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NASA’s robot is about to land on asteroid Bennu to unlock the secrets of life

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A meeting between OSIRIS-REx and Bennu will mark the first NASA mission to collect material from the surface of an asteroid. This mission is also a labor of love for researchers around the globe who invested years of their lives into the historic mission.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) arrived at Bennu late in 2018, and has been studying the asteroid ever since.

The asteroid containsome of the building blocks of life, making this mission vital in the search for answers to how life began on Earth, and — potentially — other worlds.

“OSIRIS-REx spectrometer data show absorptions (“fingerprints”) of complex organic molecules and carbonate minerals on Bennu’s surface… The presence of organics on Bennu suggests that asteroids like Bennu may have brought organic molecules to Earth,” researchers describe in an article published in the journal Science.

Carbon and associated molecules were detected on Bennu prior to the arrival of OSIRIS-REx, and that mission will assist researchers searching for answers to the chemical makeup of that enigmatic body.

“Bennu is likely rich in organic molecules, which are made of chains of carbon bonded with atoms of oxygen, hydrogen, and other elements in a chemical recipe that makes all known living things. Besides carbon, Bennu also might have another component important to life: water, which is trapped in the minerals that make up the asteroid,” NASA describes.

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The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft prior to launch. Image credit: NASA/Cory Huston

Launched in 2016, OSIRIS-REx searched the asteroid for potential touchdown locations from September 4 to 27. The first sample collection attempt is scheduled for October 20, and the sample is due to arrive on Earth September 23, 2023.

“We’ve been working for over a decade toward the upcoming sampling attempt. It’s such an exciting time. The spacecraft will send back data pretty quickly to let us know if the maneuver itself was successful, and it’ll be exciting to see images from the sampling event, which should be sent back within a day,” Joshua Emery, associate professor in NAU’s Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, stated.

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The orbit of Bennu in relation to the inner planets of our Solar System. Image credit: NASA/GSFC

Bennu belongs to a class of asteroids know as rubble pile asteroids — which, as the name suggests, are loose amalgamations of smaller pieces, rather than one solid body.

New findings from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft suggest Bennu is stronger and denser in it’s outer layers than inside, like a creme-filled chocolate egg. This finding came from studying minor fluctuations in the gravitational field of the asteroid.

“If you can measure the gravity field with enough precision, that places hard constraints on where the mass is located, even if you can’t see it directly,” said Andrew French, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Bennu is rotating faster over time, pushing carbon-rich material from its core closer to the surface.

This could be bad news for Bennu, as the finding suggests the asteroid may fall apart within a million years.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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