NASAs space probe that landed last week on the asteroid Bennu picked up over 900 grams of grit. A few days after landing, it turned out that he lost part of the cargo, but now the rest of the cargo is secured in a capsule.
On October 20, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft collected so much material that stones remained in the edge of the container. As a result, the valve remained open, and precious grit was lost.
The exact amount of grit Osiris-Rex has with him is not yet known. That will only become clear when the space probe, now 322 million kilometres away, lands in the Utah desert in 2023. “We still have a lot of work to do to secure the samples,” says one of the chief scientists to press agency AP.
The spacecraft will depart from the asteroid at the earliest in March. Then the asteroid and the earth are well aligned.
Bennu is probably full of carbon, and it is believed that the asteroid contains building blocks of the solar system. According to scientists, the accumulated grit becomes more clear about how our solar system, and with it the Earth, formed billions of years ago.