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The Student News Site of Hunter High School

The Blueprint

The Student News Site of Hunter High School

The Blueprint

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College and Career Readiness Plan
Samantha Sorensen, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024

Welcome back OSIRIS-REx

Artistic+depiction+of+OSIRIS-REx+gathering+samples+from+asteroid+Bennu
NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
Artistic depiction of OSIRIS-REx gathering samples from asteroid Bennu

On September 2016, NASA launched a mission to recover samples from asteroid 101955 Bennu. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, returned to Earth and dropped off its sample after an almost 7-year expedition. Bennu, a near-Earth asteroid, was picked specifically for this expedition due to its carbon-full composition, which is one of the essential building blocks for life. By gathering these samples, scientists may be able to answer some of the most pressing questions about our species, like how we were able to flourish on Earth. Another purpose of OSIRIS-REx is to map out its orbit relative to Earth. This is because Bennu has a relatively high probability of terrestrial collision, 1 in 1,000.

Although OSIRIS-Rex’s mission to Bennu and back has come to completion, the spacecraft behind it isn’t quite finished yet. Its next task is to do a study of the asteroid Apophis, under the acronym OSIRIS-APEX (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Apophis Explorer). OSIRIS-APEX is expected to make contact with Apophis in April 2029. This asteroid only comes close enough to Earth every 7,500 years, so there won’t be another chance for quite some time.

 

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About the Contributor
Connor Kunde, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Connor Kunde. I am a junior at Hunter High School, hoping to have all my required credits by the end of this year so I can take all college classes my senior year. I decided to take Journalism 2 due to the fact that you need 4 English credits in order to graduate. I enjoy playing video games, volleyball, swimming, organizing, and reading. I am hoping to go on to be a psychologist after high school.

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