In 2016, the POT launched a probe into space heading to Bennu, an asteroid 200 km from the planet we live on. The objective was for the ship to collect a sample of the body so that it could later be analyzed on Earth. And now that the sample is close to returning home, the space agency needs the Vatican to continue investigations. Know why.
To begin with, the probe called OSIRIS-REx arrive on September 24 and fall over Utah (United States) with enough material to be analyzed. Basically, it will contain rock fragments and dust from a body.
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According to Space.com, this asteroid would be “one of the most dangerous known today“, since if it collides with our planet, it could cause a disturbance throughout the Earth, although the possibility is very low: 1 in 2,700 between the years 2175 and 2199, according to NASA. The importance of Bennu also lies in the fact that it could provide clues about how life could have originated on Earth.
About why the Vatican. It turns out that the Roman Catholic Church has had an advanced observatory since 1930. It even has an immense collection of meteorite remains (approximately 1,200 specimens), whose curator is the religious Robert J. Macke.
This faithful believer has designed a device capable of studying meteorites, so NASA has asked him to go to the Johnosn Space Center in Houston to analyze Bennu, according to Xataka.