OSIRIS-REx Heads Home
OSIRIS-REx Heads Home

On September 17, NASA adjusted the trajectory of its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to fine-tune the touchdown web site for its pattern capsule because of return to Earth on September 24. This modification, a shift of almost 8 miles eastward, ensures the capsule’s descent into its designated touchdown zone within the Protection Division’s Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary. Credit score: NASA

On September 17, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx engineers barely shifted the spacecraft’s trajectory to refine the touchdown location of its pattern capsule, which the spacecraft will ship to Earth on September 24. The spacecraft briefly fired its thrusters Sunday to vary its velocity by 7 inches per minute (3 millimeters per second) relative to Earth.

This closing correction maneuver moved the pattern capsule’s predicted touchdown location east by almost 8 miles, or 12.5 kilometers, to the middle of its predetermined touchdown zone inside a 36-mile by 8.5-mile (58-kilometer by 14-kilometer) space on the Protection Division’s Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary.

OSIRIS REx Adjusts Course to Target Sample Capsule Landing Zone

This graphic reveals the Earth return trajectory for the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and for the pattern capsule, after the spacecraft releases it above Earth on September 24. The yellow diamonds point out the dates of spacecraft maneuvers that barely modify its trajectory to get it nearer, after which pointing at, after which above Earth. Credit score: NASA’s Goddard Area Flight Heart

Sunday’s maneuver was a tweak of a essential maneuver on September 10, which set the spacecraft on target to launch its pattern capsule, with rocks and mud from asteroid Bennu, from 63,000 miles (or 102,000 kilometers) above Earth’s floor this weekend.

The spacecraft is at the moment about 1.8 million miles, or 2.8 million kilometers, away, touring at about 14,000 mph (about 23,000 kph) towards Earth.

OSIRIS-REx is NASA’s first asteroid pattern return mission. It launched in September 2016 on a journey to discover a near-Earth asteroid referred to as Bennu. The mission’s thrilling finale will happen on September 24, 2023, as a capsule containing the Bennu samples touches down in Utah’s West Desert. Credit score: NASA

Launched on September 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launched into a journey to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. After voyaging via house for over two years, it efficiently rendezvoused with its goal on December 3, 2018.

As soon as at Bennu, OSIRIS-REx underwent an intensive interval of detailed mapping, permitting scientists to grasp the asteroid’s terrain and select the very best location for pattern assortment. The spacecraft then carried out a daring “Contact-And-Go” (TAG) maneuver on October 20, 2020, delicately contacting the asteroid’s floor to assemble samples. This important operation yielded an estimated 8.8 ounces of rocky materials, which is able to mark the primary U.S. asteroid pattern upon its return.

Having spent almost 5 years in house, OSIRIS-REx initiated its journey dwelling on Might 10, 2021, by firing its foremost engines at full throttle for seven minutes. This propelled it towards Earth, carrying its valuable cargo of rocks and mud from Bennu. The eagerly awaited pattern is about to land on Earth on September 24.

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