Neuroscience: NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex triumph: Bennu samples reach global scientists


Following the successful retrieval of samples from asteroid Bennu, NASA is now preparing to transport 250 grams of ancient rock and dust to its Texas facility for distribution to scientists around the world on Monday, IANS reports.
NASA’s osiris-rex (Origin, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Safety – Regolith Explorer) The spacecraft made a historic delivery to Earth on Sunday, bringing with it a capsule filled with rocks and dust collected from asteroid Bennu in 2020. The remarkable event occurred at 10:55 a.m. EDT (8:25 p.m. IST) Sunday, when the capsule touched down precisely in a designated area within the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson congratulated the OSIRIS-REx team on this picture-perfect mission, which marked the first U.S. asteroid sample return in history. This mission promises to deepen our understanding of the origins and formation of our Solar System. In particular, Bennu is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid, and the insights gained from this sample will increase our knowledge of similar asteroids that may pose a threat to Earth.
In the next phase, the OSIRIS-REx team will fly the Bennu sample inside a closed canister to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. houston, Texas, on Monday. At this facility, curation scientists will carefully disassemble the canister, extract and weigh the sample, establish an inventory of rocks and dust, and later distribute parts of Bennu to scientists around the world as designated by NASA.
After traveling billions of miles to reach Bennu and back, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft released its sample capsule toward Earth’s atmosphere at 6:42 a.m. EDT (4:42 a.m. MDT), while it It was located at a distance of about 102,000 kilometers from the surface. This distance is equal to about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
The capsule, traveling at 44,500 kilometers per hour and descending from an altitude of about 133 kilometers, entered Earth’s atmosphere at 10:42 a.m. EDT (8:42 a.m. MDT) off the California coast. During this descent, two parachutes successfully deployed to stabilize and gradually reduce the capsule’s speed, ensuring a gentle touchdown at 11 mph (18 kph).
Within 90 minutes of landing, the capsule was transported via helicopter to a temporary clean room set up within a hangar at the training range. Here, it is continuously supplied with nitrogen, a chemically inert gas, which will maintain the purity of the sample by preventing contamination from terrestrial substances. This nitrogen security is important for scientific analysis.
Samples collected from the surface of Bennu will serve as invaluable resources for scientists around the world, enabling unprecedented discoveries related to planet formation, the origin of organic compounds, the presence of water and their importance in the emergence of life on Earth. . Additionally, this mission will increase our knowledge of potentially hazardous asteroids, which will contribute to the safety and well-being of humanity.




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