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NASA Asteroid test stows space-rock test

OSIRIS-REx investigation has been able to get asteroid samples for the return to the Earth’s surface. OSIRIS-REx has completed packing bits of asteroid Bennu, which is rich in carbo. It caught last on October 20 successfully and locking material into spacecraft’s return capsule, the mission team members announced on October 29. The samples were quite considerable and much more massive than 60 grams, which the mission had the target for, the team members went on to say. It has been confirmed that OSIRIS-REx went on to collect so much material on 20th October that sampling head wasn’t able to close correctly; the head’s sealing mylar flap go wedged open in places by the protruding Bennu Pebbles. 

OSIRIS-REx was able to notice this issue a few days after examining the head’s photos and went ahead to collect the sample. This included flakes of the escaped asteroid material which drifted via the frames. To reduce the amount which was lost, this team decided to fasten the complex and process stowing process. 

On October 27 and on October 28, the Technical team, which included engineers, went on to direct OSIRIS-REx to deposit the sampling head sitting at the end of robotic arm, which was conducting the probe into the return capsule. This mission was completed while OSIRIS-REx was around 330 million kilometers away from the Earth. This means that for each command to get into contact with OSIRIS-REx, it took 18.5 minutes. At the same time, it took 18.5 minutes for every update from the investigation to return to the Earth. 

Sandra Freund, who works as the Operations Manager of OSIRIS-REx, stated that they were only trying the stow one time, and they had put everything to ensure that this mission was a success. There were some changes to the plans which needed some last-minute rush. It required the last-minute reallocation of the time on the Deep Space Network of NASA and radio telescope systems, which the agency relies on to communicate with the far-flung probes. OSIRIS-REx looked-for a large block of the continuous Deep Space Network time. This meant that some Missions had to be put on hold to ensure the effectiveness of this mission. 

It is currently quite unclear on the exact amount of asteroid material that does sit in OSIRIS-REx’s return capsule. It will return to Earth in 2023. There was a cancellation of the post sampling weighing procedure, which would have made it possible for the probe’s spinning as any more maneuver would result in more loss of the sample.

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