OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample STEM news from NASA

Asteroid samples delivered back to earth by NASA

OSIRIS-REx seems to be the only news story in the STEM world today. After years of unwavering dedication by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) team, a capsule containing precious materials from the asteroid Bennu has returned to Earth.

OSIRIS-REx returns samples to earth with incredible precision

This awe-inspiring journey began on September 8, 2016. OSIRIS-REx arrived at the asteroid Beenu in December 2018. Beginning a 505 day survey resulting in soil samples being taken. The Beenu project finished when the sample of asteroid material commenced its descent, touching down on Sunday, September 24, 2023. Within the precise boundaries of the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City.

The logistical and technical prowess exhibited during this operation, coupled with the extraordinary precision in collecting samples from the distant asteroid Bennu and safely delivering them to our planet, stands as a testament to human achievement. Moreover, the OSIRIS-Rex mission continues its voyage, with plans to orbit the near-Earth asteroid Apophis by 2029, further expanding the horizons of scientific exploration.

Sample analysis of Bennu Sample begins

Following its touchdown, the capsule, along with its invaluable contents, underwent a meticulous process within a pristine clean room. Here, a continuous flow of nitrogen, in what is known as a “nitrogen purge,” played a critical role. Nitrogen, being a chemically inert gas, shielded the samples from potential earthly contaminants, preserving their purity for in-depth scientific analyses.

The Bennu sample, comprising an estimated 8.8 ounces or 250 grams of extra-terrestrial material, will embark on its next journey, heading to NASA‘s Johnson Space Centre in Houston. It is here that the meticulous analysis of these celestial treasures will commence. The hope is that these returned samples will provide invaluable insights into the mysteries of planet formation. Shedding light on the origin of organic compounds and water that played a crucial role in the emergence of life on Earth.

You can find all the latest NASA news over on their website. We will be following the news from the findings closely and reporting conclusions when they are available.


Senex Recruitment supports STEM careers

Projects of this calibre, delving into the realms of Space and Science, serve as the driving force behind Senex Recruitment’s commitment to bolstering the job market in STEM fields. While not every endeavour reaches such extraordinary heights, the importance of science and engineering remains constant.

If you aspire to be a part of this burgeoning STEM field, we invite you to explore our job postings. You can also register as a candidate. If you’re seeking to expand your team within your business, you can register a vacancy on our website.

Join Senex Recruitment Ltd in shaping the future of science and technology. Follow our social media channels for the latest in STEM jobs and news.

We are always ready to help and offer support and advice regarding the career in STEM. Therefore, do not hesitate to call our consultants on 01424 211872.