Composite image of Bennu received from OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at a distance of 330 km
If in the next couple of hundred years, the Earth is destined to be destroyed by an asteroid, then this honor will be given to Benn. Officially named as (101955) Bennu, the asteroid in size reaches the Empire State Building and is able to head for our planet. In fact, Bennu is in second place on the scale of the danger of near-Earth objects.
If everything is so bad, then, with a possible visit, you should follow the Hollywood scenario, send a team of brave men with old Bruce Willis and blow up the space rock. But instead, scientists launched a small spacecraft that will carefully scoop up some dust. Do not forget that we are talking about NASA. Asteroid material is important for researchers because it can tell a lot of interesting things about the history of the solar system. Asteroids should be perceived as remnants of the system formation process, so that their composition hides the elements that influenced the appearance of planets, like the Earth.
OSIRIS-REx arrived at Bennu on December 3 and plans to spend a year to find a suitable place for mining the sample. The procedure will take no more than 5 seconds. During this time, the device will release a wave of nitrogen gas, which will lift the pebbles and dust from the surface. The probe will pick up the samples and deliver them to Earth.
At the end of the mission, scientists will study the material and learn more about our origins. Perhaps it will be possible to find molecular precursors of the origin of life and the oceans on Earth.