Asteroids Bennu, Ryugu born out of space collision, claim scientists

Bennu is the target asteroid for the NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission while Ryugu is the target asteroid of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2.

Asteroids Bennu, Ryugu born out of space collision, claim scientists

New Delhi: Asteroids Bennu and Ryugu might have been born out of space collision, new studies have suggested.

Scientists at University of Arizona in their report have claimed that both the asteroids –Bennu and Ryugu – that orbit between Earth and Mars were formed after a much larger rock was split apart, indicating that the two asteroids might have originated from the same body.

Bennu is the target asteroid for the NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission while Ryugu is the target asteroid of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2.

Since December 2018, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has mapped the entire Bennu asteroid in order to identify the safest and most accessible spots for the spacecraft to collect a sample. NASA has chosen four potential sites for its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to fetch a sample of the asteroid Bennu. The goal is to collect a sample of Bennu in mid-2020, and return it to Earth in late 2023.

Ryugu asteroid, which is around 900 metres in diameter is located 244 million km from Earth. Hayabusa2 has travelled around 4 billion km around the Sun in an elliptical orbit since its launch in December 2014. The probe made its first landing in February last year to collect samples from Ryugu's surface.

With IANS Inputs