The NASA space probe, which landed on the asteroid Bennu with great difficulty on Wednesday after two years and picked up grit there, appears to be losing small particles of that material. The American Space Agency announced that at a press conference.
The asteroid is 333 million miles from Earth. Osiris-Rex space probe collected about 400 grams of material, more than NASA expected. But the gripping arm has landed on the asteroid with so much force that stones have become stuck around the lid of the container in which the grit is stored. As a result, small particles are leaking out into space.
“ We think were losing material. More than I would like,” said chief scientist Dante Lauretta of the mission. Approximately 5 to 10 grams of grit have been leaked. “The good news is we have a lot of material.”
We are now trying to secure as much of the space grit as possible. This is done in a special capsule aboard the probe.
The mission is considered successful if it manages to bring at least 60 grams of dust from Bennu to Earth. The probe will not land on Earth until 2023.