Exploring NASAs Success With Asteroid Bennu

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has achieved a major milestone by successfully delivering a record-breaking 4.29 ounces (121.6 grams) of asteroid Bennu material to Earth, exceeding its mission goal of at least 60 grams. This sample, collected in September 2023, is the largest asteroid sample ever collected in space, surpassing the mission’s requirement by more than twice.

The mission faced initial challenges with disassembling the TAGSAM head, but the ARES curation engineers persevered and successfully revealed the remaining Bennu sample in January. NASA plans to preserve at least 70% of the sample at Johnson Space Center in Houston for further research by scientists worldwide, fostering international collaboration in the study of the solar system’s origins.

Over 200 scientists from around the world, including researchers from US institutions, NASA partners JAXA and CSA, will conduct research on the Bennu material. A catalog of the OSIRIS-REx samples will be released later this spring, allowing the global scientific community to request access to study the asteroid material and further contribute to our understanding of the solar system.

The success of the OSIRIS-REx mission marks a significant achievement in space exploration and paves the way for future missions to gather valuable data about celestial bodies.NASA’s commitment to sharing this important research with the global scientific community highlights the importance of collaboration in expanding our knowledge of the universe.

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About the Author: Sarah Gracie

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