Almost 2 years earlier, NASA made history when its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft briefly to gather a regolith sample from the surface area of the asteroid. While the objective will not go back to Earth, NASA shared brand-new info about the heavenly body. In a released today (by means of ), the firm exposed OSIRIS-REx would have sunk into Bennu had the spacecraft not right away fired its thrusters after touching the asteroid’s surface area.
“It ends up that the particles comprising Bennu’s outside are so loosely jam-packed and gently bound to each other that if an individual were to step onto Bennu they would feel really little resistance, as if entering a pit of plastic balls that are popular backyard for kids,” NASA stated.
That’s not what researchers believed they would discover on Bennu. Observing the asteroid from Earth, the expectation was that its surface area would be covered in smooth, sandy beach-like product. Bennu’s response to OSIRIS-REx’s goal likewise had actually researchers puzzled. After briefly communicating with the asteroid, the spacecraft left a 26-foot (8-meter) broad crater. In laboratory screening, the pickup treatment “hardly made a divot.”
After evaluating information from the spacecraft, they discovered it experienced the very same quantity of resistance an individual in the world would feel while squeezing the plunger on a French press coffee carafe. “By the time we fired our thrusters to leave the surface area, we were still plunging into the asteroid,” stated Ron Ballouz, a researcher with the OSIRIS-REx group.
According to NASA, its findings on Bennu might assist researchers much better analyze remote observations of other asteroids. In turn, that might assist the firm style future asteroid objectives. “I believe we’re still at the start of comprehending what these bodies are, due to the fact that they act in really counterproductive methods,” stated OSIRIS-REx employee Patrick Michel.
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