NASA spacecraft left a mess on an asteroid

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists compared what the surface of asteroid Bennu looks like before and after collecting soil samples.

A comparison of 2019 and 2021 images provided by NASA shows how Bennu’s surface changed after the Osiris-Rex spacecraft took a sample of the asteroid on October 20, 2020.

The top image was taken on March 7, 2019, and the bottom image was taken on April 7, 2021.

The new image was taken around noon to avoid shadows and better see the changes on the rocky surface of the asteroid.

In particular, the footage shows a depression where Osiris-Rex landed on Bennu’s surface. To collect samples, the probe used a jet of gas to knock boulders out of the rock. After that, marks remained on the surface of the asteroid – “disorder”, as the researchers say.

A comparison of 2019 and 2021 images provided by NASA shows how Bennu’s surface changed after the Osiris-Rex spacecraft took a sample of the asteroid on October 20, 2020.

The top image was taken on March 7, 2019, and the bottom image was taken on April 7, 2021.

The new image was taken around noon to avoid shadows and better see the changes on the rocky surface of the asteroid
The new image was taken around noon to avoid shadows and better see the changes on the rocky surface of the asteroid.

In particular, the footage shows a depression where Osiris-Rex landed on Bennu’s surface. To collect samples, the probe used a jet of gas to knock boulders out of the rock. After that, marks remained on the surface of the asteroid – “disorder”, as the researchers say.

Scientists did not initially plan to conduct observations after the completion of the sampling mission. But then it was decided to send the device to fly around the asteroid so that it would take several new frames. “We were thrilled to come back and document what we did,” commented researcher Dathon Golish of the University of Arizona on the new image.

Osiris-Rex is expected to return to Earth in 2023 with a 1kg payload on board.

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