US version of "Hayabusa" NASA spacecraft sampling asteroids? October 21, 7:22
NASA's spacecraft, also known as the American version of Hayabusa, landed on the asteroid Bennu, which is more than 300 million kilometers away from the Earth, before 7:00 am on the 21st of Japan time. It seems that he tried to collect it, and it is expected that it will soon be known whether the landing was successful.
If we can collect stones and sand from asteroids, it will be the third case after Japan's Hayabusa and Hayabusa2, and it is expected to provide valuable information about the origin of life on Earth and the formation of the solar system.
NASA's spacecraft "Osiris-Rex" launched four years ago reached the asteroid "Bennu" in 2018, and is currently observing around "Bennu" about 330 million kilometers away from the earth. I am.
The spacecraft began descending from 770m above "Benne" after 2:30 am on the 21st of Japan time, and approached the surface of the earth for about 4 hours while extending the robot arm attached to the spacecraft.
It is believed that the spacecraft brought the device attached to the tip of the robot arm into contact with the surface of the earth before 7:00 am and injected nitrogen gas to collect stones and sand on the surface.
Communication from the spacecraft to Earth takes more than 18 minutes, so it will soon be known whether the landing was successful.
If we can collect stones and sand from asteroids, it will be the third case after Hayabusa in Japan, and Hayabusa2, and it is expected to bring valuable information about the origin of life on Earth and the formation of the solar system.
The spacecraft can be harvested twice more if necessary, leaving "Benne" in March next year and bringing back the stones and sand collected to Earth in September 2023.
"Osiris Rex" and "Hayabusa2"
The asteroid explorer "OSIRIS-REx" was developed by incorporating the results of the Japanese spacecraft "Hayabusa", which returned to Earth in 2010 after making a sample return from an asteroid for the first time in the world.
It was launched in 2016 by NASA = US Aeronautics and Space Administration to follow Hayabusa2, which was launched in 2014.
The Hayabusa2 weighs about 600 kg, while the Osiris-Rex weighs about 2 tons, more than three times as much.
The size of the spacecraft body is 1 meter 60 cm long, 1 meter wide and 1 meter 25 cm high for Hayabusa2, while OSIRIS-REx is 2 meters 40 cm long and 2 meters 40 cm wide. It is large with a height of 3 meters and 10 centimeters.
"Ryugu" observed by "Hayabusa2" and "Bennu" observed by "OSIRIS-REx" are both asteroids orbiting between the Earth and Mars.
Ryugu is about 900 meters in diameter and is thought to have characteristics similar to meteorites, which are relatively high in carbon, and is called a C-type asteroid.
On the other hand, "Bennu" is about 500 meters in diameter and is classified as a B-type asteroid, which is similar to a C-type asteroid but whose constituents are thought to be slightly different.
Both have the same "top" shape and are thought to be of the type that contains a relatively large amount of water and organic matter necessary for life.
The method of collecting samples is different for each spacecraft. "Hayabusa2" shoots a metal bullet and collects it in a capsule loaded with sand etc., while "OSIRIS-REx" blows nitrogen gas on the surface. Collect the rolled up sand.
"Hayabusa2" is said to be able to collect up to 20 grams of sand, but "Osiris-Rex" is aiming to collect up to 2 kg, which is 100 times that amount.
"Hayabusa2" is planning to return in December, and "Osiris-Rex" is aiming to return in 2023, three years later.
Since it is expected that comparing the two asteroids will lead to the elucidation of the origin of water and organic matter necessary for life, JAXA = Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and NASA have also agreed to exchange some of the samples brought back. It is tied.
Dr. "I hope you can get a lot of information"
Dr. Jason Dwarkin, who is involved in the Osiris-Rex project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, said, "The Hayabusa2 team has been in close contact with scientists. In the future, we will compare the substances obtained from Benne and Ryugu. We hope that this will not only approach the mystery of the origin of life on Earth, but also provide a lot of information on the development of mineral resources and how to avoid asteroids that may collide with the Earth. " I'm talking to you.