NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission has made a groundbreaking discovery during its sample collection from the asteroid Bennu, surpassing all expectations. The initial curation process, however, is proving to be slower than anticipated due to the sheer abundance of material found inside the science canister.
Scientists predicted that the canister would contain some asteroid material outside the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) head. Nevertheless, they were astonished to find a substantial amount of dark particles coating the lid and base, exceeding even their highest expectations.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the collected samples, various analysis methods are being employed. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) will be used to conduct a chemical and morphological analysis, providing crucial insights into the nature of the material. Additionally, infrared measurements will determine the presence of hydrated minerals and organic-rich particles, supplying further valuable information. Furthermore, X-ray diffraction techniques will be utilized to identify the minerals present in the sample.
This quick-look analysis serves as an initial understanding and will steer future examinations of the larger bulk sample. In the following weeks, the curation team will proceed to disassemble the TAGSAM head, revealing the full bulk sample for further investigation.
This unexpected discovery and the extensive analysis that follows bring scientists closer to uncovering significant truths about asteroids and the universe. It further emphasizes the significance of the OSIRIS-REx mission and the immense value it holds for our understanding of space and its many wonders.
Stay tuned as Mix247EDM brings you the latest updates on NASA’s remarkable OSIRIS-REx mission and the exciting revelations that lie within the samples collected from asteroid Bennu.
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