Now, about a month after it reached its destination, NASA’s asteroid-sampling mission, OSIRIS-REx, snapped an impressive image of the Earth. As it was moving to orbit its target, asteroid Bennu, the spacecraft captured a fascinating picture of our planet.
The image, which you can enjoy above, has been captured by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft a few days before the asteroid-sampling mission entered into the asteroid Bennu orbit. In the picture, the space probe’s target, a one-third of a mile across space rock, looks like a small whiteish blob, while the Earth, found at approximately 70 million miles away from OSIRIS-REx at that time, appears like a big, bright dot.
NASA’s asteroid-sampling mission, OSIRIS-REx, took off from Florida back in 2016. The space probe reached its destination, asteroid Bennu, on December 3rd, 2018, after it traveled about more than 1 billion miles through space.
NASA’s Asteroid-Sampling Mission Snapped An Impressive Image Of The Earth
One week after NASA’s asteroid-sampling mission called OSIRIS-REx reached asteroid Bennu, the space probe identified the presence of water in the space rock’s clay. More specifically, NASA found “hydroxyls” which are molecules that contain both oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together.
“While Bennu itself is too small to have ever hosted liquid water, the finding does indicate that liquid water was present at some time on Bennu’s parent body, a much larger asteroid,” stated the US space agency.
OSIRIS-REx is an asteroid-sampling mission, as we already know by now, so its final goal would be to retrieve a sample of asteroid Bennu’s soil. The spacecraft will then return home with the sample for the scientists to study it further. They hope to shed more light on the early history of the Solar System and learn more about the space rocks in the Earth’s vicinity. The NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is set to come back to Earth in September 2023.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.