Monday, July 22, 2024

A space capsule heading towards Earth


It will bring with it the largest amount of extraterrestrial material ever to reach Earth: NASA’s space capsule is ready to land on our planet with its payload of precious information.

It is coming to Earth with dust, gravel, and extraterrestrial materials inside it. No, This Is Not Science Fiction: One Space capsule It is already heading towards our planet and will arrive precisely in the next few hours, at dawn September 24th. The whole world (especially the scientific community) is waiting to see what will happen and what the consequences of the extremely delicate landing of this container will be.

In fact, the capsule inside could contain secrets so incredible that they could upend all our knowledge about space and the universe. The event is so eagerly awaited that it will be possible to follow it via live broadcast step by step.

The space capsule and its precious payload

But let’s start in order, and determine which space capsule is in question That of Osiris Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer), a spacecraft sent to collect samples from the asteroid Bennu, is considered Potentially dangerous. The capsule, which is bell-shaped and the size of a small refrigerator, is expected to land in the Utah desert.

Inside there will be more A large amount of extraterrestrial material It has been returned to Earth ever since Apollo astronauts carried moon rocks home. This material is valuable because it is believed to date back about 4.5 billion years, and is pristine remains from the early days of the solar system. By studying these samples, scientists were able to learn more about the chemistry that led to the emergence of life on Earth.

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The OSIRIS-REx journey and its importance

But what do we know about OSIRIS-REx? Getting an idea of ​​its path is essential to understanding its importance. First of all, it is necessary to know that it was launched thereSeptember 8, 2016 Its primary goal was to explore asteroids within the framework of the program new Horizons. To make the entire mission a success, scientists did… Investigation with a cubic body Two photoelectric panels extended from it and housed a landing capsule.

The capsule was to land on the asteroid Bennu and take a sample of at least 60 grams from its surface. The journey was not easy: the vehicle moved in space for two years before it approached its goal December 3, 2018. After arriving near the asteroid, the probe took another 505 days to map it and finally be able to take samples. October 20, 2020Not without difficulties and without moments of extreme tension in the control center.

In fact, the scientists chose not to land the rover but rather extend a mechanical arm, which requires a lot of effort to control properly. The probe then rocketed towards Earth, but every moment since then has been extremely intense: mission officials revealed in… Press releases issued immediately On NASA’s website, there was fear at every stage that contact would be lost and the samples taken would be lost forever.

Moment of truth (and revelation)

From the moment the probe moved to return to Earth, scientists trained to make sure everything went smoothly, especially during the capsule’s re-entry phase. This step is very delicate, because it is actually a space capsule It can fall apart If it is poorly launched into the atmosphere or if the parachute equipped with it does not open.

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However, at dawn on Sunday, September 24, as previously reported, technicians to OSIRIS-REx will send the command to launch the capsule toward a “target” area about 650 kilometers in size, sending it on a collision course with our planet. As mentioned earlier, everyone will be able to do this Follow in the broadcast The capsule’s path, which will enter the atmosphere at about 36 times the speed of sound, reaching temperatures “twice as hot as lava.” Obviously there is currently a lot of excitement, becauseAnxiety in critical moments It leads us to evaluate all possible negative options.

What if things go wrong? When will the whole world receive the first news about the contents of the space capsule and confirm its importance? According to NASA’s plans, once the capsule lands, it will be transported to the Johnson Space Center, where it will be opened inside a special “tank” specially created in the heart of planet Earth. Private laboratorywhich will keep the material not contaminated.

All the dust will be immediately fed into the highly specialized microscopes at the Space Center and passed under the eyes of highly advanced instruments. the Comprehensive analysis process It will be very slow and deliberate, but nevertheless the first information will be released between October 5 and 6, while a press conference will be held on October 11 which, in addition to revealing it, will outline the business process and explain in detail what all the next steps will be and what can be done. To refer to the first data obtained.

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