Asteroid Landing Spot: NASA Attempts To Collect Samples On Sinister Bennu

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Asteroid Bennu has been on the US space agency NASA’s radar for almost 20 years now, and it has a really slim chance of slamming into Earth. NASA selects landing sites on Bennu in an attempt to collect samples of the asteroid.

Asteroid Bennu has been discovered back in September 1999, and it managed to earn massive popularity among other asteroids.

NASA keeps a close eye on Bennu 

More space agencies, including NASA as well, keep a close eye on the asteroid for two reasons.

Express.co.uk notes that the first one is that the asteroid could inform experts about the formation of life here on our home planet.

Bennu has an estimated 1 in 2,700n chance of impacting the Earth between 2175 and 2199. The online publication writes that this makes the space rock the second most dangerous one.

It’s been reported that NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) will attempt to obtain and return a sample from the near-Earth asteroid.

NASA has also revealed that it chose the final four site candidates for the ambitious asteroid sample return attempt.

The four candidate sites are called Nightingale, Kingfisher, Osprey and Sandpiper (Image: NASA)

NASA is prepared for whatever Bennu has to offer 

Dante Lauretta, the NASA OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, stated the following:

“We knew that Bennu would surprise us, so we came prepared for whatever we might find. As with any mission of exploration, dealing with the unknown requires flexibility, resources, and ingenuity.”

She continued and said: “The OSIRIS-REx team has demonstrated these essential traits for overcoming the unexpected throughout the Bennu encounter.”

The mission will now spend four more months while analyzing the four candidate sites in detail. The focus will be on identifying regions of fine grain, sample-able material.

NASA stated a while ago: “The last of these types – saxum – is a new feature classification that the International Astronomical Union introduced earlier this year for small, rocky asteroids like Ryugu and Bennu.


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