OSIRIS-REx return on September 24, 2023, was reported in a previous news post by Senex Recruitment as this significant event captured global attention. The safe return of the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) mission to Earth meant the mission’s capsule landed precisely at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City. Within that capsule lay precious materials collected from the asteroid Bennu.
The invaluable Bennu sample, estimated at 8.8 ounces or 250 grams of extra-terrestrial material, was carefully transported by helicopter to a pristine clean room (as per our posts image). There, a continuous flow of nitrogen, referred to as a “nitrogen purge,” was employed to preserve the sample.
Subsequently, the Bennu sample embarked on its next journey, heading to NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston. It was at this location that meticulous analysis of these celestial treasures began.
On September 25th, we promised to report any findings from the NASA team. On October 11th, the preliminary results were unveiled, and they are as exciting as we had hoped. These findings support long-held theories. Suggesting that asteroids contain the organic compounds and water crucial to the emergence of life on Earth.
Bennu Asteroid sample from OSIRIS-REx contains Carbon and Water the building blocks of life
Initial examinations of the 4.5-billion-year-old asteroid Bennu sample reveal evidence of high carbon content and water. As NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced these preliminary findings on October 11th.
“The OSIRIS-REx sample represents the largest carbon-rich asteroid sample ever brought back to Earth and will play a vital role in unravelling the origins of life on our planet for generations to come. Almost everything we do at NASA is aimed at answering questions about our origins and the broader universe. Missions like OSIRIS-REx not only enhance our understanding of potentially Earth-threatening asteroids but also provide us with glimpses of the unknown. While the sample has returned to Earth, there is still much more ground-breaking science ahead, unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
In the first two weeks, scientists conducted an initial analysis of the material (employing techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, infrared measurements, X-ray diffraction, and chemical element analysis. Additionally, X-ray computed tomography was used to create a 3D computer model of one of the particles) revealing its diverse interior. This early insight confirmed the presence of abundant carbon and water in the sample.
This research is slated to continue for many years, possibly even decades. Led by a dedicated team of over 200 scientists and in collaboration with NASA’s partners, including JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).
For the latest updates on NASA’s discoveries, you can visit their website. We will closely follow the findings and report conclusions when they become available.
Link to the original NASA news release:
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. Additionally, 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. By following our social media channels for the latest in STEM jobs and news.
Additionally, 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.