NASA probe on course to reach asteroid Bennu on Dec 3

Christopher Davidson
December 3, 2018

It's humanity's first close encounter with an asteroid but the next may be deadlier - a Nasa probe will rendezvous next week with a space rock that some fear is on course to smash into the earth. You can catch that here at Space.com as well.

This "super-resolution" view of asteroid Bennu was created using eight images obtained by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on October 29, 2018, from a distance of about 205 miles (330 kilometers).

The $800 million OSIRIS-REx mission launched on September 8, 2016, embarking on a looping trek toward the 1,640-foot-wide (500 meters) Bennu.

Soobschaetsya that the speed of the body moving towards the Earth, reaches 33 844 miles per hour.

The diamond-shaped Bennu will then become the smallest object ever to be orbited by a spacecraft.

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OSIRIS-REx, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, launched in September 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The spacecraft will briefly touch Bennu's surface around July 2020 to collect at least 60 grams (equal to about 30 sugar packets) of dirt and rocks.

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Bennu is itself a potentially risky asteroid; there's a very small probability that it could hit Earth in the late 22nd century.

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