In just a few days, on September 24, 2023, NASA’s Osiris-REx probe will release a capsule containing samples from asteroid Bennu. It is expected to land at a US military base located in the Utah desert. After a 7-year mission, the probe returns with 250 grams of regolith from the surface of Bennu, which we believe will tell us the story of our solar system’s first moments.
On Sunday, September 24, after a seven-year mission, NASA’s Osiris-Rex probe will return to Earth to release a capsule containing samples from asteroid Bennu. This capsule will land in an ellipse of 59 km 15 located on the land of the Defense Ministry. DesertDesert L’Uta’s (Utah Test and Training Range,
Inside the capsule are about 250 grams of rock samples collected from the surface of asteroid Bennu in October 2020. They are the largest asteroid samples ever collected and a first for NASA. Of these 250 grams, 4% will be donated to Canada as a contribution to the mission. it MaterialMaterial Bennu was collected using a mechanismSampleSample On the fly (TAGSAM), which briefly touched the surface of Bennu to collect samples.
As for Bennu, it is a type B asteroid, that is, a primitive body of the Solar System, whose composition is similar to the original material during the formation of the Solar System more than 4.5 billion years ago. In other words, it is a primitive, carbonaceous object that is believed to preserve the memory of its initial composition when the Solar System formed and from which the planets formed.
13 minute dantesque descent
The Osiris-Rex probe will release the capsule from a distance of approximately 102,000 kilometers. she will enterAtmosphereAtmosphere Take off at speeds of over 44,500 kilometers per hour! Its descent will last for approximately 13 minutes before landing. A heat shield will protect it and regulate the temperature inside the capsule to preserve the samples at the same temperature as Bennu’s surface. Four helicopters will fly to follow the capsule during its entry into the atmosphere and as it descends.
Technical and scientific teams are ready to recover the capsule.
To ensure that the procedures planned for the retrieval of the capsule and the container inside which the samples are placed will go well, NASA has made several iterations. It mainly focuses on the processes that will be implemented to extract the container within a very short time frame so as to avoid any kind of hassle contaminationcontamination Bennu samples by terrestrial environment. Once collected, the samples will be transported by helicopter to a temporary clean room at the military site where they will be prepared for transfer by plane to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. They will then be documented, preserved and later distributed for analysis among scientists around the world.
Two parachutes to slow the descent and ensure safe landing
To slow down and avoid crashing to the ground, the capsule, which has no engines, will rely on two parachuteparachute, The first will deploy two minutes after entry into the atmosphere to stabilize the capsule and bring it up vitsevitse Hypersonic at subsonic speeds. Six minutes later, about 1.6 kilometers above the ground, the main parachute will greatly slow the capsule which will descend at a speed of 18 kilometers per hour.
Osiris-Rex returns sample from asteroid Bennu to Earth. © Canadian Space Agency
Direction Apophis after Bennu
After bringing Bennu samples to Earth, Osiris-Rex will head toward the asteroid Apophis, where it will arrive in 2029. The probe, which will be renamed Osiris-Apex – for Osiris Apophis Explorer — will not start To revolve aroundTo revolve around around this asteroid, but will continue to fly by it for about 18 months. This will be the first opportunity to study an S-type asteroid in such detail. This asteroid, about 350 meters in diameter, has been in the headlines regularly since its discovery in 2004 because of the low risks – faint but not zero, ultimately ruled out – of hitting Earth in the distant past.