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ATCclears

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After a four-year journey, NASA's robotic spacecraft OSIRIS-REx briefly touched down on asteroid Bennu's boulder-strewn surface on Tuesday to collect rock and dust samples in a precision operation 200 million miles (330 million kilometers) from Earth.

The so-called "Touch-And-Go" or TAG maneuver was managed by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, Colorado, where at 6:12 pm (2212 GMT) an announcer said: "Touchdown declared. Sampling is in progress," and scientists erupted in celebration.

The historic mission was 12 years in the making and rested on a critical 16 second period where the spacecraft performed a delicate autonomous maneuver to grab its precious payload: at least 60 grams (two ounces), or a candy-bar sized amount of regolith that scientists hope will help unravel the origins of our solar system.

If OSIRIS-REx successfully comes home in September 2023, it will have collected the largest sample returned from space since the Apollo era.


 

albin25

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Congrats to all concerned, an incredibly difficult accomplishment, requiring amazing skills, and long-range planning.:s0155:

unless, the media decide there was no "space-ial distancing".
I really hope that it was wearing a mask and gloves....
.... or they'll have to throw out all of it's contaminated data.
 
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WAW44

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Why are we spending millions on getting dust from space when there are millions of people going hungry every day and suffering from income inequality!?

Because it's cool science, that's why! ;) Go NASA!


After a four-year journey, NASA's robotic spacecraft OSIRIS-REx briefly touched down on asteroid Bennu's boulder-strewn surface on Tuesday to collect rock and dust samples in a precision operation 200 million miles (330 million kilometers) from Earth.

The so-called "Touch-And-Go" or TAG maneuver was managed by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, Colorado, where at 6:12 pm (2212 GMT) an announcer said: "Touchdown declared. Sampling is in progress," and scientists erupted in celebration.

 

RicInOR

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6a00d8341c5dea53ef026bde9dcd2a200c-800wi
 

STEELE

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Thanks for the information! I wasn't aware that we were doing that research. I suppose it's part of the realization that mankind has messed up Earth sufficiently and so we need to start the process over elsewhere in the Universe. The Bennu program director could have gone one step further by dropping a few politicians there in exchange for the dust. :D
 

LDmax

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We're also working on smacking asteroids out of the way with very fast moving probes if they are on a collision course with Earth
 
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