Date: November 09, 2020
“NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft just won one of the most epic games of tag in human history. Last month, the plucky little craft reached out and high-fived Bennu, a diamond-shaped asteroid roughly the size of a skyscraper, snatching a sample of its surface in the process.
Orbiting the hunk of rock more than 200 million miles from Earth, the spacecraft extended its robotic arm and blasted the asteroid’s surface with pure nitrogen gas. It then used a sample collection head to vacuum up the disturbed material.
But OSIRIS-Rex’s collection head may have worked too well. It snagged so much rocky material that it couldn’t close its collection flap securely. Precious rocks leaked out into space, creating a dilemma about how the spacecraft should go about storing its cargo.”
SPACE ARCHIVE | FRONTIER ARCHIVE