The Osiris-Rex mission took samples from the asteroid beno And now travels to Earth, where It will arrive on September 24th and drop its cargo in the Utah desert (USA) in a complex process, reported a pot.
Osiris-Rex has passed Seven years in space During which he traveled to Benue, descended and took samples from its rocky surface before returning. Now that the job is nearing its end, The challenge will be to parachute the sample and protect it from heat, vibration and ground pollutants.
this This will be the first time that NASA has carried out an operation of this kind.which the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) has already done in a similar way in 2020, when its Hayabusa2 probe returned with samples from the Ryugu asteroid, which it dropped in a capsule over a desert area in Australia.
On September 24, when the spacecraft flies over Earth, it will drop the sample capsule, which is expected to enter the atmosphere around 14:41 GMT, bringing the primary OSIRIS-REX mission to an end.
Until the capsule is opened, the exact amount of material collected will not be knownAlthough make sure to hit the 60 grams set by NASA as the minimum target.
NASA said in a statement that the capsule will land on US Department of Defense property that is part of the Utah Test and Training Grounds and Dugway Proving Grounds.
Once it reaches Earth, “the team will race against time to retrieve it and move it to a temporary white room safely (with heightened security and cleaning),” explained the deputy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Mike Morrow.
Recovery teams will helicopter the capsule to the first portable clean room and collect soil and air samples around, to help determine if any small contaminants came into contact with the asteroid sample.
From now through September, the responsible team will train and refine the procedures necessary to retrieve the sample in Utah and transport it to the lab.
There it will be disassembled and a quarter of it will be distributed to the mission’s science team around the world for analysis, while the remainder will be kept for other scientists to study, now and in future generations.
Asteroids, ancient material left over from the era of planet formation, could contain molecular precursors to life and provide clues to the formation of the oceans and solar system.
The significance of the Ryugu and Bennu samples taken directly from their surfaces is that they are pure materials that have not been exposed to any terrestrial pollution, as can happen with pieces of asteroids that have fallen on our planet.