following two years & # 39; March Silence from stellar lands, the source Origins, Spectral Interpretation, identification of resources, Explorer & # 39; security and control (better known as OSIRIS-Rex) of NASA, will reach its goal on Monday 3. is Bennu, rich in carbon, can & # 39; containing chemical precursors of life origin and oceans of our planet. The spacecraft will spend almost two years mapping its contours, before collecting the sample layer of raw surface and re & # 39; back to Earth in 2023.
Bennu Photo by distance & # 39; 2.3 million kilometers,
When the ship enters orbit & # 39; Bennu, – called by the name & # 39; Egyptian mythological bird associated with death, it will be the first time that OSIRIS-Rex operates close to its target. A month ago, the probe, from a distance & # 39; 2.3 million kilometers, Got the first blurred image of the body kożmiku b & # 39; & # 39 form, diamond, like a small mountain of & # 39; 500 meters in diameter. The intention is that in 2020 the land on its surface, get a sample of & # 39; dust, encapsulate and re & # 39; back to Earth in 2023.
Once OSIRIS-Rex – whose operating cost is & # 39; about 800 million dollars – link the same direction as the movement of & # 39; rotation & # 39; this limestone rock, will make a total of & # 39; five passes over the north pole, the equator and the south pole to a distance of & # 39; 7 kilometers. During these trips, tindokka face, estimate the mass, documented its composition and refine the model & # 39; the state & # 39; rotation.
These maneuvers will be extended to 18 months, Will serve to provide your business with close navigation experience mission team & # 39; a small body. Moreover, during that time, trying to identify partners & # 39; dust and gas that can be sources of & # 39; danger to the device during the execution of the scientific program.
The artistic recreation when the probe uses the TAGSAM arm.
Bennu is one of the oldest asteroids, responding to family & # 39; Trojans, known by NASA. Was chosen among 500,000 Solar System body. Scientists understand that these asteroids they bombarded the World When he was very small, billions & # 39; years ago, sowing of & # 39; the life structure emerged.
The suspicion is that Bennu – which also has a relatively high probability of & # 39; Impact on the World in the last century 22– containing material unchanged since the formation of the Solar System, more than 4.5 billion years. Analysis & # 39; any element that is inside, will provide valuable information about the formation and evolution of the Solar System and thus, the origin of life on Earth.
As if to anticipate getting any & # 39; setback, space weeks ago made its robotic arm, called the Co & # 39; Acquisition & # 39; Sampling Touch-and-Go (TAGSAM). The Lockheed Martin engineers examined the flexion of the joints and by SamCam camera, it was verified that the arm is poised to collect a sample of gift & # 39; Bennu.
The robotic device is a combination of & # 39; palm vacuum to take samples. The spacecraft will approach the asteroid until the palm, which is in mechanical arm end, touching the rock face gently. The maneuver can & # 39; to be executed up to three times OSIRIS-Rex and can & # 39; & # 39 leaves with Bennu; sample & # 39; dust and rock ranging between 60 grams and two kilos. The forecast is downloaded in the World & # 39; capsule landed with the help of & # 39; parachute.
The big challenge is zero gravity because the device can & # 39; spreading dust instead jiġborh. Does & # 39; this is added the difficulty to predict the exact trajectory that Bennu will have in the coming months. Bennu asteroid is dull black to absorb the sun and jispulsih in the form of & # 39; heat, acting as soft propellant gradually change its trajectory. This alteration in the orbit is known as the Yarkovsky effect.
Your immediate insurer
The OSIRIS-REX probe is not the first to attempt this feat. The Hayabusa mission 2 of the Japanese space agency (JAXA) deposited it 21 & # 39; in September a small capsule containing two rovers on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. The vehicles, both size & # 39; cookie can, m & # 39; have wheels but run by jump over the asteroid. The ship will spend about a year and a half investigate the spatial object, which is & # 39; 290 million kilometers from Earth, and will travel back to our planet in 2020 with & # 39; its soil samples .
The other immediate antecedent was the Rosetta probe, which in the hands of & # 39; the European Space Agency (ESA) comet managed to put module. ship and managed to download on the surface of Comet 67P / Churyumov-Geramisenko.