In October 2020, NASA’s. Osiris-Rex will revisit the heist scene before returning to Earth to deliver his prize. The spacecraft exploring the asteroid will make a very close final flight of Bennu on Wednesday to discover “the extent of its mess”. NASA announced on Thursday.
Osiris-Rex was a bit greedy during the sample capture process, and ait had to be stacked earlier than expected. It left a trail in the asteroid.
“The Osiris-Rex team decided to add this final overpass after Bennu’s surface was significantly disturbed by the sample collection event,” NASA said. “During landing, the spacecraft’s sampling head sank 1.6 feet (48.8 centimeters) to the surface of the asteroid and simultaneously fired a pressurized nitrogen gas charge.” Thrusters that shot to repel Osiris-Rex also disturbed the surface.
NASA planned the plane for April 7 to capture footage of the collection site from a distance of just 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers).
Osiris-Rex will continue to hang out at Bennu until May 10, when it begins a two-year return journey to Earth. Bennu’s fragments will be delivered to scientists via a Sample Return Capsule launched by the spacecraft.
Meanwhile, NASA will compare the before and after images of the sample site to see just how big of a tattoo Osiris-Rex left on Bennu.
Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.