Earth again haunted by the threat of an asteroid impact. Bennu- the name of the closest asteroid 560 meters wide - is expected to hit Earth in 2182. Such estimates United States Space Agency (NASA), as quoted by Space, Friday, May 3, 2013.
"Bennu is a potentially hazardous asteroid. Thousandth chances to hit Earth in 2182," said Jason Dworkin, an Osiris-Rex project scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Facility at NASA's Greenbelt.
Therefore, says Dworkin, detailed research on the space rock will be very useful for mankind in the future. Man would know what to do if the Bennu, and other space rocks, getting closer and possibly hit the Earth.
Bennuis the main target of the mission of Osiris-Rex (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer). The mission of U.S. $ 800 million is scheduled to take off in September 2016 and met with Bennu two years later. The mission will bring back pieces of the space rock to Earth in 2023.
Scientists are eager to study the space rock samples for several reasons. Consists of primitive asteroids leftover material from the formation of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago. Asteroid allegedly helped the development of primitive life on Earth by providing water and complex carbon-rich molecules.
"Bennu samples brought back by the Osiris-Rex will allow scientists to peek at the origins of the solar system and the origin of life," said Dworkin.
Bennu name given by Michael Puzio, 9 years old, a third grade elementary school students in North Carolina, United States. Puzio beat more than 8,000 contestants from 25 countries in a naming contest for coded asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 is.
Bennu (pronounced ben-oo) is the name of the ancient Egyptian god usually depicted as a gray heron. Puzio suggested that name because she imagined the form of arms and spacecraft solar panels Osiris-Rex (TAGSAM) for approaching asteroid looks like the neck and wings Bennu.