fog.png
Saturday February 27th, 2021 10:37AM

Asteroid samples tucked into capsule for return to Earth

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft more than 200 million miles away has tucked asteroid samples into a capsule for return to Earth, after losing some of its precious loot, scientists said Thursday.

Flight controllers moved up the crucial operation after some of the collected rubble spilled into space last week.

The Osiris-Rex spacecraft gathered pebbles and other pieces of asteroid Bennu on Oct. 20, briefly touching the surface with its robot arm and sucking up whatever was there. So much was collected — an estimated hundreds of grams' worth — that rocks got wedged in the rim of the container and jammed it open, allowing some samples to escape.

Whatever is left won’t depart Bennu's neighborhood until March, when the asteroid and Earth are properly aligned. It will be 2023 — seven years after Osiris-Rex rocketed from Cape Canaveral — before the samples arrive here.

This is the first U.S. mission to go after asteroid samples. Japan has done it twice at other space rocks and expects its latest batch to arrive in December.

Rich in carbon, the solar-orbiting Bennu is believed to hold the preserved building blocks of the solar system. Scientists said the remnants can help explain how our solar system's planets formed billions of years ago and how life on Earth came to be. The samples also can help improve our odds, they said, if a doomsday rock heads our way.

Bennu — a black, roundish rock bigger than New York's Empire State Building — could come dangerously close to Earth late in the next decade. The odds of a strike are 1-in-2,700. The good news is that while packing a punch, it won't wipe out the home planet.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
'Difficult winter': Europe divided on lockdowns; cases soar
The WHO's Europe director says he has “very real concern” about rising coronavirus cases in the region, as Germany's leader warned of a “difficult winter” ahead as the infection rate hits new highs
2:14PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Surge in virus threatens to reverse global economic rebounds
The resurgence of coronavirus cases engulfing the United States and Europe is imperiling economic recoveries on both sides of the Atlantic as millions of individuals and businesses face the prospect of having to hunker down once again
2:13PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Asteroid samples tucked into capsule for return to Earth
A NASA spacecraft more than 200 million miles away has tucked asteroid samples into a capsule for return to Earth, after losing some of its precious loot
2:05PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Zeta barrels across Southeast after battering weary coast
Zeta sped across the Southeast on Thursday, leaving a trail of damage and more than 2.6 million homes and businesses without power in Atlanta and beyond after pounding New Orleans with winds and water
1:36PM ( 47 minutes ago )
The Latest: Mississippi voting site loses power, less voters
In Jackson County, on the Mississippi coast, Circuit Clerk Randy Carney says the county’s courthouse lost power during the storm and has been operating on a generator
1:35PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Letters, texts, caravans, parades: Advocates mobilize voters
In the best of times, it’s a massive logistical challenge to get millions out to vote
1:28PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP National News
Fair housing groups: Redfin 'redlines' minority communities
Fair housing organizations are accusing Redfin of systematic racial discrimination, saying in a lawsuit the online real estate broker offers fewer services to homebuyers and sellers in minority communities
12:43PM ( 1 hour ago )
Supreme Court issues flurry of last-minute election orders
Acting in lawsuits involving absentee ballot deadlines in three battleground states, the Supreme Court has allowed extensions for ballots in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to remain in place
12:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
Falwell sues Liberty, saying school damaged his reputation
Jerry Falwell Jr. has sued Liberty University two months after resigning amid a series of scandals
12:27PM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
Trump rule says health plans must disclose costs up front
The Trump administration is trying to pull back the veil on health care costs to encourage competition, finalizing a requirement for insurers to tell consumers up front the actual prices for common tests and procedures
12:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
European Central Bank: Just wait until December
The European Central Bank held off from strengthening its current economic stimulus but signaled that more could be coming at its December meeting given that risks are growing as surging coronavirus infections threaten Europe’s economy
12:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Spain to keep state of emergency until May 2021
Spain’s parliament has voted to keep the country’s state of emergency in place until May 2021 to try to rein in the resurging coronavirus pandemic
12:15PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
'Difficult winter': Europe divided on lockdowns; cases soar
The WHO's Europe director says he has “very real concern” about rising coronavirus cases in the region, as Germany's leader warned of a “difficult winter” ahead as the infection rate hits new highs
2:14PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Surge in virus threatens to reverse global economic rebounds
The resurgence of coronavirus cases engulfing the United States and Europe is imperiling economic recoveries on both sides of the Atlantic as millions of individuals and businesses face the prospect of having to hunker down once again
2:13PM ( 10 minutes ago )
The Latest: Power outages caused by Zeta exceeds 2.5M
Power Outage US says power outages from Hurricane Zeta now exceed 2.5 million, stretching from Louisiana to Virginia
2:03PM ( 20 minutes ago )
NHL clears ex-Panthers GM of wrongdoing after investigation
The NHL says an independent investigation has cleared former Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon of any wrongdoing
1:58PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Trump, Biden fight for Florida, appeal for Tuesday turnout
In the campaign's final days, President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden are both appealing for voters to turn out in person on Election Day next Tuesday
1:54PM ( 30 minutes ago )