Monday, December 19, 2011

NASA Planning to Harpoon Asteroids and Comets

The plan is to shoot a spike in to the asteroid or comet that is designed to collect samples and retune them to Earth. The first probe to use this method is OSIRIS-REx, a probe scheduled to be launch in 2016 to collect samples from an asteroid in 2023.

In preparation for this flight scientists at JPL are using a crossbow to test the penetration of test harpoon to determine how much power to put in the cannon that will shoot it at the asteroid. This is a mission to keep an eye on there is no telling what surprises it will discover.

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