Sciences and Future

Space

Solar system

By

Joel ignasse

the 17.10.2020 at 6 p.m.

NASA probe to attempt to collect soil samples from asteroid Bennu, to follow this Tuesday 20 October 2020 from 11 p.m..

The scene will be played out over 300 million km from Earth. So far away, that the messages from the Osiris-Rex probe will put close to 16 minutes to reach us ! We will therefore have to be patient to know if the daring sampling maneuver that it will carry out on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday (probably around 12:12 am) will be successful. If that is the case, Earth scientists will be able to analyze samples from the asteroid Bennu in just under two years, until they are repatriated to Earth, with a capsule.

This Tuesday 20 October 2020, the Osiris-Rex probe will slowly approach Bennu for about 4 hours until you are at arm height (telescopic) is 3,2 meters. Once at a good distance, she will aim her target : the Nightingale site, for a maneuver of type “Touch-And-Go”. This turns out to be much more complicated than expected because the asteroid has a surface much more chaotic than imagined with boulders of more than 30 meters wide. While engineers hoped to take the sample from a relatively flat region of 50 meters, it is ultimately an area of ​​only eight meters that will be targeted.

Once in position, Osiris-Rex will deploy its articulated arm which carries the TAGSAM system at its end (Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism). It is a flat cylinder perforated at its base. Just before reaching the ground, pressurized nitrogen will be blown through the holes to lift particles from the surface which will lodge in the cylinder. A passive harvesting system, an adhesive strip of 26 cm2, is also present under the cylinder. Contact with the ground should last about fifteen seconds and the operation should allow recovery between 60 grams and 2 kilos of samples. In case of failure, the probe can proceed, in the wake, a second attempt at the same site and possibly a third in January 2021, on another site called Osprey.

Osiris-Rex data and samples that will be shipped to Earth and arrive in September 2023 will be invaluable to scientists studying the origins of the solar system and the Earth. Bennu is indeed a very old asteroid whose composition reflects that of the early solar system.. It is with “bricks” like Bennu that rocky planets formed, including of course the Earth. It could also be that Osiris finds traces of amino acids on the surface of the star, precursor molecules of life. If their presence is certified, this will provide clues as to how life originated on Earth and its possible existence on other stars in the solar system.

Osiris-Rex
Asteroid

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We use your address to send newsletters that interest you. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 6 January 1978, updated by law 6 August 2004, you have a right of access, rectification and opposition to data concerning you by writing to the following address [email protected]

Source: https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/espace/systeme-solaire/direct-video-suivez-la-manoeuvre-d-osiris-rex-sur-l-asteroide-bennu_148443

OSIRIS-REx, Space, 101955 Determining, NASA, Earth

World news – FR – DIRECT VIDEO. Follow the Osiris-Rex maneuver on the asteroid Bennu

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