TUCSON — It’s a distinguished picture of Earth, prisoner by a spacecraft operated by a University of Arizona.
The image, taken from about 100,000 miles away, shows swirling clouds above the Pacific Ocean. Australia is visible in a bottom left-hand dilemma of a planet. California can be seen in a top right, Japan on the top left.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft prisoner images as it flew past Earth on Sept. 22 as partial of a scheme designed to pull a qualification into the circuit of a apart asteroid.
The same camera, along with others, will be used to take images when a booster reaches a apart asteroid named Bennu subsequent year. In fact, a categorical purpose for holding images of a Earth was to exam a cameras.
“This is a good preview of what we’ll get when we get to a asteroid,” said UA Professor Dante Lauretta, a mission’s principal investigator, as a picture was denounced Tuesday during a news discussion in Tucson. The $1 billion idea is being led by a university.
Lauretta pronounced a pictures of Earth started entrance into mission’s Science Processing and Operations Center about 6:15 p.m. Friday in Tucson.
The initial chairman see the world let out a shriek. Lauretta pronounced he and a others rushed to her laptop computer. They wanted to see it on a bigger screen.
“Get it adult on a screen, get it adult on a screen,” someone yelled.
“We were shaking,” Lauretta recalled. “We couldn’t even block a video wire into a computer.”
The final formula were value all a formulation and tough work, pronounced Bashar Rizk, instrument scientist for a cameras.
“It was beautiful,” he said.
And there are some-more to come.
The UA skeleton to recover images that OSIRIS-REx took of a moon after this week.
The SUV-size spacecraft launched Sept. 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and is scheduled to arrive nearby a asteroid Bennu in 2018.
The mission’s idea is to collect and lapse a representation from an asteroid that potentially could be dangerous to Earth by the late 22nd century. The spacecraft’s robotic arm can collect adult to a few pounds of surface material.
MORE: How OSIRIS-REx will move behind pieces of an asteroid
If successful, OSIRIS-REx will be the first U.S. idea to move an asteroid representation behind to Earth.
The booster itself will not lapse to Earth.
A few hours before reaching a Earth’s atmosphere, a qualification will sale a plug containing a representation and put it on a arena to a planet. The qualification will scheme itself into an orbit around a sun.
On Sept 8, NASA skeleton to launch an SUV-sized booster toward an asteroid named Bennu. The spacecraft’s idea is to collect element from a asteroid and lapse to Earth. The idea will final approximately 7 years.
The plug will strike a Earth’s atmosphere during about 27,000 mph, giveaway descending until a parachute deploys. The categorical parachute will recover about dual miles above a earth, environment a plug adult to land in a Utah desert, about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City.
Engineers and scientists will be watchful there on Sept. 24, 2023.
They’ll collect a plug and ride a precious material to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where they’ll mislay a mud and sunder a materials for study.
The mission — from launch to landing — spans about 7 years.
But the research is expected to continue for decades.
About a mission
Name: OSIRIS-REx, brief for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer.
Goal: Send an unmanned booster to collect and lapse a representation from an asteroid that is potentially dangerous to Earth. The object’s combination could strew some-more light on a origins of a solar complement and a asteroid’s expected course.
Cost: $1 billion.
Odds of a asteroid attack Earth: One calculation puts a luck of collision in 2182 during 1 in 1,800. But that guess is formed on laws of heavenly suit with small bargain of a asteroid’s makeup or gravity.
What would occur if Bennu strike a Earth? Scientists say it would tool a void 4 miles far-reaching and means widespread repairs for hundreds of miles.
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