The Osiris-Rex spacecraft NASA is already in orbit around the asteroid Bennu and set a record: the asteroid changed in & # 39; the smallest object ever to orbit for spacecraft. It is the second brand to beat at the beginning of this 2019 European space agency, has also made a flight on most other body ċelestali mission, New Horizons.
Under the plan, the ship was maneuvered by ignition of & # 39; engine & # 39; eight seconds to complete the campaign & # 39; mission navigation, leaving from the World 8 & # 39; December 2016. Bennu is now 110 million kilometers & # 39; away.
"The team continued the long series of & # 39; our success by executed perfectly maneuver of & # 39; the insertion of & # 39; orbit," said Dante Laurette, principal investigator of & # 39; Osiris-Rex at the University & # 39; Arizona, Tucson. "With the completion of the campaign & # 39; navigation, we expect the scientific cartography phase of the site selection of the sample of the mission."
Bennu became the youngest article explored by man.
Laurette, together with her team, spent the last day of 2018 with its feet planted on Earth, but her mind focused on space. "The – entering – Bennu orbit around it. T an incredible achievement that our team is planning for years, "said Laurette in a statement.
Came around the asteroid b & # 39; snails pace, the first orbit of the Osiris-Rex brand leap for mankind. Never before in World of spacecraft so close circle & # 39; such a small object in space, one by gravity enough to maintain a stable orbit vehicle.
Now, the space craft will turn to Bennu approximately 1.75 kilometers from the center, closer than any other spacecraft has reached the end of & # 39; his celestial studies. Previously, the nearest orbit & # 39; planetary body was f & # 39; May 2016, when the Rosetta spacecraft orbitet about seven & # 39; kilometers from the center of Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
This short distance is needed to maintain the vessel near Bennu, which has the force of gravity of & # 39; only 5 million from that of the World. The space craft is scheduled to turn Orbit Bennu until mid-February with & # 39; leisurely pace & # 39; 62 hours per orbit.
The Nasa probe takes samples from the asteroid.
Now the spacecraft is closer to Osiris-Rex Bennu, the physical details about the asteroid will focus faster. The aim is mapped the surface and analyze its composition, To determine the most appropriate place to land and take samples will be sent to the World.
On the other hand, NASA, f & # 39; that the beginning of the year, won another record with New Horizons program, as approached for more item most explored by man. One of them is the asteroid Ultima Thule, what was the name chosen by the public in & # 39; call & # 39; space agency & # 39; North America & # 39; On to mention the object known until such time as the 2014 MU69.
According to NASA, the New Horizons probe, already inspected to Pluto in 2015, will take pictures with & # 39; & # 39 high resolution, Ultima Thule for 72 hours over 3,500 km & # 39; away to recognize the face and the composition and find out whether atmosphere or other celestial bodies around. In addition, it is intended to determine whether an object ċelestali one or union & # 39; two.
Ultima Thule is in one of the most remote regions of the Solar System, Known as the Kuiper belt, in honor of the astronomer who predicted its existence in the fifties, Gerard Kuiper.