2020年11月3日

Tagging Bennu: The Movie
Video Credit:
OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s GSFC, U. Arizona, Lockheed Martin

Explanation: This is what it looks like to punch an asteroid. Last month, NASA’s robotic spacecraft OSIRIS-REx descended toward, thumped into, and then quickly moved away from the small near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu. The featured video depicts the Touch-And-Go (TAG) sampling event over a three-hour period. As the movie begins, the automated probe approaches the 500-meter, diamond-shaped, space rock as it rotates noticeably below. About 20 seconds into the video, Nightingale comes into view — a touchdown area chosen to be relatively flat and devoid of large boulders that could damage the spaceship. At 34 seconds, the shadow of OSIRIS-REx’s sampling arm suddenly comes into view, while very soon thereafter rocks and gravel fly from the arm’s abrupt hard impact. The wily spacecraft was able to capture and successfully stow some of Bennu’s ejecta for return to Earth for a detailed analysis. This long return is scheduled to start in 2021 March with arrival back on Earth in 2023 September. If the return sample does successfully reach Earth, it will be scrutinized for organic compounds that might have seeded a young Earth, rare or unusual elements and minerals, and clues about the early history of our Solar System.

Tomorrow’s picture: waves of gravity


碰触贝努小行星:影片
影片提供:
OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s GSFC, U. Arizona, Lockheed Martin

说明: 这是打小行星一拳的结果。上个月,美国航太总署无人太空船OSIRIS-REx垂降、轰然撞击、然后快速离开近地小行星贝努。这部主题缩时影片,呈现了这个持续3小时”稍触即离”取样事件的过程。在影片的开头,这艘自主操控的探测船往500米宽、明显在自转的菱形太空巨石靠近。在影片约20秒之处,相对平整没有大石头,因此不会撞坏太空船的南丁格尔取样点进入视野。 34秒之时,OSIRIS-REx取样臂的影子突然出现,接着岩块和小碎石因取样臂猛烈的撞击而喷飞。这艘非常灵活的太空船,成功捕捉和储存部分贝努喷溅物,以送回地球进行详细分析。这个回送任务将在2021年3月启动,预定在2023年9月把样品送回地球。如果回送的样品成功回到地球,后续的工作将着重在寻找也许曾为年轻地球播种的有机化合物、稀有或不寻常的元素及矿物,以及解开太阳系 早期历史的线索。

明日的图片: waves of gravity

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