What comes next for Bennu sample, Osiris-REx team

What comes next for Bennu sample, Osiris-REx team
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 7:37 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The sample from asteroid Bennu is now in the hands of scientists and being transported to a clean room at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

So what happens next?

Part of it will eventually end up at the University of Arizona for researchers to review.

It’s been a milestone moment for a space mission led by leaders at the U of A. Getting the asteroid sample from the Osiris-Rex Mission to earth took more than seven years and four billion miles.

Scientists at UA will now spend some time deciding what they want to bring back to Tucson to study. They get 25% of the sample to study for the next two years and nearly 200 scientists will get a look at it.

”Sample return is a feeling I can’t even describe, it’s all of those exciting moments building up to this one,” project manager and software engineer for the Osiris-REx mission Carina Bennett said. “We’re going to be holding the sample in our hands relatively soon in the basement of this building. It’s incredible to have made it this far in the mission.”

The Osiris-REx mission now becomes Osiris-APEX and travels to another asteroid. That one is called Apophis and it’s made up of different materials than Bennu.

The spacecraft will get there in six years and start taking pictures in 2029 and then it will stay there for 18 months before returning to earth with more samples.

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