NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft after orbiting for nearly two years around the asteroid Bennu has finally touched down and collected the asteroid’s sample as planned. The mission carrying the sample from the asteroid is expected to return by 2023. The landing site named Nightingale with the measuring width of a few parking spaces was chosen for the van sized spacecraft to collect nearly 2kgs of sample before taking off from the surface.
Preliminary data show that today's sample collection event went as planned 👍 More details to come once all the data from the event are downlinked to Earth. Thanks, everybody, for following along as we journey #ToBennuAndBack!— NASA's OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) October 20, 2020
Next stop: Earth 2023! 🌍 pic.twitter.com/fP7xdOEeOs
The mission OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) was launched back in September of 2016. It is since then the spacecraft is collecting the images and working on mapping the best site for sample collection. The main event of sample collection was scheduled on 20th October at 5 pm ET. Currently the distance between the asteroid and spacecraft from the earth is 207 million miles.
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