Probe OSIRIS-REx successfully completed the rehearsal procedure of soil sampling from the asteroid Bennu. In the course of it the device has fallen to a height of 75 meters from the surface of Bennu and launched the mechanism of sampling. The first attempt of soil sampling from the asteroid is scheduled for August 25, 2020, reported on the website of the mission.
One of the main tasks of the automatic interplanetary station OSIRIS-REx is a sample of soil from near-earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, which is scheduled for August 2020. By 24 September 2023, the station should deliver the capsule with the soil to the Ground. To select the area team of engineers and scientists has launched a project Bennu Mappers, which can participate by anyone, so the number of candidates to the final was reduced to four, but all of them have had any flaws.
In the end, the main place of work was the area of “the Nightingale”, which is located inside the 70-meter crater, interesting very low albedo and contains a finely dispersed material. The standby site has become the plot of “Osprey” in the Equatorial part of Bennu, inside a 20 metre crater, where there may be many substances, rich in carbon.
In January and February, the station made a similar flight over the grounds, and on April 14 held a rehearsal of the procedure of soil sampling, called “Checkpoint rehearsal”. First OSIRIS-REx descended from his kilometer orbit, then dropped to a height of 125 meters from the surface of Bennu. Then a 9-minute station down to the level of 75 meters, after which began a sharp climb. During a four-hour work OSIRIS-REx successfully deployed the system for taking soil samples, TAGSAM (Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism), and the camera and the station devices collected scientific data.
Rehearsal gave the team an opportunity to test the navigation system of the station, and to practice the manoeuvres of reducing to a predetermined height and a sharp climb. The second rehearsal of the operation of soil sampling is planned for June 23, when the spacecraft will descend to the level of 25 meters from the surface of Bennu. The first attempt of soil sampling from the asteroid is scheduled for August 25, 2020.
What secrets Benn has managed to uncover astronomers, read our article “celestial body diamond shape”.