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Oct 15, 2020

NASA is getting ready to land on an asteroid that may hold the building blocks of life

Posted by in categories: materials, space

With NASA getting ready to land a spacecraft on the asteroid Bennu in just a few short days, the mysterious space rock is already revealing some of its secrets, including the presence of carbon-bearing materials.

Several studies were published on the matter in the journals Science and Science Advances, noting that carbon-bearing, organic material is “widespread” on the surface of the asteroid. This includes the area where NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will take its first sample from, known as Nightingale, on Oct. 20.

“The abundance of carbon-bearing material is a major scientific triumph for the mission. We are now optimistic that we will collect and return a sample with organic material – a central goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission,” said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona in Tucson, in a statement.

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