Sep 12, 2017MT. GRAHAM TELESCOPE CAPTURES ASTEROID SPACECRAFT LAUNCHED LAST YEAR
A U-of-A led telescope on top of Mt. Graham has captured the first glimpse of an asteroid-bound spacecraft since its launch in September of 2016.
The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory on Mt. Graham, an international collaboration led by the University of Arizona, saw the OSIRIS-REx on the night of September 1st. The spacecraft is making its way back toward Earth until a gravity assist September 22nd, will change its trajectory and set it on a straight shot to its target, the asteroid Bennu.
Apparently, this spacecraft lands on previously chosen asteroids and takes samples of what the asteroid is made of.
The sighting of OSIRIS-REx comes after the Frye Fire on Mt. Graham came within 50-feet of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and threatened the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory.
Once at Bennu, the spacecraft is to retrieve a sample of the asteroid and return to Earth by 2023.