Scientists from NASA recently revealed that they are nearing the end of their quest to stop an asteroid strike that is expected to happen 159 years from now.Experts claim that the asteroid in question, known as Bennu, poses a hazard and may hit with Earth on September 24, 2182.There is no immediate need for alarm because this event is scheduled for the latter half of the year 221. Only one-half the size of the asteroid that is considered to have wiped off the dinosaurs, Bennu orbits the Earth every six years.
Although a collision with Bennu would significantly damage the area around the crash site (600 miles), it wouldn’t be large enough to wipe out all life on Earth. With the mission currently nearing its end, NASA has been aggressively developing plans to alter Bennu’s trajectory and avoid a collision.Even though there is just a 1 in 2,700 possibility that this catastrophic event would occur, experts are extremely concerned about the small likelihood.
In response, NASA launched a spacecraft to Bennu seven years ago as a preventative step. The mission’s goal is to gather samples in the hopes that the information gathered will help prevent the potential catastrophe if it does occur in the future.
The asteroid’s previous name, 1999 RQ36, was changed to Bennu in 2013. This modification came about as a result of a competition, the winner of which was Michael Puzio, a third-grade student, who suggested the name Bennu.Last week, samples from the OSIRIS-REx probe reached Earth. Samples acquired by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft were placed in a capsule the size of a refrigerator and launched hurtling towards Earth.The mission’s findings might provide light on Earth’s origins and possibly help prevent catastrophic collisions in the future.
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