NASA was able to open a capsule that brought samples of asteroids that could hit Earth

The OSIRIS-REX spacecraft visited the asteroid Bennu.

September 24, 2023 is a historic day for NASA. After a 7-year journey, a capsule returns to Earth Material taken from the asteroid Bennu More than 300 million kilometers from our planet.

With all the worries, experts wanted to open the sample container a few days after arrival, but it was impossible. Its opening mechanism is jammed Due to the large amount of material obtained through the study OSIRIS-REx.

only It was possible to analyze some extraneous material that overflowed from the main container And the capsule was inside. After nearly four months, this week, experts were able to reach the core samples without altering their essence or contaminating said material.

The NASA team responsible for collecting samples of the asteroid Bennu that arrived in September in a capsule delivered by the OSIRIS-REx mission managed to open the container and reach them. (NASA/Robert Markowitz)

On January 11 this year, The space agency was finally able to open The box that housed the remains of the asteroid Bennu is listed as dangerous by NASA because of its frequent visits to our planet and the remote possibility of a collision in the next century.

“Our engineers and scientists have worked tirelessly for months Not only can we process items above 70 grams that we previously had access toBut designing, developing and testing new instruments allowed us to overcome this obstacle,” said Elaine Stansbury, head of the ARES (Astronomical Objects Exploration and Science) Division at Johnson.

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“The innovation and dedication of this team is remarkable. “We are all excited to see the treasure left on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft,” highlighted the expert. Among the specimens recovered, the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx A total of 250 grams of material was recovered from asteroid Bennu, which appears to be 'dangerous'.

Bennu's specimens are already part of the collections of various science museums (NASA).

Scientists believe that Researching more about its composition will help us know how to handle potential conflict in the future. Of the 70 grams previously collected, NASA was able to analyze said material. Bennu dust and rock samples collected on space missions OSIRIS-REx (Origin, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Conservation – Regolith Explorer) de la NASA, Continen Evidencia de An High carbon and water content, Represents the basic elements of life on Earth.

“The OSIRIS-REx model Largest carbon-rich asteroid sample ever sent to Earth And it will help scientists for the next generation to study the origins of life on our own planet,” said the NASA administrator. Bill Nelson.

“Everything we do at NASA seeks to answer questions about who we are and where we come from. NASA missions like OSIRIS-REx will advance us. Understanding Asteroids That Could Threaten Earth And, at the same time, they will allow us See what lies beyond. The model returned to Earth, but Much more science needs to be done: Science like we've never seen before,” the NASA chief added.

A mosaic image of the asteroid Bennu captured by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at 15 miles (24 km) (EFE/NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona).

According to a statement released by NASA, thanks to the data collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, “the movements of the dangerous asteroid Bennu until the year 2300 have been better understood,” thereby “reducing uncertainty.” future orbit.” and improve scientists' ability to determine overall impact probability and predict the orbits of other asteroids.”

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“We are pursuing this effort through ongoing astronomical surveys that collect data to discover previously unknown objects and refine our orbital models for them. The OSIRIS-REx mission has provided an extraordinary opportunity to refine and test these models, helping to better predict where Bennu will be when it approaches Earth more than a century from now.Kelly Faust, program manager for the Near-Earth Object Observation Program at NASA headquarters in Washington, explained.

NASA crews pick up the capsule in the Utah desert, where it landed after a 7-year journey (NASA/Keegan Barber/Handout via REUTERS)

First, it is determined that Bennu will make its first approach to Earth in 2135, although this does not represent a hidden danger to the planet. However, the asteroid is still far away from that year, and information about its exact point in the universe at that time is important because it will help scientists “understand Bennu's exact path during that encounter.” To predict how Earth's gravity would change the asteroid's path around the Sun and affect the risk of impact”.

So, after receiving the data provided by OSIRIS-REx, NASA, through the “NASA Deep Space Network and sophisticated computer models”, was able to determine it. In the year 2300, the probability of Bennu hitting Earth is approximately 1 in 1750, or 0.057% probability.

On October 11, NASA released the first image of asteroid samples collected on asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx mission (NASA) and brought back to Earth.

“Although the chances of hitting Earth are very low, Bennu is one of the two most dangerous asteroids known in our solar system, along with another asteroid called 1950 DA,” NASA said.

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however, David Farnocchia, A spokesman for NASA's Near-Earth Object Exploration (SINEOS) came out to defend the peace, even though the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth are higher than previously thought. New results are still limited, don't worry.

In this way, both NASA and its scientists provide peace of mind about Bennu, not only for this generation (which has nothing to worry about), but also for future generations to enjoy the asteroid's presence. 2300 AD.

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