» Home > In the News

Asteroid Bennu and Regolith

12 July 2022

William sent in the link https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nasas-osiris-rex-bennu-finding-plastic-ball-pits-184718806.html … NASAs Osiris Rex mission landed on the surface of asteroid Bennu in order to bring a sample back home. It was only there a short time and its thrusters seem to have created a crated many feet round, as it was leaving. The surface is described as like a pit of plastic balls that you see in kiddiewink play areas. It was thick with regolith, some even described as pebbles. The idea was to collect a sample from the surface but the regolith was thick enough to swallow the probe. It was quickly switched to lift off, by applying the thruster mechanism. The crater in the regolith could be seen as the probe rose away from the asteroid, in the back view mirror so to speak. Apparently, NASA was not expecting so much regolith. In fact, modelling had told them the surface was probably smooth and sandy. See also

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/surprise-again-asteroid-bennu-reveals-its-surface-is-like-a-plastic-ball-pit … where we learn that it is now thought a lot of asteroids may have a similar make-up and might split apart on an encounter with the earth’s atmosphere – rather than smacking into the surface as occurred at Chicxulub 65,000 million years ago. In other words, some asteroids appear to resemble comets, as they may not all be solid bodies.

Skip to content