Nasa’s Osiris-Rex (origins, spectral interpretation, useful resource identification, security, regolith explorer) asteroid mission has performed its last practice operate for its forthcoming sample selection manoeuvre.
The spacecraft is 288m km from Earth, in orbit all over the asteroid Bennu. On 20 October it is scheduled to descend and contact the asteroid, where by it will obtain product from the surface.
Asteroids are ancient celestial objects that day from the formation of the photo voltaic method. They can for that reason reveal the situations in which our planet shaped.
On 11 August the spacecraft approached Bennu to an altitude of somewhere around 40 metres over the designated assortment web site, and then backed absent into its 1km-higher harmless-household orbit.
The rehearsal lasted a lot more than four several hours. The sequence had to be programmed in advance because it takes 16 minutes for a sign to travel amongst Earth and the spacecraft, avoiding actual-time procedure.
During the rehearsal, the sampling arm, recognised as the touch-and-go sample acquisition system, unfolded and assumed its doing work configuration.
This was the team’s 2nd take a look at operate. The following time the spacecraft ways Bennu will be the acquisition attempt. The samples gathered will be dropped to Earth in a protecting capsule on 24 September 2023.