Connect with us

World

NASA’s first asteroid sample on track for parachute landing in Utah


A NASA space capsule carrying a sample of rocky material plucked from the surface of an asteroid three years ago hurtled toward Earth this weekend headed for a fiery plunge through the atmosphere and a parachute landing in the Utah desert on Sunday.

Weather forecasts were favorable and the robotic spacecraft OSIRIS-REx was on course to release the sample-return capsule for final descent as planned, with no further adjustments to its flight path needed, NASA officials said at a news briefing on Friday.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Mission managers are expecting a “spot-on” touchdown on the U.S. military’s vast Utah Test and Training range, west of Salt Lake City, said Sandra Freund, program manager at Lockheed Martin, which designed and built the spacecraft.

The round, gumdrop-shaped capsule is scheduled to land by parachute at 10:55 a.m. EDT (1455 GMT), about 13 minutes after streaking into the top of the atmosphere at roughly 35 times the speed of sound, capping a seven-year voyage.

If successful, the OSIRIS-REx mission, a joint effort between NASA and scientists at the University of Arizona, would mark the third asteroid sample, and by far the largest, ever returned to Earth for analysis, following two similar missions by Japan’s space agency over the past 13 years.

OSIRIS-REx collected its specimen from Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid discovered in 1999 and classified as a “near-Earth object” because it passes relatively close to our planet every six years. Scientists put the odds of it striking Earth at 1-in-2,700 in the late 22nd century.

Bennu is small as asteroids go, measuring just 1,600 feet (500 meters) in diameter – slightly wider than the Empire State Building is tall but tiny compared with the cataclysmic Chicxulub asteroid that struck Earth some 66 million years ago, wiping out the dinosaurs.

Like other asteroids, Bennu is a primordial relic of the early solar system whose present-day chemistry and mineralogy are virtually unchanged since it formed some 4.5 billion years ago. It thus holds valuable clues to the origins and development of rocky planets such as Earth, and may even contain organic molecules similar to those necessary for life to evolve.

“We’re literally looking at geologic materials that formed before Earth even existed,” Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for the mission at the University of Arizona, Tucson, told reporters last month.

OSIRIS-REx launched in September 2016 and reached Bennu in 2018, then spent nearly two years orbiting the asteroid before venturing close enough to sink its robot arm into the loose surface on Oct. 20, 2020, in a grab-and-go maneuver.

The spacecraft embarked on a 1.2-billion-mile cruise back to Earth in May 2021.

The Bennu sample is estimated at 250 grams (8.8 ounces), far surpassing the amount of material carried back from asteroid Ryugu in 2020 and asteroid Itokawa in 2010.

On arrival, the new sample will be flown by helicopter to a “clean room” set up at the Utah test range for initial examination, then transported to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, to be parceled into smaller specimens promised to some 200 scientists in 60 laboratories around the world.

The main portion of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, meanwhile, is expected to sail on to explore yet another near-Earth asteroid.

Read more:

Asteroid’s close passage shows blind spot in planetary threat detection

Asteroid could strike earth on Valentine's Day 2046: NASA

Truck-sized asteroid misses earth

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Almarai signs an MoU with the Authority of People with Disabilities to train and employ them.

Almarai Company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Authority of People with
Disabilities to train, qualify and employ persons with disabilities. This came on the sidelines of
the First International Labor Market Conference, organized by the Ministry of Human Resources
and Social Development on December 13 – 14, 2023, at the King Abdulaziz Convention Center
in Riyadh.

The memorandum was signed by the Chief Human Resources Officer of Almarai Company,
Fahad Mohammed Aldrees, and the CEO of the Authority of People with Disabilities, Dr.
Hisham bin Muhammad Al-Haidari.

“This agreement comes within the framework of the company’s social responsibility program, as
Almarai employs more than 500 people with disabilities, which is one of the most suitable work
environments for them.” Fahad Aldrees said. Pointing out that Almarai has the “Silent Line”,
which is one of its production lines that is designated for people with hearing disabilities.

It is worth mentioning that Almarai supports over 300 charity organizations annually across the
kingdom that operate in the field of community development.

Continue Reading

World

Central Phuket Shopping Center Prepared Surprises This Christmas & New Year 2024

Central Phuket Shopping Center, the luxury lifestyle landmark o Phuket, invites everyone to celebrate Christmas and New Year 2024 in The Great Celebration 2024 Campaign. Joining hands with global partner ‘The Pokémon Company’, Central Phuket bring over Pokémon, the super cute character popular around the world, for all locals and international fans. The special campaign launch presents a procession of cute ‘Pikachu’ alongside with the giant Christmas tree for the first time in Thailand.
This December, Central Phuket prepared many activities for shoppers when visiting Phuket! Experience the “Surprise of the Day” with free Cotton Candy for our little ones, a sweet and fluffy treat, a special gift from Central Phuket. Bring your kids to enjoy this sweet treat every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of December. Don’t miss the Christmas Carol that
everyone loves, little Santas spread freshness by singing together in the Christmas Carol activity. Plus, Christmas Live Music, the festival of joy is back! Celebrate Christmas in a luxurious and classy atmosphere, enjoying the music that will bring us joy. Also, there will be Christmas Troop, Santa Claus is coming to town! The Santa troop will spread happiness throughout Central Phuket. Lastly, Cake Workshop, workshop activity with Chef Sebastien’s IRON CHEF Thailand teaching how to make Christmas Vanilla Cake. A special activity for the Christmas season. Moreover, Central Phuket provides special promotion exclusively for international tourists throughout December 23 – January 24 including:

1) Get Free! Tourist welcome discount package valued up to THB 10,000.
2) Receive THB 100 Gift voucher when spending up to THB 2,500 per receipt.
3) Get to buy ‘Happy Holiday Collections’ special price: Pokémon 2-in-1 pillow blanket, tumbler, travel bag set, and keychain. Visit redemption counter for the price.
4) Exclusive for Grab Users get discount code up to 25% off* when traveling to participating Central Shopping Centers.
5) Receive famous Elephant Pants when spending over THB 5,000 in shopping center.
6) Get Free! H&M THB 100 gift voucher when booking any accommodations in Phuket with Agoda. Terms and conditions apply.

Central Phuket is a home of global luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent. Exclusive for this season, Louis Vuitton launches a pop-up store located at Central Phuket. The design is inspired by the story of Damier or Checkerboard, the brand’s signature pattern. This classic pattern was created by Louis
Vuitton and his son Georges Vuitton in 1888 and has always been part of the design of Maison’s iconic items and concepts. Find clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories for men at the Pop-up Store from Louis Vuitton at Central Phuket, 1st floor, from today until 31 March 2024. And with over 500 renowned fashion brands and lifestyle shops ranging from local to international
well-known brands covering all categories, international shoppers will be able to find what they are looking for in Central Phuket.
Central Phuket is located in the heart of one of the world’s most famous beach cities, Phuket and await to welcome both locals and international visitors this holiday. Also, don’t miss one of the most joyful New Year Count Down events in Phuket city at Central Phuket Shopping Center on December 31, 2023.

Continue Reading

World

Saudi Fund for Development Provides $100 Million Development Loan for the Rogun Hydropower Project

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Chief Executive Officer, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, signed a new development loan agreement with the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Kahhorzoda Fayziddin Sattor, through which SFD is contributing $100 million USD to fund the Rogun Hydropower Project, a landmark initiative that will enhance energy,
food, and water security, and foster sustainable development in the country. The signing was attended by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Waleed Al-Reshiadan, and the Ambassador of Tajikistan to Saudi Arabia, H.E. Akram Karimi, alongside other officials from both sides. SFD’s development loan will help contribute towards a more sustainable and equitable food and water future for Tajikistan, while driving the country’s energy transition and climate resilience. The project aims to contribute to the national energy security and will help advance sustainable
development in the Republic of Tajikistan, by providing the renewable electricity supply to meet local demand and expand electricity production domestically and regionally, producing 3600 MW of energy. The loan agreement will also finance the construction of a 335-meter-tall dam, which will enhance irrigation capabilities and bolster agricultural activities across the country. Additionally, the project will improve flood protection through the construction of four hydraulic
tunnels for diversion and drainage. It will also provide clean and drinkable water to people through desalination, and help advance socio-economic development, by creating both direct and indirect jobs.
Importantly, this project also supports the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); specifically, SDG 2, Zero Hunger, SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy.
On this occasion, the CEO of SFD, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, said: “Today’s signing marks a major milestone in our shared journey towards a more sustainable future. With this landmark development loan, SFD is not just supporting Tajikistan’s energy future, but also its sustainable development and the well-being of its people. The Rogun Hydropower Project is a beacon of
hope for a bright future that is powered by clean, renewable energy. It will propel Tajikistan towards environmental stewardship and prosperity.”

Continue Reading

Trending