Scientists are getting closer to carefully examining samples of rocks and dust from the asteroid Bennu. They were delivered to Earth as part of the OSIRIS-REx mission three and a half months ago. This is stated in the NASA blog.

The spacecraft with samples from the asteroid landed in the desert of Utah (USA) at the end of September. Then the experts began to study the material outside the main container. It turned out that it contained 5% carbon and a large amount of water in the form of hydrated clay minerals.

Later, they planned to open the main container to begin cataloging all the material. The next step after that is to distribute the material to scientists from 35 countries that are members of the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Due to certain difficulties, the container could not be opened for several months, and it has only now been opened. To do this, we had to use new tools that have been tested. Now the experts are completing the dismantling work.

“Our engineers and scientists have worked tirelessly behind the scenes for months to not only process the more than 70 grams of material we were able to access previously, but also design, develop, and test new tools that allowed us to move past this hurdle,” said Eileen Stansbery, division chief for ARES (Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science) at Johnson.

The study of the material can tell us about the origin of the Earth and, perhaps, even about people themselves.