NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft on Monday left the orbit of the asteroid Bennu to initiate its drive back to Earth. It will take two years for spacecraft to reach the Earth land in 2023.
Osiris-Rex reached asteroid Bennu in 2018 which is 287 million kilometers away from the earth and consumed two years before collecting rubble from the surface.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is attempting to complete a mission to visit Bennu, a skyscraper-sized asteroid some 200 million miles (320 million km) from Earth, survey the surface, collect samples and deliver them back to Earth.
“OSIRIS-REx’s many accomplishments demonstrated the daring and innovate the way in which exploration unfolds in real-time,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters. “The team rose to the challenge, and now we have a primordial piece of our solar system headed back to Earth where many generations of researchers can unlock its secrets.”
The Osiris-Rex spacecraft will round the sun twice before carrying its small sample capsule to Utah’s desert floor on September 24, 2023, to end the mission. The mission has been launched from Cape Canaveral in 2016.
The sample collected will be then transported to NASA’s Johnson Space Center Houston for future generations to study with technologies not yet created
Asteroids are the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. The scientists say that a sample collected could hold clues to the origins of life on Earth