NASA’s asteroid-sampling spacecraft had a near-death experience at Bennu, according to the mission team.

In October 2020, the agency’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft nearly sank into the surface of the rubbly asteroid while picking up rocks for shipment to Earth in 2023, team members revealed Thursday (July 7). The spacecraft only escaped getting stuck or sinking into oblivion within Bennu by firing its thrusters at the right moment.

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