NASA collects samples from asteroid for the first time
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – NASA made history this week when its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft gathered pieces of rock from an asteroid located more than 200 million miles away from Earth. For the past two years the $800 million spacecraft has been circling Asteroid Bennu for the right spot to harvest rubble using a robotic arm. The brief encounter was the first time NASA gathered samples from an asteroid in space and the successful event was broadcast live. This rock is more precious than gold in that it could reveal how the solar system came into existence. Scientists say asteroids are time capsules containing chemical compositions of the ancient solar system which could reveal more about 4.5 billion-year-old solar system and the origins of life on Earth.
How scientists know we’re not going to get squashed by an asteroid
In a recent episode of the podcast “Space Curious,” planetary scientists helped us understand why this is. They also explained how we know where asteroids are, and why we’re not all going to get squashed by one anytime soon. “The main reason we go to Bennu is because it is the most potentially hazardous asteroid,” Campins said. “It’s a primitive asteroid,” Campins said. Campins said when someone reads about an asteroid headed for Earth, it’s a good idea to do some fact checking.