Asteroid Bennu Nearly Swallowed
Up Nasa's Sampling Spacecraft
Spacecraft had a near-death experience at Bennu, according to the mission team.
The Agency's OSIRIS-REX
Spacecraft nearly sank into the surface of the rubbly asteroid while picking up rocks for shipment to Earth in 2023
The Spacecraft Only
Escaped getting stuck or sinking into oblivion within Bennu by firing its thrusters at the right moment.
Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta
"We expected the surface to be pretty rigid," Dante is a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona.
He Further Said
"We saw a giant wall of debris flying away from the sample site. For spacecraft operators, it was really frightening."
The Spacecraft Is on Its Way Back
Delivering its precious cargo, scientists are digging into the science implications of the dramatic moment.