The asteroid sample almost escaped from NASA’s palm, and was finally only to be brought back to Earth
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▲The red arrow in the figure shows the sample collector of the unmanned spacecraft
On Thursday, NASA stated that its Osiris-Rex unmanned spacecraft had collected rock and dust samples from the asteroid Bennu. A flap was accidentally opened before, making the mission almost failed.
The project leader Richard Burns announced that they have successfully completed this task.
The mission of this probe is to collect debris. Scientists hope that these debris can help unlock the origin of our solar system, as well as future universe mining and other information, but because of it The sample collected was too large and encountered obstacles.
Seeing that the debris on the surface of the asteroid is 3 meters ( A collector at the end of the 10-foot long sampling arm slowly escaped into space because some rocks prevented the chamber from closing completely.
▲Dust and rocks escape from the detector’s collector into space
on top On Tuesday, in order to complete this task, the robotic arm was in contact with”Bennu” for a few seconds.
this Thursday , NASA said that they had manipulated the robotic arm a day ago to load the leaked samples into a storage compartment near the center of the spacecraft, put down the samples and close the hatch.
This is an extremely painful two-day process that requires the team to evaluate the images and data of the previous step in each step.
Be aware that the detector is 200 million miles (320 million kilometers) away from the earth, so its signal transmission takes 18.5 minutes to reach the earth, which is the signal delay. The time required for any signal from the control room to reach Osiris Rex is the same.
▲Unmanned spacecraft OSIRIS-REx landed on the”Bennu” asteroid
this The chief scientist of the mission Dante Lauretta (Dante Lauretta) said that although the loss of the sample broke his heart. But they still managed to collect and store hundreds of grams (a few ounces) of fragments, which far exceeded their minimum goal.
He said:”Now we can look forward to opening the storage compartment of the unmanned aircraft on Earth and receiving samples.”
p style=”text-align:justify”>Osiris Rex will return to Earth in September 2023, hoping to bring back the largest space sample since the Apollo era.