For the first time in its history, NASA successfully collects sample from asteroid

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Touchdown!

For the first time in its history, NASA has successfully collected samples from the surface of an asteroid, using the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on Tuesday.

The small spacecraft has been orbiting Bennu, an asteroid 500 meters across, for almost two years. Around 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, the spacecraft completed a “Touch-And-Go” maneuver before firing its thrusters to get back to a safe distance from the asteroid. The lonely space rock was more than 200 million miles away at the time.

“We did it,” principal investigator Dante Lauretta said during the agency’s live broadcast. “We’ve tagged the surface of the asteroid.”

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Japanese spacecraft ‘bombs’ asteroid in scientific mission

C43E467D-F963-439E-87DB-DCBE07A6BA4CArtist’s impression of Hayabusa2

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is working to confirm that its experiment to bomb the asteroid Ryugu was successful. Today at 11:36 am Japan time, JAXA’s unmanned Hayabusa2 deep space probe deployed the SCI (Small Carry-on Impactor), which is designed to blow a hole in the surface of Ryugu to allow for deep sampling, but safety issues prevented the spacecraft from witnessing the detonation directly.

Shooting explosives at an asteroid may seem like a great way to break the monotony of a dull afternoon, but it has a very serious purpose. Aside from pure science, the world’s space agencies are very interested in gaining as much information as possible about the structure and composition of asteroids because it may one day be necessary to deflect or destroy one that is on a collision course with Earth.

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Japan just became the first country to deploy rovers on an asteroid

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The Hayabusa 2 mission is visiting an asteroid 200 million miles from Earth to collect samples. The mission profile involves a lot of robots, bullets, and explosives.

In 2014, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft on a four year journey to Ryugu, an asteroid nearly 200 million miles from Earth. The spacecraft has been in orbit around the asteroid since June and early Friday morning dispatched two rovers to the asteroid’s surface.

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A $20 trillion rock could turn Planetary Resources into the richest company on Earth

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Amun 3554 is a little more than a mile wide and it’s one of the smallest M-class (metal-bearing) asteroids yet discovered. Unless it ever decides to smash into us — a theoretical possibility, but extremely unlikely over the next few centuries — it will continue orbiting the sun, unknown and unmolested.

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‘Doomsday’ Asteroid Could Crash Into Earth on April 13, 2036

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Russian scientists held a meeting 14 months ago to look at launching an operation to knock the Apophis asteroid off course

An asteroid travelling at 23,000mph could crash into Earth on April 13, 2036 killing millions and causing global chaos, scientists claim.  In a plot line taken straight from a science-fiction film, astronomers in Russia are predicting that the 300-yard-wide Apophis will slam into the planet in 25 years’ time.

 

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Dramatic Animated Simulation of an Asteroid Hitting the Earth

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A dramatic computer-animated simulation, produced by NHK Japan and the National Film Board of Canada, depicts what would happen if an asteroid measuring 500 kilometers (300 mi) in diameter collided with Earth.

 

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Amateur Astronomers Capture Collision on Jupiter

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This image shows an amateur astronomer’s view of Jupiter Thursday June 3, 2010.

The stargazers witnessed the brilliant flash from the cosmic collision from sites in Australia and the Philippines on Friday.  Anthony Wesley, an Australian computer programmer, first noticed the collision in Jupiter’s cloud tops and notified other astronomers. (video)

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