In space, you can find unusual shapes, carved naturally. Scientists declare that the composition of these objects became the reason for creating the amazing diamond forms of asteroids Ryugu and Bennu. The team believes that we are talking about extremely loose aggregates that are not able to maintain strength.
Ryugu and Bennu are rich in organic molecules - carbon building blocks of life. But, despite the similarity in the composition, they cannot be called clones. Ryugu extends 900 m wide, which is why it is larger than the 500-meter Bennu. In addition, the surface of the first is endowed with uniform brightness, and on Bennu there is a variety of light and dark spots.
Asteroid Ryugu, captured by the Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft on June 26, 2018
The Japanese mission of Hayabusa-2 arrived at the orbit of the asteroid Ryugu at the end of June and managed to drop three ships into the object. Two of them are jumping rovers MINERVA-II1A and MINERVA-II1B, which continue to function now. The MASCOT landing gear successfully worked for 17 hours on the surface (more than planned). Mission Hayabusa-2 (cost - $ 150 million) plans in the near future to deploy another jumper landing machine MINERVA-II2. The very same spacecraft will try to get samples of the asteroid and return them to Earth in December 2020.
The OSIRIS-REx mission is approaching the goal (cost - $ 800 million). The ship should arrive at Bennu on December 3, after which it will go into orbit on the space rock on December 31 OSIRIS-REx will study the asteroid for more than 2 years and will try to get a sample to return to Earth in September 2023.
This is the image of the Bennu near-Earth asteroid, obtained by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on October 29, 2018 at a distance of 330 km
The main goals of Hayabusa-2 and OSIRIS-REx are almost identical. Both missions will try to shed light on the early days of the solar system, as well as understand the role that carbon-rich asteroids have played, like Ryugu and Bennu. Perhaps they influenced the emergence of earthly life.