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Aftermath revealed of a spacecraft’s historic encounter with an asteroid

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When NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft swept in to collect a sample from the asteroid Bennu in October, it left a noticeable mark.

New images captured by the spacecraft after a close flyby of the asteroid April 7 show the aftermath following the brief touchdown of OSIRIS-REx, which had collected 56 grams of rocky material.

During October’s historic Touch-and-Go collection event, the sampling head of the spacecraft sank half a metre into the surface of the asteroid. The robotic arm also fired a charge of nitrogen gas to help kick up material for collection.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collects a sample.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collects a sample. (NASA)

The thrusters on OSIRIS-REx, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, also…



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