A day before heading back to Earth, NASA’s Osiris-REx mission took one last look at Bennu, the asteroid it sampled last October, on April 9.
Scheduled to return to Earth in 2023, Osiris-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) is on its way to deliver a sample of pristine material left over from the formation of our solar system in the hands of researchers at the earth.
(Also: James Webb Telescope passed last key test before launch.)
This image, the last of many taken by the spacecraft, shows Bennu’s crescent with its nightside merging with the total darkness of space as the spacecraft moved away from Bennu, reports NASA.
(It may interest you: Modern engineering to understand the evolution of life).
For two years, Osiris-REx studied the asteroid, revealing the many secrets of this ancient body and providing clues to its rubble-heap-like consistency and shallow terrain, which turned out to be much rockier and more rugged than initially expected. from ground-based telescope observations.
On May 10, 2021, the spacecraft embarked on its journey back to Earth. On September 24, 2023, the spacecraft will drop the sealed capsule containing the sample and send it on a trajectory to land in the Utah desert.
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