The team estimates that they will have a mass measurement of the sample on Saturday. The site is the width of just a few parking spaces, according to NASA. The arm reached out to collect a sample, which could be between 2 ounces and 2 kilograms. The site itself is nestled within a crater the size of a tennis court and ringed in building-size boulders. But about every 10,000 years or so, "rocky or iron asteroids larger than about 100 meters would be expected to reach the Earth’s surface and cause local disasters or produce the tidal waves that can inundate low lying coastal areas. At 120 metres long, it would be far more catastrophic than Chelyabinsk event in 2013, when a 20m meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, smashing windows and injuring more than 1,000 people. That sample will be returned to Earth in 2023. Express. Site Nightingale (top left) is located in Bennu's northern hemisphere. Its height is 10.33 feet (3.15 meters). 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"A piece of primordial rock that has witnessed our solar system's entire history may now be ready to come home for generations of scientific discovery, and we can't wait to see what comes next.". The main event of the mission, called the Touch-and-Go sample collection event, or TAG, is scheduled for October 20 beginning at 5 p.m. Asteroid 2020 QL2 was first sighted on August 14 this year, with its most recent sighting being on September 3, according to NASA data. The asteroid and spacecraft are currently about 207 million miles from Earth, which cause a communication delay of about 18.5 minutes between the mission's team and the spacecraft. On Tuesday night, the OSIRIS-REx team will go through the data being sent back by the spacecraft. One of its future approaches could bring it perilously close to Earth sometime in the next century; it has a one in 2,700 chance of impacting our planet. Asteroid observers at US-based space agency NASA have revealed the space rock is currently travelling at 10.5 kilometres per second, or 23,666 mph. I look forward to analyzing the data to determine the mass of sample collected.". On October 21, NASA released images captured by cameras on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft showing its successful and historic touchdown on the asteroid Bennu. NASA has categorically confirmed the space rock will not hit Earth. "The fact that we safely and successfully touched the surface of Bennu, in addition to all the other milestones this mission has already achieved, is a testament to the living spirit of exploration that continues to uncover the secrets of the solar system. However, the asteroid will safely pass our planet at ten times the distance between the Earth and the Moon, some 4,259,235 miles away. Those that reach the surface are just tiny dust particles, created when a comet's ice vaporises. So while it is not going to hit Earth, the close approach does reiterate a need to maintain careful observations of the heavens. NASA has … It was created by combining two images taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. "After over a decade of planning, the team is overjoyed at the success of today's sampling attempt," Lauretta said in a statement. The van-sized spacecraft has to touch down its robotic arm in a landing site called Nightingale. A spacecraft may tell us why, The team at NASA has been sharing animations. ���� pic.twitter.com/fP7xdOEeOs, TOUCHDOWN! "Our first indication of whether we were successful in collecting a sample will come on October 21 when we downlink the back-away movie from the spacecraft," Moreau said. To achieve this historic first for NASA, a van-size spacecraft had to briefly touch down its arm in a landing site called Nightingale. At last, OSIRIS-REx touched down for less than 16 seconds. Thanks, everybody, for following along as we journey #ToBennuAndBack!Next stop: Earth 2023! Its width is 8 feet (2.43 meters) x 8 feet (2.43 meters). It is 20.25 feet in length (6.2 meters) with its solar arrays deployed. This head, located on the 11-foot-long robotic sampling arm, is the only part of the spacecraft that touched Bennu. Then, the spacecraft backed away to safety. The samples from Bennu could help scientists understand not only more about asteroids that could impact Earth but also about how planets formed and life began. Bennu is a boulder-studded asteroid shaped like a spinning top and is as tall as the Empire State Building. See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, One of its future approaches could bring it perilously close to Earth sometime in the next century; it has a one in 2,700 chance of impacting our planet, reported CNN. The team compares it to an air filter in an older model car, perfect for collecting fine material. Preliminary data show that today's sample collection event went as planned More details to come once all the data from the event are downlinked to Earth. Then, the spacecraft adjusted for position and speed to continue descending. Everything went perfectly based on the data returned by the spacecraft, according to Dante Lauretta, the mission's principal investigator and a professor at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. "The threat to any one person from auto accidents, disease, other natural disasters and a variety of other problems is much higher than the threat from NEOs. Pictured are the four candidate sample collection sites on asteroid Bennu selected by NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission. This mosaic image of Bennu is composed of 12 images collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 kilometers). It has five instruments to explore asteroid Bennu and also has a robot arm to touch the asteroid long enough to collect a sample. — NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) September 23, 2020 Its closest approach to earth will occur around 7:12 a.m. NASA’S OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will be collecting a sample from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu on Tuesday after orbiting it for nearly two years. This illustration shows the spacecraft approaching the asteroid. Hear Pelosi's response, 'SNL' takes on the final presidential debate, Road to 270: This state could be a 'game over' win for Biden, Witnesses say Nigerian forces opened fire on protesters, Infectious disease expert issues stark warning about US, Early voters wait hours in line as states see record turnout, OSIRIS-REx will take a sample of asteroid Bennu and return it to Earth. NASA estimates the rock could be anything between 53m and 120m, making it potentially one of the largest rocks on their NEO Earth Close Approaches list. (NASA … Bennu has an orbit that brings it close to Earth, which is why it's considered to be a near-Earth asteroid. Since initially arriving at Bennu, the spacecraft has been collecting and sending back data to help NASA learn more about the asteroid’s competition and map the best potential landing sites for the spacecraft to collect samples. Since arriving at Bennu, the spacecraft and its cameras have been collecting and sending back data and images to help the team learn more about the asteroid's composition and map the best potential landing sites to collect samples. This drawing shows an artist's concept of what it will look like when the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft briefly touches asteroid Bennu with its robot arm to grab a sample of the asteroid. The event officially started at 1:57 p.m. Nightingale was ultimately chosen, and the others serve as backup sites. Its solar panels folded into a Y-wing configuration above the spacecraft to protect them. "Today's TAG maneuver was historic," said Lori Glaze, Planetary Science Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, in a statement. The spacecraft performed the entire sequence of approaching the asteroid and collecting the sample autonomously since live commands from Earth were not possible. The space agency adds: "No one should be overly concerned about an Earth impact of an asteroid or comet. This view of sample site Nightingale on asteroid Bennu is a mosaic of images collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. See how Texans are fighting to keep their businesses alive, Philadelphia erupts in protests after police-involved shooting, Zeta batters Mexico, US Gulf Coast up next, Why it's important to get a flu vaccine this year, Meet the head of the armed Black group demanding justice, Former Pence staffer says Marc Short used to joke about masks, CDC official sounded alarm on Covid-19 months ago. Asteroid Bennu is about to play 'tag' with a NASA spacecraft, This asteroid is ejecting particles into space. She was silenced, Mark Meadows: We're not going to control the pandemic, Asian Americans facing historic unemployment during pandemic, Her story shows the decline of local papers in just over a decade, Trump said he thinks GOP will win the House. A sample between 2 ounces and 2 kilograms will be collected by the spacecraft before it backs away to safety. This is when they first discovered the asteroid. "Even though we have some work ahead of us to determine the outcome of the event -- the successful contact, the TAGSAM gas firing, and back-away from Bennu are major accomplishments for the team.
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