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12 August 2016

Again, another strange article from Scientific American – an attempt to bamboozle the conspiracy theorists and end of world doom mongers (that is sure to be ignored by people using social media). Go to www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-earth-safe-from-asteroid-bennu/ … where all we can say is that it has an interesting name. Bennu was cosmic body that periodically threated ancient Egypt (or in mainstream speak, the phoenix rising from the ashes). NASAs OSIRIS REx spacecraft (another intriguing name, are these naming people practical jokesters) will launch next month with a rendevous planned with a 500m wide asteroid going by the name of Bennu. The idea is take samples following a 2 year journey and it will spend another 2 years observing the asteroid (grabbing samples from the surface in due course). The idea is to discover if comets and asteroids delivered organic material and water to the Earth (in the form of hydrated mineral like clays). Another objective might be to see is asteroids can be mined. Bennu is also officially classified as a potentially earth threatening object – coming close to Earth in 2135 (more than a hundred years into the future). No doubt people will be getting excited by the mission – imagining all kinds of scary outcomes, such as an attempt to deflect the asteroid.

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