#AsteroidBennu #NASA – NASA Launch To Sample Killer Asteroid Bennu (Video) : National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will release a spacecraft soon to examine Bennu, the asteroid. The OSIRIS-REx mission announced Wednesday that it would depart on Sept 8 and come back in 2023.
The launch is expected to happen from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, travel 1.2 billion miles to 101955 Bennu and facilitate the collection of rocks and pebbles, according to the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security, Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-Rex.
Bennu, discovered in 1999, crosses the earth’s orbit once in six years. Arizona University scientists explained that Bennu would travel between the earth and the moon, close enough to get affected by the earth’s gravity.
Being 1,600 feet in diameter, it would travel almost within 186,000 miles of Earth by 2135. It is said to be closer to the earth than the moon.
Although the chance of getting hit by Bennu is slight, the possibility would be strong enough at 1 in 2,500. Such a collision would be 200 times that of Hiroshima atomic bomb or equivalent of 3 billion tonnes of high explosives.
he asteroid is composed of carbonaceous rock that holds some revealing secrets of life in the solar system.
Bashar Rizk, senior staff scientist on the OSIRIS-REx team, explains, “This kind of object is what we think at least seeded the Earth with the proto-materials for life, if not life itself.”
Rizk estimated that the impact of such an asteroid would be quite devastating:
“Y]ou’d probably die; either the air-blast, the fireball or the collapsing building that you’re inside, stand a good chance of killing you. … 90 percent of trees would be blown down, the remainder stripped of branches and leaves and everything ignites: your clothing, grass, trees, newspaper, plywood. Your body would suffer third-degree burns just from standing there, watching Bennu fragments come down and vaporize.”
However, the collision is not likely to happen. The OSIRIS-Rex team will throw more light on the incident. Source: HNGN