Signals from the spacecraft, located 330 million km from Earth, confirmed that the vehicle was able to land on the 500-meter-wide celestial body for a few seconds as planned.
However, it is not yet known whether the vehicle could collect samples from the asteroid surface in this short time.
The aim was to collect at least 60 g of samples from the surface.
Bennu is a very primitive celestial body. For this reason, scientists say that the sand and dust particles on the surface of the asteroid can give very interesting clues about the chemistry of the formation of the Sun and the planets 4 and a half billion years ago.
“This was the turning point of the mission. Now, in a few days, we’ll be able to find out how much we’ve been able to collect from the samples we’ve been waiting for years,” said Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA.
It will take 2023 for the assumed samples collected by the vehicle to reach the world.
If the sample was not collected on this first landing, scientists will try to land Osiris-Rex onto the asteroid once again.
Osirix-Rex, produced by the American company Lockheed Martin, was launched into space on September 8, 2016 and reached near Bennu on December 3, 2018.
Since then, scientists have sweated to find a suitable place for the vehicle to land on Bennu.
In the end, it was decided that the vehicle would land in the area of about 8 meters wide north of the celestial body called Nightingale.
The landing of the vehicle in the area took 4 and a half hours. Osiris-Rex sensors passed the information to the control center that all stages of the mission were successfully completed.
But it will take a few days for the control center to understand what is gathering from Bennu’s surface in those few seconds.
“Asteroids like Bennu formed in the very, very early stages of the Solar System. These objects are, in simple terms, the building blocks of planets, that is, time capsules that can explain us the formation of the Sun and planets,” said Sara Russell of the Natural History Museum in London. it can help, “he said.
The mission was broadcast live on NASA’s YouTube channel.
NASA promised to share photos showing the landing today.