Wednesday, April 17, 2024

NASA awaits fiery return of asteroid Bennu samples

(BBC News) A seven-year mission to study what has been described as the most dangerous rock in the Solar System is about to reach its dramatic conclusion.

The Osiris-Rex spacecraft is bringing home the “soil” samples it grabbed from the surface of asteroid Bennu.

These dusty materials will be dropped off by the NASA probe as it sweeps past the Earth on Sunday.

They will be tucked inside a capsule to protect them from a fiery descent to the U.S. state of Utah.

Scientists expect the samples’ chemistry to reveal new information about the formation of the planets 4.5 billion years ago, and possibly to give insights on how life got started on our world.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-66893661

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