NASA scientists have finally opened the sample container containing material from the asteroid Bennu, which arrived on Earth in October. After five months of protection in the laboratory, the astromaterial was placed in a sterile sleeve. The unexpected challenge was two connectors that were resistant even to human intervention. It was only with specially designed tools that scientists were able to disarm the sample container.
Currently, the main tank with the sample is fully visible to researchers. Their next tasks are disassembling the metal collar of the canister and equipping the glove box with sample trays. Only then will the first examinations of the material from asteroid Bennu be possible. So far, 70.3 grams of asteroid material have been extracted from the capsule’s surface.
In the coming weeks, scientists will conduct photographic documentation and weigh the collected samples. The goal is to complete the cataloging of the Bennu asteroid samples by spring. The samples will be stored at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where they will be available for scientific research worldwide.
This is a great achievement for NASA, allowing for a deeper understanding of the secrets of asteroid Bennu. Further analysis of the material will contribute to a better understanding of the history of our Solar System and the formation and evolution of planets.