NASA selects asteroid target site for spacecraft to sample

For story suggestions or custom animation requests, contact [email protected] Visit http://archive.nextanimationstudio.com to view News Direct's complete archive of 3D news animations.

RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
NASA has selected a target site for the spacecraft OSIRIS[c]-REx[d] to gather samples on the asteroid Bennu, according to the mission's principal investigator Dante Lauretta.

In a statement made at the American Geophysical Union annual conference last week, Lauretta said the spacecraft has been orbiting Bennu since December 2018.

Lauretta says that Nightingale lies far to the asteroid's north, with cooler temperatures than other possible sites.

This means Nightingale's surface would preserve more materials dated back to Bennu's formation for the probe to collect.

Citing Lauretta, Science News reports that Nightingale is a 20-meter wide crater contained in a larger crater and that parking the six-meter wide spacecraft could be a "tight fit".

The New York Times reports that Bennu is one of the oldest rocks in the solar system and that the asteroid is rich in carbon and organic substances like hydrated minerals.

The spacecraft will touch down on Bennu for only a split-second next year and deploy its robotic arm to gather a sample.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. OSIRIS-REx orbiting asteroid Bennu
2. NASA's reasons for selecting Nightgale as sample gathering site
3. The dimension of the site and difficulties with landing the spacecraft
4. The probe collect samples from the asteroid with robotic arm

VOICEOVER (in English):
"NASA has selected a target site for the spacecraft OSIRIS[e]-REx[f] to gather samples on the asteroid Bennu."

"In a statement made at the American Geophysical Union annual conference last week, the mission's principal investigator Dante Lauretta said the spacecraft has been orbiting Bennu since December 2018."

"Lauretta says that Nightingale lies far to the asteroid's north, with cooler temperatures than other possible sites."

"This means Nightingale's surface would preserve more materials dated back to Bennu's formation for the probe to collect."

"Citing Lauretta, Science News reports that Nightingale is a 20-meter wide crater contained in a larger crater and that parking the six-meter wide spacecraft could be a 'tight fit'."

"The New York Times reports that Bennu is one of the oldest rocks in the solar system and that the asteroid is rich in carbon and organic substances like hydrated minerals."

"The spacecraft will touch down on Bennu for only a split-second next year and deploy its robotic arm to gather a sample."

SOURCES: Science News, The New York Times
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/nasa-has-picked-osiris-rex-landing-site-asteroid-bennu
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/12/science/osiris-rex-nasa-asteroid-bennu.html