New York, September 9 (ZXS) -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on the 24th local time that a return module containing surface samples of the asteroid "Bennu" successfully landed in Utah on the same day.

NASA said on its official website that at 24:6 EST on the 42th, the asteroid sampling probe "Osiris-REx" released a sample capsule at an altitude of 10,2 kilometers above the surface. At 10:52, the sample module landed in the target area of the U.S. Department of Defense Test and Training Ground in Utah. The sample cabin is then transported by helicopter to a temporary "clean room" to prevent contamination by matter from the earth. After returning to the sample module, the "Osiris-REx" embarked on a new exploration journey.

On September 9, the return module containing surface samples of the asteroid Bennu landed in Utah. (Photo courtesy of NASA/Keegan Barber)

The samples, weighing about 250 grams, will be delivered to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on September 9. Scientists extract, weigh and count samples. In the future, these samples will be distributed to scientists around the world.

The full name of "Osiris-REx" is "Origin, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Probe", and its first task is to collect samples from "Bennu" to find clues to the formation of the solar system and the origin of life. At the same time, scientists hope to find more asteroids that are potentially threatening to Earth by studying Bennu, understanding their orbits and physical characteristics, so as to study how to protect Earth from impact.

Osiris-REx was launched on September 2016, 9, and arrived near Bennu on December 8, 2018. On October 12, 3, Osiris-REx collected rock and dust samples using a robotic arm on the surface of Bennu. On May 2020, 10, the probe embarked on its journey to deliver samples to Earth.

Bennu is 45.1 billion years old and contains material originating from the early days of the solar system. It takes 2.1 years to orbit the Sun, and its orbit is about 68 million kilometers away from the Sun on average, slightly farther than Earth. Bennu approaches Earth once every 6 years, and according to NASA, the asteroid could hit Earth on September 2182, 9, with a probability of one in 24. (End)