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Asteroid

osiris-rex landing site

NASA finally picked its landing spot on asteroid Bennu

December 17th, 2019

Earlier this month, NASA revealed the final four would-be landing spots for its OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe. The locations, known as Nightingale, Kingfisher, Osprey, and Sandpiper, represented the areas of the asteroid where the probe would have the best chance at touching down, snagging a sample, and then returning to orbit around the speeding space rock. …

bennu asteroid

NASA’s probe spots asteroid spewing chunks of itself into space

December 5th, 2019

NASA started off the year strong with big news from its OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe. In early January, NASA celebrated the successful insertion of the probe in an orbit around the space rock known as Bennu. The year since that milestone has been filled with interesting observations and a whole lot of lovely photos, but one …

asteroid sample

Japan’s asteroid probe just fired up its engine for a historic return to Earth

December 3rd, 2019

Japan’s Hayabusa2 asteroid probe has already accomplished a lot. The spacecraft successfully traveled to its target, a space rock known as Ryugu, where it entered orbit and completed some daring sample-gathering maneuvers. Earlier this month, the probe departed from the asteroid and today it begins its journey back to Earth. As Space.com reports, Hayabusa2 recently …

arrokoth

NASA was forced to rename an asteroid because of Nazis

November 13th, 2019

Earlier this year, NASA’s New Horizons probe visited a very special space rock. It was a momentous occasion, especially since the rock turned out to be two distinct objects that drifted together over time, making it look like a sort of space snowman. At the time, the object was known as Ultima Thule, but it’s …

hayabusa2 rover

Japan’s asteroid probe just fired a rover at space rock Ryugu

October 3rd, 2019

The Hayabusa2 probe arrived at the space rock known as Ryugu in June of last year. It was launched by Japan’s space agency JAXA, and during its many months in orbit around the asteroid it’s accomplished a lot. It’s taken photos, fired projectiles into the rock, and snatched samples that will eventually be studied back …

asteroid flyby 2019

A pair of asteroids are about to whiz past Earth, but we’ll be fine

September 12th, 2019

One of the great things about having powerful observational tools to scan the heavens is that we have a good chance of spotting potential planet-killing asteroids before they actually get here. The other side of that coin is that scientists keeping an eye on possible threats have to sift through lots and lots of space …