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NASA to grab piece of asteroid Today.

Interesting news from a mission that left back in 2016.

NASA TV ON-LINE starts at 11pm U.K time.

NASA to grab piece of asteroid Bennu Tuesday:​

Updated 8:37 AM; Today 8:37 AM

You can go here to watch NASA TV, or visit www.nasa.gov/ for the broadcast.

By Annalise Knudson | aknudson@siadvance.com
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As part of an historic mission for NASA, its spacecraft OSIRIS-REx will attempt to grab a piece of the asteroid Bennu on Tuesday and return it to Earth.
The spacecraft will maneuver down to the selected site on Bennu’s rocky and dusty surface to collect a sample for return to Earth in 2023 — making its first Touch-and-Go (TAG) attempt. It will be the first mission to collect a sample from an asteroid.

OSIRIS-REx — which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer — launched on Sept. 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. And now it’s ready to make its first collection attempt of the potentially dangerous asteroid Bennu and bring information back to Earth.

“The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will make its first TAG attempt at gathering at least 2 ounces regolith from the asteroid Bennu," said Roger Harris, who served as project manager for OSIRIS-REx. “Since Bennu is so far away, the operators on the ground will issue instructions to the software, and then it will autonomously approach Bennu and extend its robotic arm, called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM).”

The spacecraft’s solar panels will pull back safely away so they can’t touch Bennu’s surface. The Natural Feature Tracking system will enable the spacecraft to pull back before it is in danger of colliding with a hazardous area of the landing site, which is surrounded by massive mission-ending boulders, Harris said.

Analyzing the asteroid sample will then help scientists understand the early solar system, as well as the hazards and resources of near-Earth space, according to NASA. Scientists will be able to study the asteroid, which contains natural resources such as water, organics and metal.

“Asteroids are remnants of the building blocks that formed the planets and enabled life. Future space exploration and economic development may rely on asteroids for these materials,” NASA said.

NASA will show live coverage of OSIRIS-REx’s descent to the asteroid’s surface and attempt to collect a sample, which will begin at 5 p.m. on NASA TV and the agency’s website.
 
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And yet if you try to grab a piece of ass there's hell to pay. One rule for NASA, another for the rest of us. Tut.
 
Mission success - touch down, samples grabbed - spring back into space - cya in 2024.

A very quick touchdown!

'The spacecraft collected some 60 grams, or about two ounces, of fine-grained material during the quick touchdown, which lasted under 16 seconds. To planetary scientists, this asteroidal stuff is invaluable: Bennu hasn't changed much since the formation of our solar system (4.5 billion years ago), so the samples provide a glimpse into our past, and how our planets formed.'


 

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