Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by editor, Jul 26, 2016.
Here's one to get excited about:
Launch from Canaveral Launch Complex 41 on an Atlas V (411 configuration) to a hyperbolic escape trajectory due tonight in a launch window running from 0005BST and 0200BST. Live coverage on NASA TV from 1030BST.
Successful on time launch. Everything looks good. Next stop (after an earth flyby gravity assist) asteroid Bennu in 2018.
Another Space Diamond! NASA Probe Snaps Great Photo of Asteroid Bennu
To reach a rock this tiny in the vastness of space and from such immense distance is the work of genius
US probe arrives at Asteroid Bennu
Close up, it looks like a squashed Ferrero Rocher.
How big are those boulders, and how do they stay planted on the surface? There can't be more than a blush of gravity.
They've found water!
NASA’s Newly Arrived OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Discovers Water on Bennu
NASA Probe Snaps 1st Photos from Just a Mile Above Asteroid Bennu and the View's AMAZING!
And here's a new twist:
Surprise! 'Active Asteroid' Bennu Is a Rare Particle-Ejecting Space Rock
That's something I've not heard of before - just thought they were inert lumps of rock or rubble. Asteroid farts.
Quite a number of the moderately small ones are weakly bound rubble piles. The mechanical adhesive properties of the constituent materials are comparable to, or even greater than, the associated gravitational forces in many cases. It's relatively easy for material to drift off the surface of these or be ejected by small impacts (this is, after all, essentially the approach used for the Hayabusa sampling mission), or even for thermal variations throughout the orbit to effectively disturb and loosen material.
It's now orbiting the asteroid at an insanely low 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) — closer than any probe had ever orbited a planetary body before.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx Probe Breaks Its Close-Orbit Record at Asteroid Bennu
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