Celebrating a fragile snatch-and-grab asteroid encounter 200 million miles from Earth, NASA mission engineers labored Wednesday to make sure their Osiris-REx house probe brings residence a full measure of insights into the origins of the photo voltaic system from the floor of an asteroid named Bennu.
The Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration’s $1.16 billion Osiris-REx mission is the primary try by a U.S. spacecraft to return to Earth primordial supplies from an asteroid which will assist reply fundamental questions in regards to the origins of the planets and the elements for all times. The spacecraft on Tuesday brushed Bennu’s floor for about six seconds in a touch-and-go operation scientists hailed as successful whilst they awaited particulars of what it managed to choose up.
“We’re on the way in which to returning the most important pattern introduced residence from house since Apollo,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridentine wrote in a Twitter post after the fleeting rendezvous. “If all goes properly, this pattern will probably be studied by scientists for generations to come back!”
Up to now, fundamental telemetry alerts acquired from the spacecraft confirmed that it survived its rendezvous with Bennu. Preliminary knowledge NASA gave Wednesday additionally recommend that, as programmed, the craft’s 11-foot-long robotic arm reached down and fired a fast burst of nitrogen fuel to fire up grit and gravel from the asteroid’s rocky floor.