A NASA spacecraft on Tuesday touched down on an asteroid that scientists consider might maintain the constructing blocks of life.
The craft, OSIRIS-REx, efficiently landed on the asteroid dubbed “Bennu” greater than 4 years after being launched from Earth.
The van-sized machine rapidly managed to meet its main mission of gathering nearly two ounces value of samples earlier than lifting off once more, according to CNN.
“After over a decade of planning, the group is overjoyed on the success of right now’s sampling try,” Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator of the mission stated.
NASA confirmed the touchdown round 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday whereas live-tweeting and utilizing CGI animation to point out the OSIRIS-REx’s first rate.
“Though we have now some work forward of us to find out the end result of the occasion — the profitable contact, the TAGSAM gasoline firing, and back-away from Bennu are main accomplishments for the group.”
Bennu, which is greater than 200 million miles away from the Earth and as tall because the Empire State Constructing, has attracted scientific consideration because of the presence of carbon-bearing supplies — a key constructing block of life — on the asteroid’s floor.
“The truth that we safely and efficiently touched the floor of Bennu, along with all the opposite milestones this mission has already achieved, is a testomony to the dwelling spirit of exploration that continues to uncover the secrets and techniques of the photo voltaic system,” stated Lori Glaze, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA headquarters in Washington.
The OSIRIS-REx is predicted to stay orbiting Bennu till 2021 after which return to Earth with its samples in 2023.