Automatic interplanetary station OSIRIS-REx was launched on 8 September 2016.
The spacecraft OSIRIS-REx sent me a new picture, which in addition to the asteroid Bennu and the sky and hit the Ground and a Month, according to the website of the mission, informs Rus.Media.
Automatic interplanetary station OSIRIS-REx was launched on 8 September 2016. The purpose of the mission is a 500-meter near-earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, a total it will last about seven years. Benn is in the group of Apollo and refers to the carbon asteroid spectral class, the study of such objects can provide important information about the formation and evolution of the Solar system. In addition, it is believed that carbon-rich asteroids such as Bennu, may be responsible for the supply of amino acids and water on the young Earth. As you approach the machine to the asteroid first began showing the first hints of the shape of the asteroid, and soon details surface, it was found that Bennu is similar to the asteroid (162173) Ryugu, who is now studying automatic station “Hayabusa-2”.
After arriving to the Bennu, which was held on 3 December, OSIRIS-REx began the study of the composition of the soil of an asteroid using their spectrometers, which found that in the past the minerals constituting the Bennu, could interact with liquid water and determine the approximate mass, density and volume of the asteroid. December 31, 2018, OSIRIS-REx went on a steady orbit around the asteroid, located 1.75 kilometres from the city centre. None of the automatic interplanetary stations were not working so close to the surface of such a small celestial body.
19 Dec station using one of its navigation cameras NavCam 1 received images with 5 second exposure, on which came the Bennu, the Earth and Moon. At the time of imaging the Earth and Moon were at the distance of 114 million kilometers from the apparatus and displayed in the lower left corner of the photo, the Bennu is located in the right part of the picture, the distance was 43 miles. In the lower right of the photo you can see the stars from the constellation of Hydra.
The scientific mission will resume in late February 2019, station in the next few months will be to perform a series of close flybys to kartografiuli the surface of the asteroid and to obtain detailed images to select the location of soil sampling. In the summer of 2020, after studying the asteroid OSIRIS-REx using a special manipulator will collect a soil sample. During the contact tool obwat asteroid with nitrogen and raise from the surface dust and fragments of rock, only about 60 grams. After collection of soil in March 2021, the spacecraft will go back; it is expected that OSIRIS-REx will throw down the capsule with the soil in September 2023.