back to article No need for more asteroid-blasting attempts, NASA's OSIRIS-REx has more than enough space dirt

NASA has stowed away its first ever sample of asteroid regolith, collected by its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from space rock Bennu, and is working on bringing the material home for 2023. “Together a team comprising industry, academia and international partners, and a talented and diverse team of NASA employees with all types of …

  1. Chris G

    Some trick and a fantastic treat

    For the boffins who will be able to study the samples.

    Looking at the machining and structure, the capsule is a piece of art.

    Beers all round for that one!

  2. Danny 2

    Blue Moon

    I am sometimes critical of the USA, but I'd like to thank you for NASA and Elvis.

    Blue Moon - Elvis Presley

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Plan B (for Boffins)

    Great example of NASA working around problems (in this case the mylar containment shield) until they get a result.

    Safe home, OSIRIS-REx.

  4. Spiz


    Can we put the proper scientific units first and then the outdated units in brackets in future please? This is a tech/science publication after all.

    1. elkster88

      Re: Units

      "NASA hoped to collect at least 14 MilliJub 2 ounces (60 grams) of the asteroid’s dirt and soil."

      1. Spanners Silver badge

        Re: Units

        14 MilliJub 2 ounces (60 grammes)

        sorted the spelling there...

  5. Paul Herber Silver badge

    I hope this regolith will be put in isolation for a while in case it comes back with some nasty, alien virus.

    1. Chris G


      Two weeks locked in a flat in Hull along with a case of Budweiser and any random internet influencer will reduce it to totally sterile and harmless.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Isolation

        Sadly, Budweiser is not an effective sterilizing agent. Does it cause Stupidity? Probably Yes. Sterility, No.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          Re: Isolation

          You didn't resort to enough of it...

      2. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: Isolation

        Hull, the mystic east!

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      > in case it comes back with some nasty, alien virus

      Hi Stuart! How are things at the comic book store?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not the Andromeda Strain I hope?

    4. cray74

      I hope this regolith will be put in isolation for a while in case it comes back with some nasty, alien virus.

      Viruses work by using RNA or DNA to hijack living cells. Viruses thus necessarily must have evolved closely with their target cells or their DNA/RNA packet will be so much nonsense to the cell, assuming they can even lock on to the cell's exterior.

      Worrying about space viruses infecting Earth is like expecting a virus meant for the Burroughs MCP to work on Windows 10 machine.

    5. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Who has given me thumbs down for this!!!!

  6. TDog


    Some of the larger bits seem to be falling awfully fast for what is (presumably) a very low g field.

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Strange

      They look to me like they bounced off the probe's body and back towards the "ground". Either that, or the nitrogen jet is pushing them away. Most of the stuff seems to be flying in all directions or just sort of hanging there.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Shooting for 60 grams, actually collecting 2 kilos.

    What a bunch of overachievers.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: NASA

      2 Kilos is within the range they were aiming for.

      "The spacecraft has enough nitrogen to allow three sampling attempts, to collect between 60 and 2000 grams 2–70 ounces (60–2000) grams."

      The upper limit is important as the mission planning would have had to take that into account for the fuel required for the return journey.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PBS in the U.S. just did a "NOVA" special on this mission, if you can watch that...

    It was a pretty good episode. It also spends some time on the Japanese Hayabusya asteroid sampling missions.

  9. Winkypop Silver badge


    They just missed the Kewpie doll and the Watch

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This project is super cool. Huge supporter.

    My name is on this craft, as are my children's names. Good to see it not only advance scientific understanding but eventually the craft will end up in the Smithsonian or somewhere like that.

  11. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

    Aerospace-grade connectors on display

    Nice visual example of connectors I design cables with for work.

    However, I usually have braided shielding instead of foil, and when it is foil it ain't gold.

    When the harness isn't pre-jacketed I also have to add an outer watertight layer to the design, usually via heat-shrink cross-linked polyolefin sleeving; with no liquid water IN SPAAAACE I can understand why they left it off to save mass.

    I love my current employer and would transfer to their space-support division(s) if defense dried up, except I don't want to live in expensive DC Beltway area near Goddard SFC. Horrible commuting and crazy home prices.

  12. John Done

    Bennu drifted closer to Earth. Considered a near-Earth asteroid, Bennu orbits the Sun every 1.2 years and approaches Earth every six years. Before the October 20 meeting, according to experts, Bennu has a 1 in 2700 chance of hitting Earth between 2175 and 2195.

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