NASA’s the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft has recently entered the orbit around the asteroid Bennu, which is now 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) from Earth.
NASA has captured an image of the 500-meter wide asteroid Bennu using its high tech Osiris-Rex spacecraft, according to a statement.
Have access to a 3D printer? Print your very own shape model of asteroid Bennu! ? ☄️
Files for both the 2013 ground-based radar model and the updated shape model released in December are available to download: https://t.co/myeqn6cP5s pic.twitter.com/iN2GU0vb9A
— NASA's OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) January 30, 2019
The 1,600-foot rock that was branded an “apocalypse asteroid” is located between Earth and Mars and weighs 87 million tonnes and is currently orbiting the Sun.
A view from the southern hemisphere… I captured this shot of Bennu with my MapCam imager as I flew past the asteroid's south pole during Preliminary Survey. ? More image details: https://t.co/bap4f8o8tF pic.twitter.com/DccuCPZnUP
— NASA's OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) January 22, 2019
The scientists believe that Bennu has a one in 2,700 chance of hitting our planet in the next century, according to the Daily Star.
In December of last year, the NASA mission discovered the presence of water inside clay on the asteroid Bennu.
The presence of water or water-like molecules is expected to provide clues about how the solar system was formed and the history of its planets, according to NASA.
OSIRIS-REx is presently orbiting Bennu, surveying possible landing sites where the spacecraft will attempt to pick up a sample and return to Earth in 2023, according to the US space agency’s release.