U.S. spacecraft swoops onto asteroid to snap up sample
The Dialy Tribune - www.newsofbahrain.com
A NASA spacecraft on Tuesday conducted the U.S. space agency’s first sample collection from an asteroid as part of a seven-year-long voyage.
The event, which lasted around four and a half hours, saw Osiris-Rex approaching Bennu at tortoise speed, about 0.3 km/h, and then touching down on the asteroid for five seconds to collect the rubble.
The spacecraft then successfully fired its thrusters to back away from the asteroid surface, NASA said.
Osiris-Rex, which is the size of a large van, descended steeply towards the asteroid and then navigated ito an area the size of about three parking spaces and surrounded by enormous boulders.
Because of the distance, the NASA team on Earth saw the events with an 18-and-a-half-minute delay.