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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 …

space news

Students stumble upon new black hole in NASA asteroid probe data

March 3rd, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has spent the majority of its life studying the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. It was tasked with traveling to the asteroid, orbiting it, and eventually snatching samples so it could return that material to Earth. Spotting distant black holes wasn’t initially part of the plan, but as NASA explains in a new blog …

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 …

bennu sample

Here are the four spots where NASA’s asteroid probe might land

August 13th, 2019

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is currently hanging out around the asteroid known as Bennu. It’s been there for months, taking photos and scanning the asteroid’s surface to get a better idea of exactly what dangers the probe might face when it eventually touches down. Now, after scrutinizing every square inch of the massive rock, NASA has …

bennu mapper

NASA needs your help to bring an asteroid sample back to Earth

May 23rd, 2019

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission has already accomplished a lot since arriving at the space rock known as Bennu late last year. The spacecraft successfully entered orbit around the asteroid, scanned its surface with a laser, and learned a lot about its surface. But its mission is far from over, and eventually, the probe will need to …

bennu laser scan

NASA’s asteroid probe shot Bennu with a laser, and this is the result

April 5th, 2019

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission has been steadily progressing since the spacecraft arrived at the diamond-shaped space rock known as Bennu a few months back, but not everything has gone completely to plan. The rock ended up being far more, well, dirty than NASA originally expected. Bennu’s surface is absolutely packed with debris, posing a challenge for …