NASA

NASA is collecting space dirt from an asteroid that could kill us all


Officially known as 101955 Bennu, the asteroid is about the size of the Empire State Building and has a "not-insignificant probability of impacting the Earth," according to NASA .


So if we had a chance to visit it, surely we'd send a ragtag team of miners to blow it up, rather than travelling seven years to collect a bit of space dirt off the top?


In this week's episode of Watch This Space , we take a look at OSIRIS-REx -- NASA's mission to make contact with Bennu (for all of five seconds) to collect asteroid dust from the surface and bring it back to Earth.


OSIRIS-REx's Touch-and-Go-Sample-Acquisition-Mechanism (TAGSAM) will make contact with the asteroid and blast gas on its surface to sweep up a dust sample.


OSIRIS-REx (that stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer spacecraft) arrived at Bennu on Dec. 3 and will spend a little less than a year surveying the asteroid for a suitable space to touch down.


Taking It to Extremes : Mix insane situations -- erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves -- with everyday tech.






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