NASA's OSIRIS-REx has started orbiting asteroid Bennu

NASA's OSIRIS-REx has started orbiting asteroid Bennu

The spacecraft is orbiting Bennu about a mile from its center.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraft has gone into orbit around an ancient asteroid, setting a pair of records.

It's the smallest celestial body ever to be orbited by a spacecraft.

The asteroid measures about 1,600 feet (500 meters) in diameter.

Scientists are hoping the OSIRIS-Rex mission to Bennu will help uncover more about the early formation of the solar system, as well as how to find precious resources like metals and water in asteroids.

OSIRIS-REx is the first-ever U.S. mission created to explore an asteroid and return a sample of its dust back to Earth.

The $800 million unmanned spaceship launched two years ago from Cape Canaveral, Florida and arrived December 3 at its destination, some 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) away.

More news: Anthony Smith Wants A Title Match Versus Jon Jones ASAP!
More news: Mills sparks Spurs in National Basketball Association win over Celtics
More news: Oilers Acquire Petrovic From The Panthers For Wideman And A Pick

"With the navigation campaign coming to an end, we are looking forward to the scientific mapping and sample site selection phase of the mission", Lauretta said.

The OSIRIS-REx team will now look for a site devoid of boulders and rocks where the probe can scoop up samples as it circles the asteroid.

The team will continue to adjust the spacecraft's maneuver and trajectory to match Bennu's gravitational pull, according to mission officials. For example, the mission should increase scientists' understanding of the resource potential of Bennu-like asteroids and help fine-tune the trajectories researchers draw up for potentially risky space rocks, NASA officials have said.

The spacecraft is scheduled to orbit Bennu through mid-February at a leisurely 62 hours per orbit. "So, we do have to get a little more information to proceed every step of the way".

OSIRIS-REx will also make contributions in other ways. Afterward, the spacecraft will fly back toward Earth before jettisoning the "Sample Return Capsule" in September 2023.

The very close orbit will enable OSIRIS-REx to take very detailed images of the asteroid's surface, which NASA describes as a "rubble pile of primordial debris". It poses a slight risk - a one in 2,700 chance - of colliding with Earth in 2135.

Related Articles

  • Fallout 76 Nuclear Silos Have Been Temporarily Disabled Due to a Bug

    Fallout 76 Nuclear Silos Have Been Temporarily Disabled Due to a Bug

    Any and all support helps keep DualShockers as a standalone, independent platform for less-mainstream opinions and news coverage. The Bethesda blog has been updated with a very brief note to wish the Fallout 76 community a happy new year.
    Nadal withdraws, Murray loses to Medvedev in Brisbane

    Nadal withdraws, Murray loses to Medvedev in Brisbane

    Dimitrov played some sublime tennis to down local favourite John Millman 6-3, 6-4. Today I felt like I saw the ball better versus, say, the middle of past year .
    Apple Lowers Outlook for First Quarter Revenue

    Apple Lowers Outlook for First Quarter Revenue

    Other investors were not immediately alarmed. "This turned out to have a significantly greater impact than we had projected ". The Apple earnings miss suggests that the effects of the China slowdown could be reaching US shores fairly quickly.
  • Mariners Reportedly Nearing Agreement With Japanese Pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

    Mariners Reportedly Nearing Agreement With Japanese Pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

    In this September 28, 2018, photo, Japan's Seibu Lions Yusei Kikuchi pitches during a match in Tokorozawa, northwest of Tokyo. Then the Mariners can opt to take a one time, four-year option to make the contract with a total of seven years .
    Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa expecting baby No. 4

    Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa expecting baby No. 4

    Congratulations to the Bryant family! "We haven't had any issues of dad-daughter sort of thing". The two were able to reconcile their differences and have stayed together ever since.
    Florida man doesn't get straw, attacks McDonald's employee

    Florida man doesn't get straw, attacks McDonald's employee

    When James says he's going to jail for assaulting her, Taylor shot back, "I was just asking you a f***ing question, b****". Taylor was unaware of a new city law that went into effect on January 1 requiring customers to request straws.
  • Netflix Releases 3D Poster for 'The Punisher' Season 2

    Netflix Releases 3D Poster for 'The Punisher' Season 2

    Again, there's been no confirmation or denial on Netflix US's part, so things are still very much in the air as of this writing. Netflix continues to tease the release of what might be the final season of Marvel's The Punisher .
    Border agents fired tear gas into Mexico on New Year's Day

    Border agents fired tear gas into Mexico on New Year's Day

    An AP photographer saw migrants put their hands up or behind their heads once they crossed the border as agents approached. The deployment of tear gas will be reviewed by CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility, the agency said .
    Google gets approval for radar-based hand motion sensor

    Google gets approval for radar-based hand motion sensor

    The technology allows users to control everything from smartphones to fitness trackers by pressing "invisible buttons" in mid-air. But there's no commercial version for Soli at this time, and that's because Google isn't done developing it.
  • Ocasio-Cortez challenges Nancy Pelosi by opposing her 'dark political maneuver'

    Ocasio-Cortez challenges Nancy Pelosi by opposing her 'dark political maneuver'

    The package removes a requirement that a three-fifths majority is needed to increase federal income taxes. It is bad economics", Khanna said on Twitter .
    Kanye West starts 2019 with pro-Trump rant

    Kanye West starts 2019 with pro-Trump rant

    West, 41, distanced himself from politics in October , saying he had been used to "spread messages (he) don't believe in". The rapper also noted that he had spoken with podcaster Joe Rogan in an interview that would be released soon.

    Rafael Nadal provides worrying injury update ahead of Australian Open

    Nadal said he "wanted to play" but the doctors recommended to skip Brisbane. "I can't do my 100 percent". Nadal, a 17-time grand slam victor , was given a first-round bye in Brisbane.