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Old 01-30-2019, 09:37 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Jan 31st, 2019 : Bennu

Bennu is a 1600 ft(488 m) in diameter, 4.5 Billion year old asteroid that buzzes Eauth every six years.
It passes by many of the planets as it boogies around our solar system.
Some of the planets gravitational fields alter its course a little which makes it a loose cannon up there.
So we sent the Sheriff(NASA’s OSIRIS-REx) to check it out, see if it’s just a street tough or it’s made of sterner stuff.

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EVERY SIX YEARS, A CARBON-RICH asteroid named Bennu comes alarmingly close to Earth. So close, in fact, that researchers have concluded that it has a 1-in-2,700 chance of hitting us somewhere between the years 2175 and 2199. This remote but catastrophic possibility helped make Bennu the target of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, which was designed to visit the asteroid, pick up a 60-gram sample and bring it back to Earth in 2023 for research.


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The photos are part of OSIRIS-REx’s duty to intimately survey the asteroid to identify the best possible area to sample. Before the spacecraft’s arm gets close enough to snatch a piece of Bennu’s oddly familiar-looking terrain, it will spend over a year observing from a distance of about 12 miles, and send photographs back to Earth (approximately 13.4 million miles away).

OSIRIS-REx has settled into its orbit, and is calculating the mass of its target. Morton says that “the spacecraft is about the size of a large van,” and Bennu is around 1,600 feet in diameter—about 200 feet more than the height of the Empire State Building—and is shaped a little like a spinning top.


Quote:
It has a tacky, clay-like surface, which may indicate the previous presence of water. In a statement from NASA, Amy Simon, OVIRS deputy instrument scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said, “The presence of hydrated minerals across the asteroid confirms that Bennu, a remnant from early in the formation of the solar system, is an excellent specimen for the OSIRIS-REx mission to study the composition of primitive volatiles and organics.” That means that the sample might provide some insight into how life arose on Earth.
I hope it hits our side of the earth because if it hits the other side it might bounce us way up high then we'd get nose bleeds.

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Old 01-31-2019, 08:32 AM   #2
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You know, just when I'm feeling down about NASA not having a replacement ready when it retired the space shuttles so we have to rely on Putin to get us to the ISS, and China sending rovers to the Dark Side of the Moon, NASA comes out and show us this.

Good for you, NASA. This is pretty damn cool.

Water on an asteroid you say? Wouldn't it be cool if they found frozen microbes up there?
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:39 AM   #3
sexobon
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It's supposed to bring a sample back. Have you seen the movie The Andromeda Strain?
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:45 AM   #4
glatt
 
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Most microbes are harmless or beneficial. Odd are that any Andromeda Strain would be fine.

I never saw the movie, but I read the book. Something about infected people's blood clotting instantly. And one guy took an entire bottle of aspirin and survived. Or something like that. I don't really remember.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:46 AM   #5
xoxoxoBruce
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That means that the sample might provide some insight into how life arose on Earth.
This seems to be the holy grail of science. Why, we're here, have a beer. There are so many ways we could make life better for the life here already yet nobody is interested in that.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sexobon View Post
It's supposed to bring a sample back. Have you seen the movie The Andromeda Strain?
Or Deep Impact? Or Armageddon?

Loved The Andromeda Strain. I've always liked David Wayne.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:34 AM   #7
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I expected Bennu to be shinier. After seeing this.
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