Scientists discovered that two of the 35 fasteners (screws) in the head (cap) could not be removed with existing, approved tools.
Although humanity is eagerly awaiting the opening of the main box containing the main sample – about 250 grams – from the unexplored asteroid Bennu, NASA has not yet opened the special capsule.
The OSIRIS-Rex mission’s sample of the asteroid Bennu was delivered to Earth in September after an epic seven-year mission.
Scientists opened the capsule’s lid for the first time and were excited to discover that it contained “black dust and sand-sized debris” from the asteroid’s surface, along with two essential ingredients for life: carbon and water.
Do not remove the cover
However, they were still unable to open and open the case that was inside the capsule… Technical reasons.
After multiple unsuccessful attempts to open the case, scientists discovered that two of the 35 fasteners (screws) on the head (lid) could not be removed with existing tools approved for use.
Even if they manage to build the necessary, safe tools soon, there is always the issue of opening the can in a “sterile” environment, in a laboratory or special room – to minimize ground contamination.
While developing the “process to get to the last bit of matter,” the OSIRIS-REx science team removed the canister of its precious material from a special nitrogen flow capsule — which they had been trying to open until now — and stored it in a sealed, airtight transport container, where the sample is securely kept. In a stable, nitrogen-rich environment.
With information from space.com
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