NASA spacecraft begins 2-year trip home with asteroid rubble
With rubble from an asteroid tucked inside, a NASA spacecraft fired its engines and began the long journey back to Earth on Monday, leaving the ancient space rock in its rearview mirror. The trip home for the robotic prospector, Osiris-Rex, will take two years. Osiris-Rex reached asteroid Bennu in 2018 and spent two years flying near and around it, before collecting rubble from the surface last fall.news.yahoo.com
Asteroid samples tucked into capsule for return to Earth
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A NASA spacecraft tucked more than 2 pounds of asteroid samples into a capsule for return to Earth after losing some of its precious loot because of a jammed lid, scientists said Thursday. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do” to get the samples back safely, said lead scientist Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona. The spacecraft Osiris-Rex won't depart Bennu’s neighborhood until March at the earliest, when the asteroid and Earth are properly aligned. Some of the samples were seen escaping into space, so flight controllers moved up the crucial stowing operation. Based on images, scientists believe Osiris-Rex grabbed 4 1/2 pounds (2 kilograms) of rubble, a full load.
Asteroid samples escaping from jammed NASA spacecraft
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it’s jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday. Scientists announced the news three days after the spacecraft named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu, NASA's first attempt at such a mission. A cloud of asteroid particles could be seen swirling around the spacecraft as it backed away from Bennu. The samples won't make it back until 2023, seven years after the spacecraft rocketed away from Cape Canaveral. Because of the sudden turn of events, scientists won't know how much the sample capsule holds until it's back on Earth.
NASA spacecraft sent asteroid rubble flying in sample grab
In this image taken from video released by NASA, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches the surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft crushed rocks and sent rubble flying as it briefly touched an asteroid, a strong indication that samples were collected for return to Earth, officials said Wednesday. Scientists won't know until next week how much was gathered at asteroid Bennu — they want at least a handful of the cosmic rubble. Japan has taken asteroid samples twice. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.