NASA shows off its first asteroid samples delivered by a spacecraft

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA on Wednesday showed off its to start with asteroid samples delivered previous thirty day period by a spacecraft — the most ever returned to Earth.

Researchers and place company leaders took component in the expose at Johnson House Heart in Houston.

The ancient black dust and chunks are from the carbon-loaded asteroid named Bennu, just about 60 million miles absent. NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft collected the samples a few several years back and then dropped them off sealed in a capsule for the duration of a flyby of Earth very last thirty day period.

Experts predicted at the very least a cupful of rocks, significantly far more than what Japan introduced back from a pair of missions decades ago. They’re nevertheless not guaranteed about the precise quantity. That’s mainly because the primary sample chamber has still to be opened, officials said.

“It’s been likely gradual and meticulous,” stated the mission’s guide scientist, Dante Lauretta of the College of Arizona.

Black dust and particles were being scattered about the outside edge of the chamber, according to Lauretta.

“Already this is scientific treasure,” he explained.

Other than carbon, the asteroid rubble retains water in the type of h2o-bearing clay minerals, mentioned NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.


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