Next week, NASA will allow the public to peek under the hood of an asteroid sample brought to Earth by the OSIRIS-REx probe. A live stream of the event, where details will be revealed, is scheduled for Wednesday October 11 morning CET. Capsules with rocks and dust taken from the surface Earth the nearby asteroid Bennu it was transported to the Utah desert on September 24, 2023, and since then scientists have been working on the first analyses.

The OSIRIS-REx probe took a sample from Bennu back in 2020 and spent the next year and a half observing the asteroid from above before heading back to Earth in May 2021. After reaching Earth’s surface last month, the vessel was flown to Houston, Texas, where it was opened at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The OSIRIS-REx probe it is still in spaceis now headed for an asteroid called Apophis under the new name of the OSIRIS-APEX mission.

The age of asteroid Bennu is estimated at more than 4.5 billion yearswhich means that the material from its surface could contain clues to the formation of the Solar System and how the building blocks of life got to Earth. To the scientists’ delight, the mission managed to capture more material than anyone expected. “The best part is that there is so much material that it’s taking longer to analyze than we expected,” said Christopher Sneadr, deputy chief curator of the OSIRIS-REx probe at NASA. With the live stream approaching, we’ll soon learn more about what’s been found in this material so far.