NASA boasted that it had already worked out 70.3 grams of rocks and dustwhich she collected using the OSIRIS-REx probe from the asteroid Bennu. What is particularly interesting is that scientists from NASA still did not open the primary container with samples, which came back to our planet in September. Thus, 70.3 grams of samples come mainly from from the surface of the containerwhich stuck to it by accident, but also a part from the inside, from where the scientists took samples with the help of tweezers through a crack created by spreading the lid of the container.
Why hasn’t the container been opened yet? Apparently scientists have difficulty opening the TAGSAM mechanism (Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) and using the tools currently available to them, they failed to remove two of his 35 caps.
Scientists process the samples in a specialized box with gloves and a stream of nitrogen to protect them from our atmosphere and potential contaminants. They also can’t just use any tool to break the container’s fasteners. The tool must go inside the box a must not compromise the integrity of the samples. NASA’s primary sample container for now sealedwhile developing a procedure to open it in the next few weeks.
According to an initial analysis of the material, which NASA released earlier this month, the material shows signs high carbon and water content. Further studies could help us understand how life on Earth originated. The agency plans to continue the analysis even while the container remains sealed for the time being.