NASA Spacecraft Will Visit Asteroid With New Name | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Oshkosh Day Three

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Oshkosh Day Three

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Tweet Us The Coolest Things You See @OSH16!
#OSH16Coolest!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

 

Mon, May 06, 2013

NASA Spacecraft Will Visit Asteroid With New Name

North Carolina Third-Grader Submitted The Name 'Bennu'

An asteroid that will be explored by a NASA spacecraft has a new name, thanks to a third-grade student in North Carolina. NASA's Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will visit the asteroid now called Bennu, named after an important ancient Egyptian avian deity. OSIRIS-Rex is scheduled to launch in 2016, rendezvous with Bennu in 2018 and return a sample of the asteroid to Earth in 2023.

The name for the carbon-rich asteroid, designated in the scientific community as (101955) 1999 RQ36, is the winning entry in an international student contest. Nine-year-old Michael Puzio suggested the name because he imagined the Touch-and-Go Sample Mechanism (TAGSAM) arm and solar panels on OSIRIS-REx look like the neck and wings in drawings of Bennu, which Egyptians usually depicted as a gray heron. Puzio wrote the name suits the asteroid because it means "the ascending one," or "to shine."

TAGSAM will collect a sample from Bennu and store it for return to Earth. The sample could hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of water and organic molecules that may have contributed to the development of life on Earth. The mission will be a vital part of NASA's plans to find, study, capture and relocate an asteroid for exploration by astronauts. NASA recently announced an asteroid initiative proposing a strategy to leverage human and robotic activities for the first human mission to an asteroid while also accelerating efforts to improve detection and characterization of asteroids.

"There were many excellent entries that would be fitting names and provide us an opportunity to educate the world about the exciting nature of our mission," said Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona in Tucson, a contest judge and the principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx mission. "The information about the composition of Bennu and the nature of its orbit will enable us to explore our past and better understand our future."

More than 8,000 students, all younger than 18, from more than 25 countries worldwide entered the "Name that Asteroid!" contest last year. Each contestant submitted one name with a maximum of 16 characters and a short explanation for the name.

The contest was a partnership with The Planetary Society in Pasadena, CA; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA; and the University of Arizona. The partners assembled a panel to review the submissions and submit a top choice to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Committee for Small Body Nomenclature. The IAU is the governing body that officially names a celestial object. "Bennu struck a chord with many of us right away," said Bruce Betts, director of projects for the Planetary Society and a contest judge. "While there were many great entries, the similarity between the image of the heron and the TAGSAM arm of OSIRIS-REx was a clever choice. The parallel with asteroids as both bringers of life and as destructive forces in the solar system also created a great opportunity to teach."

The Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research Program survey team discovered the asteroid in 1999, early in NASA's Near-Earth Objects Observation Program, which detects and catalogs near-Earth asteroids and comets.

FMI: http://osiris-rex.lpl.arizona.edu/

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 07.25.16: Pelton Opens OSH16!, Textron Denali, Eclipse CANADA

Also: PS Engineering Update, Martin Mars Wows Oshkosh, Garmin Plays 'Me, Too' With STCs, Comprehensive Jack Pelton Intvw, Part 1 EAA's Jack Pelton opened up Oshkosh 2016 with some >[...]

ANN FAQ: Q&A 101

A Few Questions AND Answers To Help You Get MORE Out of ANN!>[...]

Airborne 07.22.16: ONE Aviation New Jet, Drone Pilot Nabbed, Stemme Twin Voyager

Also: AEA Giveaway, 44 Trips To OSH, Airbus Drones, Future Pilots, NTSB Training, Air BP, Boeing Forecast, ALPA Milestone ONE Aviation has provided ANN with the initial outline for>[...]

Only Sporty's!!! Sporty's Pilot Shop Helps ANN Cover Oshkosh 2016!

Sporty's Pilot Shop Is A Pivotal GA Resource! Sporty’s Pilot Shop was founded over 50 years ago by a flight instructor, and ever since has been for pilots and by pilots. Hal >[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present OSH2016 Special Event Coverage!

OSH2016 Sponsor: Always-Innovative Aspen Avionics Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced display and sensor technology from the >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC