This is really cool! On October 20, 2020 NASA has a truly incredible mission that you can view. This is one of those sky shows you may want to set a reminder for, tell the kids, students, and fellow science geeks. But you can’t see it by looking up. You can see it all right here.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launched four years ago in 2016, and is ready to grab a rock sample from the Asteroid Bennu, then bring it back to Earth. This may sound like a dinosaur, and perhaps it was named with a sense of humor. This is expected to give scientists a better understanding of the origins of our solar system, maybe even the universe.
OSIRIS-REx: NASA Rendition Of Touch And Go
What’s Going To Happen?
Have you seen the movie Armageddon? This will NOT be that, thankfully. But this space rock is in orbit around the sun that does cross Earth’s orbit, but has not threatened us, yet.
The Touch and Go (TAG) automated maneuver. It will be a very delicate landing of just the sensor, with enough time to get the sample, and depart back into a long journey back home.
Here is a look at more details. I have included a NASA video that shows a great explanation of how complex this mission has been.
Below is also the NASA-TV video stream. Set your alarm for 5 PM Tuesday to watch the TAG maneuver
Size of Asteroid Bennu
To get perspective, this space rock is larger than the Empire State Building.
Close Orbit With Earth Around The Sun
This orbit crosses the path of Earth’s orbit twice, but is tilted on a 6º angel. It has not threatened to hit us.
How Fast Bennu Travels
This asteroid moves at 63,000 mph
Getting OSIRIS-REx To Bennu Was NOT Easy
One year after launching, the spacecraft met up with Earth for a gravity assist to slingshot and shot for more speed. This passed about half the distance of our weather satellites.
NASA Video: OSIRIS-REx Mission Overview
This is worth the watch…
Another Look At Navigation System
Watch The TAG Sampling LIVE
NASA- TV Streaming Here
5 PM Tuesday October 20, 2020- LIVE TAG Maneuver.
What’s amazing is that as long as it has taken to get there, it will be another 3 years to return.
Want more videos about the mission?
Visit this Goddard Media Studios link for even more about this mission.
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