The planetary orbits rotate in capsules to return to Earth

30 Octobre, 2020, 01:49 | Auteur: Therese Cote

Officials behind the Osiris-Rex probe, which landed on Bennu earlier this week, were anxious after a rock wedged open the door of a container. They moved up a maneuver to seal the collection device into a capsule created to bring it safely through Earth's atmosphere for a landing now expected in September 2023. The SRC will touch down in the Utah desert on Sep.

The spacecraft launched in 2016 and will begin its journey back to Earth next March.

But tens of grams of material were lost following the successful touch-and-go maneuver and again this week when the spacecraft's robot arm moved to put the samples inside the capsule.

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While collecting the samples, the container on the end of the robot arm pressed down 9 to 19 inches (24 to 48 centimeters) during the six seconds of contact, indicating a sandy and flaky interior beneath the rough surface, Lauretta said. After each successful step, flight controllers cheered, saving the biggest and loudest response when the lid on the capsule finally was closed and latched, sealing the samples inside. Scientists said the remnants can help explain how our solar system's planets formed billions of years ago and how life on Earth came to be.

Osiris-Rex is set to come home in September 2023, hopefully with the largest sample returned from space since the Apollo era.

Carbon-rich, solar-powered Benu is believed to have been placed under construction to secure the solar system. Samples can also help improve our problems, he said, if a doomsday rock is on our way. Japan has done it twice on other space rocks and expects its latest batch to arrive in December. The difficulties of the strike are 1-in-2,700.

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