Hey, Space Placers
About 20 minutes after the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft released its sample return capsule, the spacecraft fired its engines to set off on a new mission to explore asteroid Apophis under a new name: OSIRIS-APEX (OSIRIS–Apophis Explorer). OSIRIS-APEX will reach Apophis in 6 years, in 2029, just after the asteroid makes its closest approach to Earth.
Per NASA, "OSIRIS-APEX will explore Apophis, an asteroid roughly 1,200 feet (roughly 370 meters) in diameter that will come within 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) of Earth in 2029. OSIRIS-APEX will enter orbit around Apophis soon after the asteroid’s Earth flyby, providing an unprecedented close-up look at this S-type asteroid. It plans to study changes in the asteroid caused by its close flyby of Earth and use the spacecraft’s gas thrusters to attempt to dislodge and study the dust and small rocks on and below Apophis’ surface."
And NASA is also set to launch next month another mission called Psyche to an iron asteroid. It will take almost 6 years to get there but this will be a mission worth waiting for!
Sky Guy in VA