NASA will attempt to collect samples from the surface of an asteroid

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NASA will attempt Tuesday to collect samples from the surface of an asteroid in a carefully orchestrated, hourslong maneuver in orbit.

After spending nearly two years circling the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will use its robotic arm to gather pieces of the space rock that will subsequently be sent to Earth for study. The event marks an important milestone for NASA: If successful, it will be the first time the agency has gathered samples from an asteroid in space.

Publisher: NBC News
Date: Tue Oct 20 2020 20:06:14 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Twitter: @NBCNews
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Not to change the topic here:

Watch a NASA spacecraft touch down on an asteroid | TheHill

“It’s a historic first mission for NASA, returning an asteroid sample, and it’s hard,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, during a Monday press conference.’

At around 1:50 p.m. on Tuesday OSIRIS-REx, which is about the size of a 15-passenger van, left its orbit to touch the asteroid Bennu, which is about as tall as the Empire State building.’ NASA is broadcasting a live stream animation of the “Touch-And-Go” maneuver until the spacecraft’s back-away burn, followed by a live broadcast at 5 p.m.

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NASA’s about to scoop up some asteroid dirt on the space rock Bennu. Scientists are thrilled.

NASA will touch a space rock tomorrow (Oct. 20) in a milestone event for what the agency considers a crucial field of study: asteroid science.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has spent two years orbiting a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu in preparation for the big moment. But that mission, more formally known as the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer, is just one of a host of asteroid missions on NASA’s agenda.

“While the planets and moons have changed over the millennia, many of these small bodies of ice and rock and metal haven’t,” Lori Glaze, head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said during a news conference held on Monday (Oct. 19). “So the asteroids are like time capsules floating in space that can provide a fossil record of the birth of our solar system.”

Date: 2020-10-19T21:19:35Z
Author: Meghan Bartels
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Live: Watch NASA’s OSIRIS-REX Mission Approach Bennu Asteroid

On Tuesday, a NASA spacecraft, OSIRIS-REX, will attempt to briefly touch an asteroid, Bennu, and suck up some rocks and dirt. If it succeeds, it will bring those materials back to Earth for closer study, potentially unlocking secrets to what the solar system was like when it first formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Many asteroids ‘ including Bennu ‘ cross the orbit of Earth and could collide with our planet someday. A better understanding of these space rocks, which come in many types, could aid humanity’s ability to divert one that might slam into Earth.

The robotic spacecraft launched in September 2016 and arrived at Bennu in December 2018. Since then, it has been making observations of the asteroid, even documenting that it was shooting debris from its surface into space. The probe made a couple of rehearsal approaches in preparation of Tuesday’s attempt to collect a sample from the surface.

Date: 2020-10-20T15:02:26.000Z
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Greetings Earthlings: Cloaking was activated. The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. Alert, alert. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.