NASA Captures Photo Of Asteroid From Spacecraft Orbiting It From 0.4-Miles, The Closest Space Object Orbit Yet

June 18, 2019

close-asteroid-orbit.jpg

This is a shot from NASA's asteroid studying spacecraft OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) of asteroid Bennu, taken from orbit around the space rock. OSIRIUS-REx is scanning the asteroid for the best place to make contact and collect samples of the rock in the summer of 2020, then return to earth with said samples in Septemeber, 2023. Does it have a diamond core?! "No." Damn, let's blow it up with a laser anyways. OSIRIS-REx is currently circling Bennu in "the closest orbit that any spacecraft has ever achieved around another space object," at a distance of only 0.4-miles. For reference, that's 0.4-miles closer than I've ever gotten to a meaningful relationship or securing a car loan.

Thanks to Marcus O, who agrees we should at least blow up the next one.

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