Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Asteroid Mission to Launch next week

A US built asteroid inspection vehicle named OSIRIS-REX is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral atop a Unitied Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.  OSIRIS-REX will attempt a sample return to Earth.  It has a robot arm to scoop up surface material into a return vehicle.  It also carries every other imaginable scientific instrument, a laser altimeter, and IR thermometer, and IR spectrometer, three cameras, and Xray imaging and spectrometer gear.   It's a long duration mission, lasting until 2023. 
   The samples returned will be analyzed for spores and any kind of biological precursor chemicals.  There is an old old theory (Arrhenius) that life on earth originated from spores coming from outer space.  Scientists will be looking, intensely, for such spores in the returned samples.   

No comments: