NASA confirms site to collect sample on asteroid Bennu

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NASA confirms site to collect sample on asteroid Bennu
NASA confirms site to collect sample on asteroid Bennu

New Delhi : The American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA) has revealed that they have finalized the spot on asteroid Bennu's boulder-scattered surface from where they will be targeting to collect a sample.

Revealing about it to the press, the space agency mentioned that a site designated Nightingale -- located in a crater high in Bennu's northern hemisphere -- as the best spot for the Osiris-REx spacecraft to snag its sample.

The scientists had been analyzing the asteroid Bennu for months to find a suitable place for sample collection. 

These sites, dubbed Sandpiper, Osprey, Kingfisher, and Nightingale, were chosen for investigation since they posed the fewest hazards to the spacecraft's safety while also providing the opportunity for great samples to be gathered.

"After thoroughly evaluating all four candidate sites, we made our final decision based on which site has the greatest amount of fine-grained material, and how easily the spacecraft can access that material while keeping the spacecraft safe," Dante Lauretta, Osiris-Rex principal investigator at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said.

The Nightingale emerges as the best of the four site for the upcoming event. According to the researchers the Nightingale site has been located in a northern crater about 140 metre wide.

According to the team, Nightingale's regolith -- or rocky surface material -- is dark, with a seemingly smooth crater.

The temperatures in the region are lower than elsewhere on the asteroid with well-preserved surface material as the site is located far up north, NASA noted in the statement.