Wednesday, October 28, 2020

TAG PLayed and Well

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Earth Science, Solar System, Cosmology

Ed Hessler

What a game of TAG--touch and go was played by the OSIRU-REx spacecraft and the asteroid Bennu on Monday, October 19, 2020. Success in every sense of that word. Amazing the things humans can do in the scientific and engineering study of the natural world(s).

I tuned in to the NASA video channel to watch and listen to the touch down and thought about this achievement--from the beginnings of science to present, the time, patience, frustrations, engineering, science, computer programming, technology, organizational skills, teamwork, technical assistance, making adaptations when Bennu's surface was found to be much rougher than expected and location changes were required--all coming to fruition a long, long way from home base--321 million km (~1,994,601,152 miles), touching Bennu for six seconds within a meter (3.2') of where planned. 


Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) has a picture with explanations as well as a sequence of the aftermath as the spacecraft lifted off after this brief kiss.

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