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The most dangerous asteroid almost “swallowed” the NASA probe. Scientists told unusual details of the OSIRIS-REx mission

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft nearly two years ago touched the asteroid Bennuto collect soil samples. Scientists now say that an asteroid almost “swallowed” the probe during this operation.

 

The spacecraft would have plunged into Bennu had it not fired up its engines immediately after it collected samples of dust and rock from the asteroid’s surface. It turned out that the particles that make up Bennu’s surface are so loosely packed and so poorly connected to each other that if a person were to step on Bennu, they would feel very little resistance, as if they were stepping into a pit of plastic balls in a children’s play area. By the time we started our engines to leave the surface, we were still sinking into the asteroid.

 

Scientists say they expected something completely different. It was believed that the surface of the asteroid is denser and more like a pile of gravel. Instead, the surface was “soft and flowed like a liquid”.
The most dangerous asteroid almost “swallowed” the NASA probe. Scientists told unusual details of the OSIRIS-REx mission
The new data will allow scientists to better understand these types of asteroids. In particular, if such a body falls to Earth, it will behave quite differently from an ordinary stone or metal asteroid. By the way, in the case of Bennu, this issue is relatively important, since it is the most potentially dangerous asteroid in the solar system. The probability of its collision with the Earth in 2182 is 0.04%, and this is quite a lot. At the same time, Bennu has a diameter of about 500 meters, that is, its fall can have catastrophic consequences.
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