NASA Sets October 20 as Date for Osiris-Rex Spacecraft to Touch Down On Asteroid Bennu Written 21 May 2020


Artist's rendition of OSIRIS-REx | NASA

CNET News reports that NASA announced Wednesday that it has targeted the Osiris-Rex spacecraft to touch down on the Bennu asteroid on October 20. The “Touch-and-Go (TAG) sample collection will involve Osiris-Rex contacting Bennu for about five seconds. It will fire off a charge to shake up the surface and then collect a sample and back away to safety.” The spacecraft “is prepared to perform this maneuver three times if necessary, but NASA hopes the first one will do the trick.” Scientists “want to analyze a sample to study how planets form and to learn more about near-Earth asteroids like Bennu that are potential hazards to our planet.” If “all goes as planned, Osiris-Rex will return home in 2023 with a bit of Bennu on board.”
Full Story (CNET News)