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NASA breaks record for smallest space object ever orbited

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft broke a record after successfully entering into orbit around the asteroid Bennu — the smallest cosmic object ever to be orbited by a spacecraft.

While many on Earth prepared to welcome the New Year, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, 110 million kilometers away, carried out a single, eight-second burn of its thrusters, NASA said in a statement.

The manoeuvre placed the spacecraft into orbit around the asteroid Bennu.

“The team continued our long string of successes by executing the orbit-insertion maneuver perfectly,” said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona in the US.

“With the navigation campaign coming to an end, we are looking forward to the scientific mapping and sample site selection phase of the mission,” said Lauretta.

“Entering orbit around Bennu is an amazing accomplishment that our team has been planning for years,” he said.


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