STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

NASA probe prepares for first asteroid sample collection attempt

This "Matchpoint" rehearsal will be similar to the April 14 "Checkpoint" rehearsal, which practiced the first two manoeuvres of the descent.

Published: 09th August 2020 07:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2020 07:55 PM   |  A+A-

NASA

NASA (File Photo | AP)

By IANS

WASHINGTON: NASA's first asteroid sampling spacecraft is now just one rehearsal away from grabbing a sample from asteroid Bennu's surface.

The OSIRIS-REx mission will conduct a final rehearsal of its touchdown sequence on August 11, practicing the sample collection activities one last time before touching down on Bennu in October, NASA said.

This "Matchpoint" rehearsal will be similar to the April 14 "Checkpoint" rehearsal, which practiced the first two manoeuvres of the descent.

This time the spacecraft will add a third manoeuvre, called the Matchpoint burn, and fly even closer to sample site Nightingale -- reaching an altitude of approximately 40 metre -- before backing away from the asteroid.

During the descent, the spacecraft fires its thrusters three separate times to make its way down to the asteroid's surface.

The spacecraft will travel at an average speed of around 0.3 kph during the approximately four-hour excursion.

Following the rehearsal, the OSIRIS-REx team will verify the flight system's performance during the descent, including that the Matchpoint burn accurately adjusted the spacecraft's descent trajectory for its touchdown on Bennu.

Once the mission team determines that OSIRIS-REx operated as expected, they will command the spacecraft to return to its safe-home orbit around Bennu.

On October 20, the spacecraft will travel all the way to the asteroid's surface during its first sample collection attempt, NASA said.

During this event, OSIRIS-REx's sampling mechanism will touch Bennu's surface for approximately five seconds, fire a charge of pressurised nitrogen to disturb the surface and collect a sample before the spacecraft backs away.

The spacecraft is scheduled to return the sample to Earth on September 24, 2023.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp