A capsule containing the largest asteroid sample ever collected parachutes to Earth
Now the heavenly rock that may contain Valuable clues about the origin of the Earth (Read more below), will be in the hands of scientists who will analyze the material.
👉 This is the third and largest ever sample of asteroids that has been brought to Earth for analysis, after two similar missions by the Japanese Space Agency that ended in 2010 and 2020.
The bear-shaped capsule, launched by the OSIRIS-REx robotic spacecraft, landed in an expected area west of Salt Lake City, Utah. There is ample scope for testing and training for the US Army.
Descent and final landing, Live broadcast on NASAclosed a A six-year joint mission between NASA and the University of Arizona.
OSIRIS-REx collected the sample three years ago from Bennu, a small carbon-rich asteroid that was discovered in 1999. The space rock is classified as a “near-Earth object” because it passes relatively close to our planet every six years, despite its chances of existence. The effect is considered remote.
🪨 It appears to have been formed from a group of loose rocksBennu, like a pile of rubble, is only 500 meters in diameter, making it something of a rubble pilem is slightly wider than the Empire State Building – One of the most famous buildings in New York – but Small compared to the asteroid Chicxulub, which collided with Earth about 66 million years agoeliminating dinosaurs.
Like other asteroids, Bennu is a remnant of the early solar system. Because their current chemistry and mineralogy have remained largely unchanged since their formation about 4.5 billion years ago, they It contains valuable clues about the origins and evolution of rocky planets such as Earth.
he It may even contain organic molecules similar to those needed for microbes to arise.
🌍Three years ago, the Japanese Hayabusa 2 mission recovered samples from Ryugu, another near-Earth asteroid, that contains two organic compounds, Strengthening the hypothesis that celestial bodies such as comets, asteroids and meteorites that bombarded the early Earth seeded the young planet with the initial ingredients for life.
🚀OSIRIS-REx was launched in September 2016 and reached Bennu in 2018, then spent nearly two years orbiting the asteroid before venturing close enough to collect samples of bulk surface material with its robotic arm on October 20, 2016. 2020.
The spacecraft left Bennu in May 2021 on a 1.9 billion kilometer return trip to Earth, including two orbits around the sun.
☄️Capsule It entered the upper atmosphere at 35 times the speed of sound, about 13 minutes before landing. It glowed red as it approached the ground. Temperatures inside the spacecraft were expected to reach 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,800 degrees Celsius).
Parachutes deployed near the end of the descent, reducing the capsule’s speed to about 20 km/h before landing. It lands softly on the desert floor of northwest Utah.
The Benno sample was estimated at 250 grams, far exceeding the 5 grams transported from Ryugu in 2020 Or the small sample delivered from asteroid Itokawa in 2010. But the amount of material delivered on Sunday It will be measured more accurately in just a week.
A rescue team of scientists and technicians was on standby to recover the capsule and ensure the integrity of the spacecraft and the inner container containing the asteroid material was maintained during reentry and landing.
Their goal was to keep the sample intact and free of any ground contamination.
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