NASA’s Space Probe Reaches Asteroid Bennu, Which Can Hit Earth in near Future

From the very start of this New Year, NASA’s space scientists are captivated with a series of achievements. From successfully completing the mission of flyby of New Horizon spacecraft past the mysterious object Ultima Thule that lies in the Kuiper Belt to getting the first pictures of the space rock that looks like a lumpy snowman. However, another achievement of NASA which one might have missed is NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft finally touching down the primordial asteroid Bennu.
After a two-year chase, NASA’s spacecraft OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) officially meet with Bennu asteroid. Well, it also carried out its own landmark operation on New Year’s Eve.
Osiris-Rex was launched from Earth on 8th September 2016, and it took the probe two years in order to connect with its target. The eight-second staccato firing allowed the space probe to get placed in orbit around 101955 Bennu. The aim of this mission is to get a sample from the asteroid back to Earth. Moreover, the asteroid is slowly shifting through the solar system’s asteroid belt that lies between the Earth and Mars.
By successfully placing itself in the orbit around Bennu, OSIRIS-Rex will study the asteroid from a distance of only about 1 mile (1.75 kilometres) from its centre. The small size of Bennu generates an amazingly tiny gravitational force; hence, retaining that orbit MIGHT require lots of little adaptation, made by NASA and its partnering organizations.
NASA also published a GIF of the various examinations OSIRIS-Rex executed after reaching Bennu on 3rd Dec 2018. The string of images, snapped from 30th Nov to 31st Dec aided the team more precisely contemplate the mass of Bennu, which assured that the orbital infusion would progress smoothly.
Bennu is the second most prone object close to the Earth which can slam with our planet, only beat by an asteroid known as 1950 DA on NASA’s Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. Though they are rated as dangerous, the actual possibility of colliding with Earth is very low.

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