NASA Breakthrough of the Week: Voyager 2 Probe, Signs of Water on Bennu Asteroid and More

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NASA has a lot to share with us this week: Voyager 2 breakthrough, water on Bennu asteroid and first sounds of Mars. 

Stay tuned on Nexter.org.

NASA’s Voyager 2 probe has reached interstellar space

Voyager 2 probe is located at a distance of about 18 billion kilometers from Earth. Scientists can still contact him.

American automatic space probe Voyager-2 left the solar system and entered the interstellar space. This is reported by NASA on Monday, December 10th.

Launched in 1977, Voyager-2 was the second man-made object in history that flew through almost the entire Solar System after its twin, the Voyager-1 probe.

Now Voyager 2 is located at a distance of about 18 billion kilometers from Earth. Scientists can still contact him, but for information that moves in the direction of our planet at the speed of light, you need to wait more than 16 hours.

NASA concluded that Voyager 2 was no longer in our solar system when the PLS onboard device stopped recording plasma flow from the sun. This flow creates a kind of bubble, known as the heliosphere, which defines the boundary of the star system.

NASA spacecraft finds signs of water on Bennu asteroid

Just a week after arriving to Bennu asteroid, the OSIRIS-REx probe detected a combination of oxygen and hydrogen atoms on its surface.

OSIRIS-REx used three instruments to study the cosmic body: infrared and thermionic emission spectrometers and an aerial camera. Thanks to them, the asteroid was able to detect molecules with atoms of oxygen and hydrogen.

It is assumed that such substances are spread over the entire Bennu surface — this may also mean that at some stage there was indeed liquid water on the rocks of the asteroid.

It is noted that Bennu is too small to have liquid water. At the same time, the probability of the presence of water on a larger asteroid, from which Bennu once broke away, is not excluded.

“The presence of hydrated minerals across the asteroid confirms that Bennu, a remnant from early in the formation of the solar system, is an excellent specimen for the OSIRIS-REx mission to study the composition of primitive volatiles and organics,” said Amy Simon.

“When samples of this material are returned by the mission to Earth in 2023, scientists will receive a treasure trove of new information about the history and evolution of our solar system.”

NASA’s InSight senses martian wind

Bruce Banerdt is InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) stated, “Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat. But one of the things our mission is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves.”


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NASA Breakthrough of the Week: Voyager 2 Probe, Signs of Water on Bennu Asteroid and More
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NASA Breakthrough of the Week: Voyager 2 Probe, Signs of Water on Bennu Asteroid and More
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NASA has a lot to share with us this week: Voyager 2 breakthrough, water on Bennu asteroid and first sounds of Mars.  Stay tuned on Nexter.org.
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