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NASA is collecting space dirt from an asteroid that could kill us all

Officially known as 101955 Bennu, the Asteroid is about the size of the Empire State Building and has a "not-insignificant probability of impacting the Earth," according to NASA .

So if we had a chance to visit it, surely we'd send a ragtag team of miners to blow it up, rather than travelling seven years to collect a bit of space dirt off the top?

In this week's episode of Watch This Space , we take a look at OSIRIS-REx -- NASA's mission to make contact with Bennu (for all of five seconds) to collect asteroid dust from the surface and bring it back to Earth.

OSIRIS-REx's Touch-and-Go-Sample-Acquisition-Mechanism (TAGSAM) will make contact with the asteroid and blast gas on its surface to sweep up a dust sample.

OSIRIS-REx (that stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer spacecraft) arrived at Bennu on Dec. 3 and will spend a little less than a year surveying the asteroid for a suitable space to touch down.

Taking It to Extremes : Mix insane situations -- erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves -- with everyday tech.


  • Spacecraft encounter with asteroid Bennu is test run for defending EarthAxios
  • Our first up-close look at the Bennu asteroid is a messy oneBGR
  • News at a glanceScience Magazine
  • Tucson brewery releases beer inspired by OSIRIS-REx space missionArizona Daily Star
  • NASA explorer arrives at asteroid which may collide with EarthThe News Recorder (India Edition)
  • Why You Don't Need To Be Scared Of Asteroids - Far Less Scary Than LightningScience 2.0
  • Planetary Defense: The Bennu ExperimentSpace Daily
  • NASA Deep Space Explorer Reaches Asteroid Which Might Hit Earth In 166 YearsOutlook India
  • NASA Highlights Asteroid Bennu, Earth's Polar Ice at AGU MeetingSpace Ref (press release)

This post first appeared on The 5th News, please read the originial post: here

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NASA is collecting space dirt from an asteroid that could kill us all


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