NASA scientists have already analyzed samples from asteroid Bennuwhich was acquired by the probe OSIRIS-REx, which we recently informed you about. Now they showed off what they had found so far from a relatively large number of rock samples and dust particles.
The big surprise is that the samples from the 4.5 billion year old asteroid they contain not only carbonwhich was to be expected, but also water. Both of these elements are at the same time the basic building blocks of life on Earth and probably everywhere else. So this is very important information.
“The OSIRIS-REx sample is the largest sample from a carbon-rich asteroid ever brought to Earthand will help scientists explore the origins of life on our planet for generations to come,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
The samples were transported to Earth only from September 25 and scientists they continue to work on analyses. NASA will continue to study the material and create a kind of registry so that scientists from other organizations can use the information found. Some specimens also head to museums.
The space agency also said that “the secrets that lie in the asteroid’s rocks and dust will be studied for decades, offering insights into how our Solar System was formed, how the materials that stood at the beginning of life could reach the Earthand what precautions must be taken to avoid asteroid collisions with our home planet.”
The scientists were also pleasantly surprised the presence of additional unplanned material from asteroids, which stuck to the outer shell of the probe during its journey through space. Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, said the agency would also study the material.