OSIRIS-REx is searching for just a few good citizen scientists – Astronomy Now

May 23, 2019 - Comment

The rock-strewn floor of asteroid Bennu, now being mapped at shut vary by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft earlier than an try to gather samples subsequent summer season. Picture: NASA/Goddard/College of Arizona Obtained a little bit of spare time? Managers with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission are searching for citizen scientists to assist rely and characterise rocks – a



The rock-strewn floor of asteroid Bennu, now being mapped at shut vary by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft earlier than an try to gather samples subsequent summer season. Picture: NASA/Goddard/College of Arizona

Obtained a little bit of spare time?

Managers with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission are searching for citizen scientists to assist rely and characterise rocks – a number of rocks – on the floor of the asteroid Bennu to help in deciding on a secure website for an try in July 2020 to gather samples for return to Earth.

“For the protection of the spacecraft, the mission workforce wants a complete catalog of all of the boulders close to the potential pattern assortment websites,” stated stated Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator. “I invite members of the general public to help the OSIRIS-REx mission workforce in carrying out this important process.”

NASA and CosmoQuest, a undertaking operated by the Planetary Science Institute, have arrange an interactive net interface the place citizen scientists can map rocks, boulders and different attention-grabbing options. All that’s required by the mapping app is a pc with a comparatively massive display and a precision mouse or trackpad.

And time. Loads of time. That’s as a result of Bennu’s crust seems to be made up of a blanket of rocks and boulders giving it the looks of a rubble pile.

“We’re more than happy and excited to make OSIRIS-REx photographs out there for this vital citizen science endeavour,” stated Wealthy Burns, OSIRIS-REx undertaking supervisor at NASA Goddard House Flight Middle. “Bennu has stunned us with an abundance of boulders. We ask for citizen scientists’ assist to guage this rugged terrain in order that we are able to preserve our spacecraft secure throughout pattern assortment operations.”

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is presently mapping Bennu’s floor in close-range element. The mapping part will proceed by means of 10 July when mission planners will start the pattern website choice course of. After major and secondary websites are chosen, the spacecraft will transfer in to map each ares at sub-centimetre decision.

If all goes nicely, OSIRIS-REx will try to snag samples in July 2020, returning them to Earth in September 2023.

 

 



Supply hyperlink

Comments

Comments are disabled for this post.