Asteroid: Utah Sample

NASA/Keegan Barber
October 26, 2023
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Curation teams process the sample return capsule from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission in a cleanroom, Sept. 24, 2023, at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range. The sample was collected from the asteroid Bennu in October 2020 by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

“Having now returned to Earth without being exposed to our water-rich atmosphere or the life that fills every corner of our planet, the samples of Bennu hold the promise to tell us about the water and organics before life came to form our unique planet,” said Tim McCoy, the museum’s curator of meteorites who has worked on the OSIRIS-REx mission for nearly two decades as part of an international team of scientists.