If all goes to plan, the spacecraft will store the precious cache of rocks inside its belly, and

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[ A NASA spacecraft is poised to snag the largest sample of rocks from an asteroid ever ]

Tomorrow, a US spacecraft more than 200 million miles from Earth will sneak up to an asteroid larger than the Empire State Building and snag a handful of rocks from its surface. If all goes to plan, the spacecraft will store the precious cache of rocks inside its belly, and will eventually transport the materials to Earth, where they can be studied by scientists in a lab.

The spacecraft stealing these rocks is called OSIRIS-REx, part of the first-ever NASA mission tasked with returning samples of an asteroid back to Earth. Launched in September of 2016, OSIRIS-REx spent two years traveling to an asteroid named Bennu. Since it arrived in 2018, the spacecraft has been circling the asteroid and mapping it in excruciating detail, in order to find just the right spot to scoop up a sample.

Publisher: The Verge
Date: 2020-10-19T12:36:26-04:00
Author: Loren Grush
Twitter: @verge
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OSIRIS-REx poised to snatch samples from asteroid Bennu tomorrow

Publisher: Astronomy.com
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Poised and ready for a date with an asteroid

The action is scheduled for 9:12am on Wednesday, Australian Eastern Daylight Time, and if all goes well it will be a first for NASA.

The Japanese have now done it twice, most recently with their Hayabusa2 mission, whose sample from another near-Earth asteroid, 162173 Ryugu, is scheduled to parachute to Earth near Woomera, South Australia, on 6 December.

However, NASA’s sample ‘ due home in September 2023 ‘ could be vastly larger than Hayabusa’s minimum target of 100 milligrams , not to mention giving scientists a chance to peer at material from another asteroid whose rocks date back to the dawn of the Solar System and might shed light on the formation of our own world.

Publisher: Cosmos Magazine
Date: 2020-10-19T17:31:00+00:00
Twitter: @CosmosMagazine
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NASA space probe to deliver sample to Utah after chasing down asteroid

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

NEW YORK(CNN) ‘ NASA is sending a space probe to chase down a dark, potentially dangerous asteroid.

The probe will take a sample of the asteroid and ‘ in a US space first ‘ bring the sample back to Earth. The probe will fly over Utah and drop the sample off with a parachute to land at the Utah Test and Training Range in Tooele County.

Publisher: www.ksl.com
Author: Author link
Twitter: @kslcom
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NASA’s new Mars rover will use X-rays to hunt fossils

Nearly every mission that has successfully landed on Mars, from the Viking landers to the Curiosity rover, has included an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer of some kind. One major way PIXL differs from its predecessors is in its ability to scan rock using a powerful, finely-focused X-ray beam to discover where’and in what quantity’chemicals are distributed across the surface.

“PIXL’s X-ray beam is so narrow that it can pinpoint features as small as a grain of salt. That allows us to very accurately tie chemicals we detect to specific textures in a rock,” said Abigail Allwood, PIXL’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Publisher: phys.org
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Publisher: www.spaceflightnow.com
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