Thursday, November 20, 2014

NASA Animation on Asteroid Bennu Mission

Osiris-REx NASA animation

NASA released this superior educational animation about the origins of the Solar System. This is in preparation for various asteroid missions that the space agency has in mind over the coming years rather than doing something useful such as returning to the Moon or visiting Mars.

Specifically, this animation is about the asteroid Bennu. NASA has a plan to send a probe to it, 'Osiris-REx.' To be truthful, I keep an eye on NASA missions, but this one completely slipped by me. Apparently, Osiris-REx is a precursor to a later mission to actually capture an asteroid and put it in Moon orbit.

So, yet again, we get to wait years while NASA twiddles its thumbs and spends umpteen billions of dollars sending a probe to a big chunk of rock which all its sophisticated detectors and gizmos and drills and cameras will reveal to be, what do you know, a big chunk of rock. And that's if the whole thing works and isn't a total fiasco like the Philae disaster (I know, the ESA claims Philae is a huge success, which it certainly was relative to if it had blown up into a billion pieces before actually reaching its destination).

As usual with NASA videos, this one has quality animation, soothing music, and reassuring narration. The Osiris-REx mission is due to take place by 2018, but you know how deadlines in this field usually fare...

Osiris-REx NASA animation

Credit: NASA Goddard


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