November 25, 2020

Researchers from the IAC will follow the sampling in Bennu live

Three researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) will telematically attend the meeting organized by NASA to follow live the first attempt by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to collect samples of material from the asteroid Bennu that has not changed since its origin, about 4,000 million years ago.

The IAC has had an active participation in the mission since 2011 with researchers Julia de León, Javier Licandro, Eri Tatsumi and Juan Luis Rizos, who are part of the OSIRIS-REx scientific team, according to the astrophysical center in a statement. Julia de León explained that this is the most important moment of the mission, which differs from others that have been sent to study asteroids in that it will return to Earth with samples from Bennu.

The maneuver that OSIRIS-REx will carry out is dangerous because, De León jokes, “science has not got it right once more” and what from Earth looked like a surface covered with fine dust turned out to be full of rocks, with dimensions ranging from some centimeters to tens of meters ”.


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