Kautilya Academy 21-10-2020
The United States based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)had launched the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft to the Asteroid Bennu in 2016. The Spacecraft has now touched the Asteroid After two years of circling. This mission is aimed at studying the Asteroid Bennu and return with at least 60 grams of the sample The spacecraft comprises three bottles of nitrogen that can make the spacecraft to touch down the asteroid thrice.
The asteroid Bennu is a hazardous object that has a 1 in 2700 chance of hitting the Earth in the year 2175 and 2199. It has a mean diameter of 492 meters and has a roughly round shape. The asteroid is under observation by the various observatories of the Earth. The Asteroid Bennu, if hits the Earth, has a huge potential yo cause widespread death and cause huge destruction all over the Earth. It might lead to human-extinction.
An asteroid have the potential to create large amounts of dust that can block out the Sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface. This will thus wipe out most of the life on Earth. However, for creating such huge destructions Asteroid need to survive the release of its own Kinetic energy.
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-Rex) spacecraft has been launched by NASA on the Atlas V rocket. The mission was launched in 2016 to study the Bennu asteroid and it reached Bennu in 2018. It has an aim to return to Earth with its cargo in 2023 carrying 60 grams of samples from the Asteroid.