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Topic: Asteroid

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft final assembly underway

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A major component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft has been delivered to the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations is now underway.

Over the next year, the spacecraft will finish assembly and undergo rigorous checkout and testing before it’s shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for an August 2022 launch to the main asteroid belt.

The Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, crafted by Maxar Technologies’ team in Palo Alto, California, is the size of a van and represents more than 80% (by mass) of the hardware that will ultimately make up the Psyche spacecraft.

In late March of 2021, a main component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft was delivered to JPL, where assembly, test, and launch operations are underway. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In late March of 2021, a main component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft was delivered to JPL, where assembly, test, and launch operations are underway. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA reports Asteroid Apophis to pass safely past Earth for 100-Plus Years

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The near-Earth object was thought to pose a slight risk of impacting Earth in 2068, but now radar observations have ruled that out.

After its discovery in 2004, asteroid 99942 Apophis had been identified as one of the most hazardous asteroids that could impact Earth. But that impact assessment changed as astronomers tracked Apophis and its orbit became better determined.

This image of asteroid Apophis was recorded by radio antennas at the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone complex in California and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The asteroid was 10.6 million miles (17 million kilometers) away, and each pixel has a resolution of 127 feet (38.75 meters). (NASA/JPL-Caltech and NSF/AUI/GBO)

This image of asteroid Apophis was recorded by radio antennas at the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone complex in California and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The asteroid was 10.6 million miles (17 million kilometers) away, and each pixel has a resolution of 127 feet (38.75 meters). (NASA/JPL-Caltech and NSF/AUI/GBO)

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NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft moves into final Phase of Operations

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Psyche mission has passed a critical milestone that moves it a step closer to launch. After an intense review of the mission’s progress in building its science instruments and engineering systems, Psyche won clearance to progress into what NASA calls Phase D of its life cycle – the final phase of operations prior to its scheduled launch in August 2022.

Until now, the mission has focused on planning, designing, and building the body of the spacecraft, its solar-electric propulsion system, the three science instruments, electronics, the power subsystem, and the like.

Technicians power on the main body of NASA's Psyche spacecraft, called the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, at Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California, in November 2020. (Maxar Technologies)

Technicians power on the main body of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft, called the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, at Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California, in November 2020. (Maxar Technologies)

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft retrieves good amount of material from Asteroid Bennu

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Two days after touching down on asteroid Bennu, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission team received on Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 images that confirm the spacecraft has collected more than enough material to meet one of its main mission requirements – acquiring at least 2 ounces (60 grams) of the asteroid’s surface material.

The spacecraft captured images of the sample collector head as it moved through several different positions. In reviewing these images, the OSIRIS-REx team noticed both that the head appeared to be full of asteroid particles, and that some of these particles appeared to be escaping slowly from the sample collector, called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) head.

Captured by the spacecraft’s SamCam camera on Oct. 22, 2020, this series of three images shows that the sampler head on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is full of rocks and dust collected from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. They show also that some of these particles are slowly escaping the sampler head. Analysis by the OSIRIS-REx team suggests that bits of material are passing through small gaps where the head’s mylar flap is slightly wedged open. (NASA)

Captured by the spacecraft’s SamCam camera on Oct. 22, 2020, this series of three images shows that the sampler head on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is full of rocks and dust collected from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. They show also that some of these particles are slowly escaping the sampler head. Analysis by the OSIRIS-REx team suggests that bits of material are passing through small gaps where the head’s mylar flap is slightly wedged open. (NASA)

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft touches down, takes Sample from Surface of Asteroid Bennu

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Captured on Wednesday, October 20th, 2020 during NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission’s Touch-And-Go (TAG) sample collection event, this series of images shows the SamCam imager’s field of view as the NASA spacecraft approaches and touches down on asteroid Bennu’s surface, over 200 million miles (321 million km) away from Earth.

The sampling event brought the spacecraft all the way down to sample site Nightingale, touching down within three feet (one meter) of the targeted location.

Captured on October 20th during the OSIRIS-REx mission’s Touch-And-Go (TAG) sample collection event, this series of 2 images shows the SamCam imager’s field of view at the moment before and after the NASA spacecraft touched down on asteroid Bennu’s surface. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

Captured on October 20th during the OSIRIS-REx mission’s Touch-And-Go (TAG) sample collection event, this series of 2 images shows the SamCam imager’s field of view at the moment before and after the NASA spacecraft touched down on asteroid Bennu’s surface. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft touches surface of Asteroid Bennu, collects Samples

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft unfurled its robotic arm Tuesday, and in a first for the agency, briefly touched an asteroid to collect dust and pebbles from the surface for delivery to Earth in 2023.

This well-preserved, ancient asteroid, known as Bennu, is currently more than 200 million miles (321 million kilometers) from Earth.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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NASA releases Broadcast times for OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Collection Activities

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA will broadcast coverage of a first for the agency as its Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission attempts to collect a sample of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, October 20th, at 5:12pm CT.

Live coverage of the spacecraft’s descent to the asteroid’s surface for its “Touch-And-Go,” or TAG, maneuver, which will be managed by Lockheed Martin Space near Denver, will begin at 4:00pm CT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft prepares for Touch-And-Go mission to asteroid Bennu

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A historic moment is on the horizon for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. In just a few weeks, the robotic OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will descend to asteroid Bennu’s boulder-strewn surface, touch down for a few seconds and collect a sample of the asteroid’s rocks and dust – marking the first time NASA has grabbed pieces of an asteroid, which will be returned to Earth for study.

On October 20th, 2020 the mission will perform the first attempt of its Touch-And-Go (TAG) sample collection event. This series of maneuvers will bring the spacecraft down to site Nightingale, a rocky area 52 ft (16 m) in diameter in Bennu’s northern hemisphere, where the spacecraft’s robotic sampling arm will attempt to collect a sample.

This artist’s concept shows NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

This artist’s concept shows NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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NASA says Small Sized Asteroid will safely fly past Earth

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A small near-Earth asteroid (or NEA) will briefly visit Earth’s neighborhood on Thursday, September 24th, 2020 zooming past at a distance of about 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometers) above our planet’s surface. The asteroid will make its close approach below the ring of geostationary satellites orbiting about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) away from Earth.

Based on its brightness, scientists estimate that 2020 SW is roughly 15 to 30 feet (5 to 10 meters) wide – or about the size of a small school bus.

This illustration shows a near-Earth asteroid like asteroid 2020 SW traveling through space. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This illustration shows a near-Earth asteroid like asteroid 2020 SW traveling through space. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA investigates why Asteroid Bennu is shedding material into Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – When NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid (101955) Bennu, mission scientists knew that their spacecraft was orbiting something special. Not only was the boulder-strewn asteroid shaped like a rough diamond, its surface was crackling with activity, shedding small pieces of rock into space.

Now, after more than a year and a half up close with Bennu, they’re starting to better understand these dynamic particle-ejection events.

This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 images collected on Dec. 2, 2018, by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft's PolyCam instrument from a range of 15 miles (24 kilometers). (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 images collected on Dec. 2, 2018, by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s PolyCam instrument from a range of 15 miles (24 kilometers). (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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