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Here’s what NASA’s asteroid probe did to space rock Bennu

April 15th, 2021

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe is now in a holding pattern after a lengthy mission that visited the space rock known as Bennu. The probe is still in the vicinity of the asteroid that it sampled many months ago, and before it heads back to drop off its sample containers, NASA did a close flyby of …

asteroid sample

NASA’s asteroid probe grabbed so much material it was ‘overflowing’

October 30th, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission is going even better than scientists thought, and the asteroid probe collected so much material that its handlers sped up the timeline to ensure they bring as much back to Earth as possible. The sampling arm was literally “overflowing” with material from the asteroid, NASA says. Eventually, the spacecraft will head back …

asteroid touchdown

This video from NASA’s asteroid probe is stunning

October 22nd, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe performed its Touch-And-Go maneuver on the space rock Bennu days ago. The new video shows the probe slapping the surface of the asteroid and kicking up material with its gas jet. Eventually, the prob will bring asteroid material back to Earth, but that won’t be for another couple of years. It’s …

nasa asteroid

Watch as NASA samples an asteroid for the first time

October 21st, 2020

NASA is finally ready to command its OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe to grab a sample of the space rock Bennu. The maneuver will be performed this evening, and NASA will live stream the operation. Because of the distance from Earth, live streaming from the probe itself won’t be possible. It’s been many months since NASA’s OSIRIS-REx …

bennu rivers

Scientists spot hints of flowing water on asteroid’s surface

October 12th, 2020

The asteroid known as Bennu has revealed some tantalizing secrets to NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Some rocks and surface features of the asteroid appear to indicate that water once flowed on its surface or that of its parent asteroid. NASA’s asteroid probe will begin its return journey to Earth in December and arrive back to Earth …

bennu asteroid

NASA’s asteroid probe just found something unexpected

September 21st, 2020

Scientists studying the asteroid Bennu have discovered parts of a different asteroid on its surface. Bennu has chunks of the asteroid Vesta on its surface, and researchers can only guess as to how they got there. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been orbiting Bennu for months. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe has been orbiting the large space …

bennu particles

Why is this asteroid sending parts of itself into space?

September 9th, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe has spotted the asteroid Bennu flinging pieces of its own surface into space. These “particle ejection events” happen all the time, and NASA scientists have already spotted over 300 instances of it. Going forward, scientists hope to find an explanation for why it is happening, and what processes on or beneath …

asteroid sampling

NASA gets up close and personal with space rock Bennu

June 8th, 2020

NASA’s asteroid sampling OSIRIS-REx probe took a dive toward one of its sample collection sites and sent back a gorgeous image. The site is called Osprey, and it’s a backup for the probe if the primary site, Nightingale, doesn’t work out. The probe will carry out its sampling maneuver in August. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe …

science news

NASA’s asteroid probe is rehearsing for its most dangerous move yet

April 13th, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe is about to perform its most daring maneuver yet. In a rehearsal for the sample-gathering act planned for later this year, the spacecraft will carry out an exercise that will bring it closer to the asteroid Bennu than ever before. If all goes well, NASA is planning on snatching a sample …