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NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft leaves a large number on the asteroid because it returns to Earth

A NASA spacecraft left a large number on an asteroid when it caught a load of rubble final yr on its approach again to Earth, new footage was revealed on Thursday.

The Osiris-Rex spacecraft made a closing flyby of asteroid Bennu on April 7 to take photographs of the disturbance left by the October pattern assortment.

A melancholy is seen the place Osiris-Rex entered the asteroid’s floor. Boulders had been thrown by the pressurized nitrogen gasoline which was pulled to the bottom to provide materials to be vacuumed, and by the spacecraft’s escape thruster. A one-ton boulder was thrown about 12 meters (40 ft).

The Osiris-Rex group meticulously plotted the final flyover to make sure one of the best photographs. Photographs had been taken round midday to keep away from shadows and higher see the modifications on Bennu’s rock floor.

“These sightings weren’t a part of the unique mission plan, so we had been excited to return and doc what we did,” College of Arizona’s Dathon Golish stated in a press release.

Osiris-Rex will depart the neighborhood of Bennu subsequent month and return to Earth together with his treasured 2 pound (1 kilogram) pattern. It is because of arrive in 2023.

The carbon-rich asteroid in photo voltaic orbit is 293 million kilometers from Earth. By finding out items of it, scientists hope to achieve a greater understanding of how the planets in our photo voltaic system fashioned and the way folks ought to react if an asteroid places Earth in peril.

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The Related Press’s Division of Well being and Science receives assist from the Division of Science Schooling on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Related Press is solely chargeable for all content material.

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