It was like someone threw a snowball of sand into space. This is the image of Benu, an asteroid sent to Earth by the asteroid probe Ossiris-Rex. Benu's average diameter is 492 meters, and it is the size of a 100-story skyscraper, but its black-and-white camera looks small and round.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on Thursday that the unmanned probe Osiris-Rex has arrived in Benu, an asteroid. The probe, which was launched at the Cape Canaveral Space Center in September 2016, flew 2 billion kilometers for two years. The probe is currently orbiting the sun with an asteroid 19 kilometers away from Benu. Benu is estimated to have been made 5 billion years ago, similar to the time when the solar system was formed.
The mission of Osiris-Rex is to sample the asteroid Benu, 안전한놀이터 which contains the secret of the formation of the solar system. For this purpose, the probe will circle around Benoit for the next two months to observe the surface of the asteroid. Then, draw up a detailed map with a photo shoot for one year. In order to achieve this, Ossiris-Rex is planning to reach a close distance of 40 meters from Benu. "After completing the detailed map, we will decide where to take samples of the asteroid's surface," said NASA spokesman Michelle Taller.
Tools to collect samples of asteroid surfaces are robotic arms and nitrogen gas. The robotic arm attached to the probe fires nitrogen gas and collects samples of the surface of the balloon. NASA will try to sample the surface three times. Osiris-Rex contains nitrogen gas that can take up to 2 kilograms of samples.
Osiris-Rex will end its exploration of asteroids in March 2021, and begin the process of returning to Earth. It will run through space for two and a half years and arrive at Earth around September 2023. Osiris-Rex plans to separate samples of the asteroid's surface and drop them to Earth and then scatter them through the atmosphere of the Earth.
If water and organic matter are identified in the asteroid surface sample, mankind will take a step forward in revealing the secrets of the solar system and the birth of life. Another reason NASA sent a probe to Benoit is to prevent a collision with the Earth. Benoit was calculated to pass between the moon and the earth more than a century later in 2135.
According to NASA, the chances of Benu hitting the Earth by 2135 are one in 2,700 times. "Venu is an asteroid that could potentially collide with Earth," said Dr. Dante Loretta, who was in charge of the project.
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