was first developing billions of years ago. NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft unfurled its robotic arm Tuesday, and in a first for the agency, briefly touched an asteroid to collect dust and pebbles from the surface for delivery to Earth in 2023. OSIRIS-REx touches an ancient asteroid as seen abpve in video shows the different textures from the dust and rocks and particles.
Video Credit: NASA Goddard
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer