OSIRIS-REx告别小行星贝努

On April 9, 2021, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft took one last look at Bennu, the asteroid from which it scooped up a sample last October. Slated for return to Earth in 2023, the mission is on track to deliver a sample of pristine material left over from the formation of our solar system into the hands of researchers on Earth.

This image, the last one taken by the spacecraft, shows crescent Bennu with its night side merging with the complete black of space as the spacecraft pushed away from Bennu.

For two years, OSIRIS-REx studied the asteroid, revealing the many secrets of this ancient body and delivering clues about its rubble-pile-like consistency and surface terrain, which turned out to be much rockier and more rugged than initially expected from the observations of ground-based telescope.

On May 10, 2021, the spacecraft embarked on its return voyage to Earth. On Sept. 24, 2023, the spacecraft will jettison the sealed capsule containing the sample and send it onto a trajectory to touch down in the Utah desert.

Image Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona; Writer Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona

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2021年4月9日,美国宇航局的“起源、光谱解释、资源识别、安全、风化层探测器”(OSIRIS-REx)宇宙飞船对贝努小行星做了最后一次观察,去年10月,它从贝努小行星上采集了一份样本。该探测器计划于2023年返回地球,届时将把太阳系形成时遗留下来的原始物质样本送到地球上的研究人员手中。

这张图片是探测器拍摄的最后一张图片,显示了新月状的贝努,当航天器推离贝努时,它的夜面与太空的完全黑色相融合。

两年来,OSIRIS-REx研究了这颗小行星,揭示了这个古老天体的许多秘密,并提供了有关其瓦砾堆般的一致性和表面地形的线索,结果发现它比最初从地面望远镜观察到的岩石要更多和崎岖。

2021年5月10日,探测器开始了返回地球的旅程。2023年9月24日,探测器将抛弃装有样本的密封太空舱,将其送入轨道,在犹他州沙漠着陆。

图片来源:NASA/戈达德/亚利桑那大学;作家丹尼尔·斯托尔特(Daniel Stolte),亚利桑那大学

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