NASA’s plan to collect astroid pieces


Shayden Ross, Reporter

Space craft OSIRIS-REx is being sent to astroid Bennu by Nasa in 2021. The spacecraft will be collecting samples of this astroid, which is the first samples Nasa will receive from an astroid.

Following up on that matter, though the departure of the spacecraft is in 2021, the space craft won’t be collecting the samples until September 24, 2023. This mission is being tested for now, making sure it’ll go smoothly. After all, this spacecraft is “the size of a large van”, Brittany Enos states is “NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Begins its Countdown to TAG”. The place it is landing to collect the samples is “only the size of a few parking spaces” Enos added. Which means the measurements have to be spot on. The sample collecting will take 4.5 hours to be completed. This time is so long because the astroid is a thick rock. The spacecraft has to burn through the material using different tactics and skills.

Also, after every task is completed OSIRIS updates the team responsible for this mission. This team has been preparing for this sample mission for months, even working remotely because of Covid-19. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland is the control center of this whole operation. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission with Nasa’s new program. The New frontiers program is run by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver actually built OSIRIS-REx. They gave flight operations the help the spacecraft. Goddard and KinetX Aerospace are going to help navigate the spacecraft on its journey, to astroid Bennu.