NASA is facing a critical mission this Sunday as it attempts to retrieve a capsule containing a sample from the asteroid Bennu. This achievement is being carried out by a robotic spacecraft in what is considered an innovative enterprise in space exploration.
The main objective of this daring mission is to obtain invaluable data and samples that will provide valuable information about the formation and evolution of our solar system. By studying the composition of the asteroid Bennu, scientists hope to gain a deeper understanding of the origin of life on Earth and potentially uncover clues about the possibility of life beyond our home planet.
Bennu, which is approximately the size of a small mountain, was chosen as the target of this mission due to its close proximity to Earth. It is believed to be a time capsule of the early solar system and has the potential to provide us with information that is billions of years old.
To carry out this mission, NASA’s robotic spacecraft, known as OSIRIS-REx, has been orbiting Bennu since December 2018. During its time in orbit, it has meticulously studied and mapped the surface of the asteroid to identify the best location for landing and collecting a sample. The spacecraft’s TAGSAM (Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) arm will gently touch the surface of Bennu to collect dust and small rocks, which will then be stored in a capsule for later retrieval.
This endeavor is a testament to human ingenuity and the remarkable progress we have made in space exploration. By bringing back a sample from an asteroid, NASA is paving the way for future missions that could take us even further into the cosmos.