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From space to the museum. “Everything you know comes from a rock like this”

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On Friday, an extraordinary exhibition was unveiled at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington. It included a test of the asteroid Bennu, which reached Earth a few weeks ago thanks to the OSIRIS-REx probe.

The National Museum of Natural History in Washington made an unusual item available to its visitors on Friday. Visitors could see with their own eyes a unique sample of the asteroid Bennu, which hit Earth at the end of September.

Asteroid Bennu in a 2018 photoNASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

“This is where it all started”

The material was collected by the OSIRIS-REx space probe. Experts NASA found that it contains soil rich in carbon, including clay minerals containing water, which are key ingredients for the development of life.

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– Inside this stainless steel container, which prevents the atmosphere from reaching the sample, is a particle of our asteroid. In fact, that’s where it all started. It is this raw material that gave life to the oceans. Everything you know comes from such a rock, said Tim McCoy from the Museum during the unveiling of the exhibition.

“Here we have a remnant of something that gives us a clue about the development of our solar system and why life evolved on Earth,” said Bill Nelson of NASA. The exhibition also includes models of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and the rocket that delivered it.

The moment of “meeting” of the OSIRIS-REx probe with an asteroid – visualizationNASA

Main photo source: Reuters

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