A composite picture of Bennu taken from OSIRIS-REx at a distance of 330 km (205 miles).

NASA/Goddard/College of Arizona

If Earth goes to get worn out by an asteroid within the subsequent couple of hundred years, Bennu might be the one to do it. 

Formally often known as 101955 Bennu, the asteroid is in regards to the measurement of the Empire State Constructing and has a “not-insignificant likelihood of impacting the Earth,” based on NASA. In reality, Bennu is ranked second on the Palermo Technical Influence Hazard Scale — successfully Earth’s rankings of “what is going on to wipe us all out”?

So if we had an opportunity to go to it, certainly we would ship a ragtag group of miners to blow it up, slightly than travelling seven years to gather a little bit of area grime off the highest? 

However keep in mind, that is NASA we’re speaking about!

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NASA is on a mission to gather area grime from a potentially-deadly…


On this week’s episode of Watch This House, we check out OSIRIS-REx — NASA’s mission to make contact with Bennu (for all of 5 seconds) to gather asteroid mud from the floor and produce it again to Earth. 


OSIRIS-REx’s Contact-and-Go-Pattern-Acquisition-Mechanism (TAGSAM) will make contact with the asteroid and blast gasoline on its floor to brush up a mud pattern. 


It would sound like a protracted solution to go for a little bit of mud, however this materials (often known as “regolith”) may inform us lots. In response to NASA, asteroids are primarily “the leftover particles from the photo voltaic system formation course of,” so their composition can make clear the historical past of our the photo voltaic system, the way it was fashioned and even how planets like Earth got here to be. 

OSIRIS-REx (that stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Useful resource Identification, Safety-Regolith Explorer spacecraft) arrived at Bennu on Dec. three and can spend rather less than a yr surveying the asteroid for an appropriate area to the touch down. When it is discovered the right spot, the spacecraft will make contact with the floor of the asteroid for about 5 seconds, sending a blast of nitrogen gasoline to disturb mud and pebbles on the floor to seize within the spacecraft and produce again to earth. 

On the finish of its seven-year mission, NASA scientists will have the ability to look at this materials and be taught extra about the place we got here from and doubtlessly even discover “molecular precursors to the origin of life and the Earth’s oceans” based on NASA

If you wish to be taught extra in regards to the different amazingly cool stuff NASA and different area companies are as much as, you may try the complete Watch This House sequence on YouTube.

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