NASA recently reported that the capsule from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which collected rock and dust samples from the asteroid Bennu, has returned to Earth. The capsule arrived in the state of Utah, United States at 21:53 local time yesterday according to Thailand time.
After being carefully handled with a helicopter, the capsule is then subjected to a nitrogen process to prevent any chemical reactions. Following this, the samples will be collected for further scientific analysis.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was launched in 2016 and landed on the asteroid Bennu in 2018. Sample collection took place in 2019 and 2020, with the spacecraft returning to Earth in 2021.
Although the quantity of rocks and dust collected by the capsule may not seem significant at 250 grams, NASA scientists believe it is sufficient for analysis. This will help answer hypothetical questions that explain the process of life formation on Earth, which could potentially be influenced by carbon and water from these asteroids in the past.
NASA has scheduled a press conference for October 11th to disclose their initial findings, with the entire study expected to be completed within two years.
TLDR: The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully returned to Earth with a capsule containing samples from the asteroid Bennu. NASA scientists will analyze the 250-gram sample to gain insights into the formation of life on Earth. The findings will be announced on October 11th.