National Board of the USA on Aeronautics and research of space administration (NASA) reported that the probe OSIRIS-REx successfully completed its gravity-assist maneuver around our planet.
OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security Regolith Explorer) is a mission to gather samples of rocks from the asteroid Bennu. In case of successful delivery of samples to Earth, scientists will be able to obtain important information about the formation of the Solar system.
The apparatus of the OSIRIS-REx was launched from air force base at Cape Canaveral in September of last year. His target, the probe will arrive in 2018 and will then begin detailed mapping of the surface of the cosmic body. Sampling of soil slated for July 2020, and returning the probe to Earth in September 2023.
Gravitational maneuver near the Earth were necessary to changing the trajectory of the apparatus. The station was at a distance of 17 237 km from our planet. The result of this operation, the speed of the OSIRIS-REx grew 3,778 km/s, and the probe is on a trajectory flight to the asteroid Bennu. It is noted that such a growth rate could not be achieved even if spending the entire fuel supply apparatus.
NASA notes that in the next two weeks plan to enable the instrument OSIRIS-REx to scan the earth and the moon. The data obtained will then be used to calibrate scientific equipment before the encounter with asteroid Bennu within the next year.
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