The Osiris-Rex spacecraft will reach its final stage shortly before returning to Earth. The ship was launched from our planet in September 2016, and in October 2020 it “stuck” on the asteroid Bennu for 6 seconds and took rock samples from its surface.
OSIRIS-REx will begin returning to Earth soon
As reported by NASA, The Osiris-Rex mission will finally reach Bennu on April 7 (currently in orbit around the asteroid). It will then fly only 3.7 km from the surface of the facility, the closest since it was sampled six months ago.
During the next flight, the probe will take a photo of Bennu’s surface for about 6 hours. It is hoped that this will provide scientists with high-resolution images of Bennu’s northern and southern hemisphere and its equator. The photos will then be compared with related frames from 2019 onwards.
Artist’s Perspective – Osiris-Rex’s Last Close-Up with Asteroid Benny Foot. NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona
The probe will continue near the asteroid until May 10. Then the process of returning to our planet will begin. Most Will last more than two years.
The spacecraft will approach the atmosphere of our planet on September 24, 2023. The probe will then discard the Special Container Sample Return Capsule (SRC) for samples taken from the asteroid, which will be parachuted into the Utah Testing and Training Ground.
It should be noted that NASA had some problems closing the container last October. This system did not work initially because the ship was blocked by a large number of rocks from the asteroid. However, ultimately, all problems were eliminated and the samples were secured in a container.