NASA’s house probe is predicted to reach at its distant goal immediately at round 5pm GMT (12pm EST). The mission can be briefly streamed reside th
NASA’s house probe is predicted to reach at its distant goal immediately at round 5pm GMT (12pm EST). The mission can be briefly streamed reside throughout YouTube, Fb Stay, Ustream and NASA’s web site. You’ll be able to watch it unfold reside within the embedded reside stream under, courtesy of NASA. The asteroid method can be broadcast on-line from 4.45pm to five.15pm GMT (11.45am to 12.15pm EST).
What’s the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu?
Right this moment’s broadcast marks the tip of an 815-day-long enterprise by means of house in the direction of the big asteroid.
NASA’s objective with the OSIRIS-REx mission is to gather rocky samples from a so-called Close to Earth Asteroid for examine again on Earth.
Asteroid Bennu was particularly chosen for this mission as a result of scientists consider it is among the oldest, closest and most well-preserved asteroids within the photo voltaic system.
Finding out Bennu’s composition may maintain the keys to unlocking the earliest secrets and techniques of the universe and the way life began on Earth.
NASA mentioned: “We all know from having studied Bennu by means of Earth- and space-based telescopes that it’s a carbonaceous, or carbon-rich, asteroid. Carbon is the hinge upon which natural molecules grasp.
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“Bennu is probably going wealthy in natural molecules, that are fabricated from chains of carbon bonded with atoms of oxygen, hydrogen, and different components in a chemical recipe that makes all recognized dwelling issues.
“Apart from carbon, Bennu additionally may need one other element essential to life: water, which is trapped within the minerals that make up the asteroid.”
The house rock has an estimated diameter of 1,614ft (492m) and spins round its orbit in the identical manner the Earth does.
Spinning asteroids are extremely tough to land on however Bennu’s dimension makes it a better goal for touchdown – it revolves as soon as each 4.three hours.
READ MORE: Asteroid Bennu path: The place is Asteroid 2135? When will asteroid hit Earth? – NASA warning
OSIRIS-REx blasted off in the direction of the asteroid on September 8, 2016, and has already coated billions of miles on its lonesome voyage.
However the house probe won’t contact down on Bennu till subsequent yr, when it dips down to gather regolith rock mud samples.
NASA mentioned: “Going to an asteroid – particularly a small one which has by no means been visited earlier than – is completely different than going to a planet like Mars.
READ MORE: Asteroid Bennu: Will Asteroid 2135 hit Earth?
“When OSIRIS-REx arrives on Monday, the spacecraft received’t land or go into orbit round Bennu but.
“It’s going to execute a small engine burn marking the tip of its journey towards Bennu and setting it as much as function across the asteroid.”
NASA hopes to gather its samples someday round mid-2020.
The house probe will then return to Earth in 2023 and drop its samples for assortment in a capsule.
Retired NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao mentioned: “It’s going to take a few years – as a result of it’s so far-off – to get there after which as soon as it’s there, it should use its suite of sensors and cameras to take pictures and different knowledge.
“The someday round 2020, it’s going to truly lengthen an 11ft arm to attempt to scoop a chunk of the mud off of the asteroid and really deliver it again to Earth.
“So, someday round 2023 we’ll see the samples return below parachute in a return capsule and it’ll give us an concept what the early universe was like.
“Hopefully, we are going to get some good samples and good chemical composition evaluation and different knowledge from this spacecraft.”