22 de septiembre de 2017

ASTRONOMIA : Fotos del Asteroide Bennu son cámaras de la U de A

(Photo: Ticotimes.net)

Tucson.- NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will make a close approach to Earth Friday morning using the planet's gravity to slingshot itself toward the asteroid Bennu. Scientists believe asteroid Bennu may hold the key to the origins of the solar system and life on Earth. So, what's the connection to Tucson? A team of University of Arizona scientists developed the cameras for OSIRIS-REx.

 During the Earth Gravity Assist, the mission team, headquartered at the U of A, will engage the spacecraft's science instruments and take images and spectra of the Earth and moon. In 2020, as OSIRIS-REx approaches asteroid Bennu, the cameras will provide global image mapping and sample site imaging and characterization.
OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft at Bennu
 The cameras will then be used to assist the spacecraft as it performs a daring maneuver in which its 11-foot arm will reach out and perform a "high-five" to stir up surface material, collecting at least 2 ounces of dust and small rocks from Bennu. OSIRIS-REx will return to Earth with the samples in 2023. OSIRIS-REx is managed out of Maryland's NASA Goddard Space Flight Center located in Greenbelt.