The NASA probe that took the sample from the asteroid has a problem: its material is falling


We recently announced the mission of the OSIRIS-REx probe. His goal was to get closer to the asteroid Benn, which could hit Earth in the 22nd century. The scientists then sent him a probe to take samples for closer examination and better understanding of the cosmic body’s trajectory.

The mission was successful, probed after delicate maneuvers from a distant command center 320 million kilometers it actually took a sample and then returned to orbit around the asteroid. Unfortunately, scientists have now found that the whole maneuver did not go well.

The probe likely took too many samples, as confirmed by published photographs of the sampling arm head from which gradually escapes. According to NASA, the failure is due to the fact that the spacecraft picked up chunks of larger stones that did not go through the cap.

Free sample from the OSIRIS-REx probe. Source: NASA

To prevent further sample losses, NASA has canceled the programmed weigh gradually turning the head. The probe was supposed to repeat the sampling in January next year at another location on the asteroid. Whether NASA will definitively decide on this maneuver is still debatable.

The original plan is about the return of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to Earth in September 2023. A similar mission is the Japanese space probe Hajabusa-2, which took a sample from the asteroid Ryugu and is expected to return to Earth in December this year.

Source link