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Timeless quest

  • Published
    28th Sep, 2023


On September 24, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully dropped off a capsule on Earth containing around 250 grams of rocks and dust collected from the Asteroid 101955 Bennu. Bennu sample can help human understanding beyond the immediate

Asteroid Bennu's Significance

  • OSIRIS-REx Capsule Landing: Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid, holds crucial clues about the early solar system and potential ingredients for life on Earth.
  • Importance of Bennu's Study: Scientists believe asteroids like Bennu could have delivered life-forming compounds to Earth through impacts.
  • Collision Prevention: Bennu's orbit could intersect with Earth's path between 2178 and 2290, making it vital to study and understand its trajectory to develop collision prevention strategies.

OSIRIS-REx Mission Details

  • OSIRIS-REx Mission Overview: OSIRIS-REx was placed into orbit around Bennu in 2018, landing briefly in October 2020 to collect a sample from a predetermined location.
  • Collaboration with Japan's Hayabusa Missions: OSIRIS-REx is part of NASA's 'New Frontiers' program, along with Japan's Hayabusa missions to asteroids Itokawa and Ryugu.
  • Quest for Origin of Life: The return of OSIRIS-REx's capsule represents a remarkable achievement in our exploration of the cosmos.

Expanding Knowledge of the Solar System

  • New Frontiers Program's Significance: OSIRIS-REx is NASA's third element in the 'New Frontiers' program, following New Horizons and Juno missions.
  • Commercial Opportunities: Studies of Bennu and similar missions offer commercial prospects, such as space mining, and advancements in impact mitigation technologies.
  • OSIRIS-REx Capsule: The return of OSIRIS-REx's capsule brings a tangible piece of the universe to humanity, symbolizing our quest to understand the infinite.
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