It is believed that the OSIRIS-Rex Spacecraft spiraled down on to the Bennu surface on October 20, 2020, intending to grab materials that the mission members believe will help them study the early days and the rise of life on planet earth. The main goal for sending the spacecraft to Bennu was to collect at least 60 grams of gravel and dust from the ruby surface of the Bennu asteroid. The mission member teams hope that within a period of 10 days, they shall be able to confirm if the spacecraft collected the samples successfully.
The $800 million OSIRIS-Rex mission to get some samples from Bennu was launched in September 2016 and arrived at the Bennu asteroid in December 2018. Since then, the probe has been taking the actual asteroids measure and mapping its surface to scale details to prepare for its maneuver. All the incidences that have taken place from September 2016 to December 2018 have helped to reveal a world that is far rugged than what the mission had initially expected. The house-sized boulders of the Bennu have really posed a great challenge to the spacecraft in its attempts to have some safe sample grab.
Eventually, the team made a successful home on a small crater by the name Nightingale. They considered the best harbor for them as the site had relatively fine material that seemed fresh and not exposed to the deep space’s harsh conditions for long. Nightingale is said to be surrounded by lots of hazards with the likes of a big outcrop, which was nicknamed by the mission team as the Mount Doom. As a result of all these hazards, the spacecraft targeted a reasonably flat area and boulder-free area that was approximately 26 feet wide, which was in correspondence with the 15-passenger van’s size.
As a result of the large difference in distance and coordinates, it currently takes more than 18 minutes to send a command to the OSIRIS-Rex from the earth. This makes Moreau and his teammates do not control the machine in real-time most of their performances are conducted autonomously. The mission team members said that they hoped that the first images from the spacecraft that start arriving on earth on 21st October. The team is set to spend the next few days or weeks to access how much asteroid material sample was collected.