NASA’s Osiris-Rex arrives at asteroid Bennu
What in news:
· NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft completed its 1.2 billion-mile (2 billion-kilometer) journey to arrive at the asteroid Bennu.
· NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft pulled alongside the asteroid Bennu.
· Its mission is to survey the asteroid before retrieving pristine bits of the solar system from the rock’s surface and then bringing them back to Earth in the years ahead.
· Asteroids are remnants of the building blocks that formed the planets and enabled life.
· The spacecraft will enter orbit around Bennu thus making Bennu, which is only about 1,600 feet (492 meters) across -- or about the length of five football fields -- the smallest object ever orbited by a spacecraft.
· It’s a critical step in OSIRIS-REx’s years-long quest to collect and eventually deliver at least two ounces (60 grams) of regolith -- dirt and rocks -- from Bennu to Earth.
· OSIRIS-REx’s mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth.
· Those like Bennu contain natural resources, such as water, organics and metals.
· Future space exploration and economic development may rely on asteroids for these materials.
· Bennu, discovered in 1999, is a carbon-rich, almost black asteroid, about 1,600 feet wide.
· Scientists believe that it is a conglomeration of leftovers from the formation of the solar system, largely unchanged over the last 4.5 billion years.
Expected prelims question
Consider the following statements
1. OSIRIS-REx is in to he space to explore jupiter
2. Its mission is to discover the formation of solar system
Which of the above statements are correct.
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 and 2
d) None of above
Ans - b
Expected mains question
NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is into space. In light to this statement analyse the reasons to explore Asteroid Bennu in space.