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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Space probe successfully stowed sample from asteroid

Nasa said it had been able to manoeuvre Osiris-Rex’s robotic arm into a storage capsule near the centre of the spacecraft, drop off the sample and close the capsule’s lid.

WASHINGTON: The robotic spacecraft Osiris-Rex was able to stow a rock and dust sample scooped up from the asteroid Bennu, Nasa announced on Thursday, after a flap that wedged open had put the mission at risk.

“We are here to announce today that we’ve successfully completed that operation,” said Rich Burns, the mission’s project manager.

The probe is on a mission to collect fragments that scientists hope will help unravel the origins of our solar system, but hit a snag after it picked up too big of a sample.

Fragments from the asteroid’s surface in a collector at the end of the probe’s three-metre arm had been slowly escaping into space…

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