Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Scientists mission OSIRIS-REx hope to find organic asteroid Bennu

In September 2016, NASA plans to launch a spacecraft returned to study the asteroid. This mission will help scientists better understand the composition of asteroids, their origins aspacecraft nd perhaps even the origin of the Earth. The mission OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer) will allow lifting the veil of secrecy over the history of the formation of the Sun and planets. 

The spacecraft will be equipped with scientific instruments to map the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and detection of minerals and organic compounds, which may indicate of microbial life. It is planned that the probe reaches its target in 2018, and return the samples to Earth in 2023. It will take at least 2.1 ounces of samples for study. One of the tools spacecraft spectrometer OVIRS (OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer) is designed to measure the visible and near-infrared light emitted by an asteroid that will determine which chemical substances are present in the space object. 

Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for the mission at the University of Arizona, as well as other members of the team are convinced that the spectrograph OSIRIS-REX be discovered asteroid Bennu organic material. The carbon rich asteroid Bennu keeps a record of the early history of our solar system, how its composition is likely to remain unchanged from the time it was formed about four billion years ago. On this site may contain natural resources such as water, organic and precious metals. Does this mean that the asteroid Bennu can be detected and primitive forms of life? Dante Lauretta debunks this proposal. He believes that the probability of finding life in such a harsh environment of space is negligible. "We are confident that there is no Bennu microbial life. The body size of Bennu, is too small and the atmosphere of gravity in order to protect any known form of life from the ravages of space "- says Loretta. 

To the picture of chemical substances present on the asteroid was more accurate, the tool will degrade light OVIRS asteroid like prism which decomposes the solar rays into color components, but in a much wider range of wavelengths. For different chemical characteristic unique spectral signature that can be identified in the reflected spectrum.

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