NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully taps an asteroid in attempt to grab a sample

Image: Lockheed Martin

This afternoon, a NASA spacecraft more than 200 million miles from Earth successfully touched the surface of an asteroid, in an attempt to grab a handful of pebbles and dust from the space rock. Data from the spacecraft confirmed that the vehicle did indeed touch the asteroid today, but NASA won’t know until tomorrow if it actually snagged a sample of material.

“Touchdown declared,” a mission controller announced when the team received data confirming the maneuver. “Sampling in process.” The news of the success was met with cheers and applause from engineers following along with the procedure.

The spacecraft that just tapped the asteroid is OSIRIS-REx, and this sampling maneuver has been years in the making. The main purpose of the…

Continue reading…

Read more