It's time to determine. The place ought to OSIRIS-REx take a pattern of Bennu?

OSIRIS-REx from NASA arrived on the asteroid Bennu in December 2018. Over the previous 12 months, he has lengthy imagined the floor of the asteroid, in search of a the place to take a pattern. Though the spacecraft has a number of scientific targets and a set of devices to realize them, returning samples is the important thing goal.

Now, NASA has narrowed the selection to 4 potential sampling places on the floor of the asteroid.

The spacecraft performed a one – month overview of every of the 4 websites. This section, known as Recon A, was accomplished in July. Mission operators now have high-resolution photos of every of the websites, detailing their topography, albedo, coloration and the suitability of sampling.

It’s now time to scale back the 4 websites to 2: a major website and a backup website. However sadly, Recon A has proven that every of the 4 websites is hard, and sampling may not be taking place in addition to anticipated. Though every of the 4 websites has an acceptable fine-grained materials, lower than 1 inch, they’re additionally harmful.

 One in all 4 potential sampling websites with a ladder coated parking. Picture Credit score: NASA / Goddard / College of Arizona "class =" wp-image-144291 "/> One in all 4 potential sampling websites with a coated car parking zone. Picture Credit score: NASA / Goddard / College of Arizona 

<p> "The number of sampling websites is mostly a full exercise. It requires us to have a look at many forms of information in numerous methods to make sure that the chosen website is the only option for spacecraft security, sampled materials, and scientific worth, "stated Heather Enos, Affiliate Principal Investigator. OSIRIS-REx on the College of Arizona, Tucson, and Chair of the Choice Committee of Sampling Websites. "Our staff is extremely revolutionary and built-in, which makes the choice course of efficient," she stated in an announcement press launch. </p>
<p> Bennu is rougher than anticipated, which provides some complication to the number of the sampling website. OSIRIS-REx was designed to land on a beach-like floor, the place there are pond deposits of fine-grained supplies appropriate for sampling. However Bennu is rocky. There are not any massive areas of seaside, there are solely small open areas surrounded by rocks. </p>
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