In the same way that the Moon affects the tides by “warping” the Earth’s surface, the greater gravitational pull that the asteroid will experience as it passes close to Earth could affect its structure, causing earth movements and possibly bringing new materials to its surface.
The probe that will carry OSIRIS-APEX
And if possible, the OSIRS-APEX team has proposed that the probe land on the asteroid to serve as a “beacon” and thus be able to follow its route with greater precision. This will help better control potentially dangerous NEO for centuries to come.
As if that were not enough, before the end of the mission, in the fall of 2030, the probe will perform a maneuver that directs its engines towards the asteroid and will “raise dust”, removing the surfaceto try to gather observations from the innermost layers of the asteroid.
NASA has eight more extended missions
The announcement of the OSIRIS-APEX extension did not come alone. NASA has announced the expansion a total of eight missions: Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity), InSight lander, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, New Horizons and OSIRIS-APEX itself.
Most of these missions will have a duration of about three years, always depending on the state of the material that is sent, although the OSIRIS-APEX is a mission that could last until 2030. Or even more.