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Water and carbon in a sample from the asteroid Bennu

Water and carbon in a sample from the asteroid Bennu

The sample collected by the American space probe “OSIRIS-REX” on the asteroid Bennu contains traces of water and carbon. The US space agency NASA said today that “the building blocks of life” had been detected in the sample. “This is exactly the kind of material we wanted to find,” NASA chief Bill Nelson said in a press conference.

The space probe capsule, loaded with about 250 grams of material, landed in the desert of the American state of Utah on September 24 after a seven-year journey through space. NASA opened the capsule shortly thereafter in a sealed room at the Johnson Space Center in the US state of Texas. According to NASA, “black dust and debris” were found. The space agency has now provided information about the initial evaluation of the sample.

The American space probe “OSIRIS-REX” launched towards the asteroid Bennu in September 2016, and after a journey that took four years, it landed on the celestial body for a few seconds in October 2020 to collect samples of rocks and dust.

Bennu is located about 330 million kilometers from Earth and has a diameter of 500 meters. The samples are intended to help better understand the composition of the solar system and the properties of potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids such as Bennu.

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