Bennu
(Photo : NASA)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will attempt to perform a highly-challenging 'touch-and-go' landing with the Osiris Rex spacecraft to the "rubble pile" asteroid Bennu. NASA will air the landing live on its website on Tuesday, October 20, available for everyone to witness.

Bennu
(Photo : NASA)

NASA would be attempting to land on Asteroid 101955, famously known as the "Bennu," that has been on the space agency's crosshairs since 2016. This event is highly-anticipated by the space agency because of the peculiar system of the asteroid, holding several elements that came from ancient cosmic existence.

The attempt to land on Asteroid "Bennu" is a major feat for NASA, according to CNet, because this particular space rock holds several secrets that can contribute to understanding more of the Solar System. The universe still has numerous secrets that humans are eager to discover, and Asteroid "Bennu" holds some elements that astronomers consider important.

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How to Watch NASA's Osiris Rex on Asteroid Bennu TAG Landing?

NASA would be attempting to land the spacecraft, OSIRIS-REx, to the carbonaceous rock, Asteroid 101955, also known as "Bennu," on Tuesday, October 20, around 3:12 in the afternoon, Pacific Time (PT). The public will witness a "touch-and-go" (TAG) maneuver from NASA that proves to be a challenging feat for its astronomers.

NASA invites the public to watch the event from NASA's Live website that will host the event on Tuesday. The space agency will show the exclusive live feed of the complex process of TAG Landing with the OSIRIS-REx on Bennu's surface.

The space agency notes that at around 5 pm Central Time (CT, same as to the 3:12 pm in PT) on Tuesday, the OSIRIS-REx will perform the TAG maneuver and collect the samples from the space rock. This event is a once-in-a-lifetime feat for NASA as the landing took almost four years in the making.

OSIRIS-REx's Sole Mission

OSIRIS-Rex's mission began in September 2016, over four years from today, and only arrived on the Asteroid last December 2018. NASA's team surveyed the space rock for nearly two years now before finding a fitting landing and study spot for the OSIRIS-REx to make its descent.

NASA's team, particularly the OSIRIS-REx lander, would not linger on the diamond-shaped asteroid for long, only obtaining the sample it needs and for Earth's astronomers to study. After obtaining 60 grams worth of samples, OSIRIS-REx would depart and head back to the planet, with expected arrival on 2023.

The lander, OSIRIS-REx, was placed atop an Atlas V Rocket from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) that departed from the famed launch center on Cape Canaveral, Florida. ULA's Atlas V was a collaboration with NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing to study the popular Asteroid 101955.

OSIRIS-REx was conceptualized as early as 2004, which is 16 years ago from today.

Asteroid 101955 Bennu

"Bennu" as dubbed by astronomers and NASA, is a highly popular space rock that holds carbon-potent stones that came from ancient cosmic phenomena. Gravity's force bore the rock through several collisions in the early years of the universe.

Asteroid 101955 holds pristine, "planet building block" components that have the secrets of the universe. NASA aims to mine "Bennu" sometime in the future to study more of its resources which include metals, rocks, and even water.

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Written by Isaiah Alonzo


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