NASA spacecraft collected 250-gram sample from asteroid Bennu

According to a research released on Thursday by the American journal Science

 a NASA spacecraft that visited the asteroid Bennu collected a sample of almost 250 grammes for delivery to Earth next year, well above its minimal aim of 60 grammes.

The Japanese space agency already exchanged part of the material that its Hayabusa2 explorer brought back to Earth from the asteroid Ryugu with the U.S. agency

NASA intends to do the same with the sample that its OSIRIS-REx mission obtained.

Asteroids are thought to be leftovers from the early stages of the solar system's formation, which took place roughly 4.6 billion years ago.

It is anticipated that researching them would yield novel insights about the development of the solar system and the beginnings of life.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft carried out the first American mission to gather an asteroid sample and send it back to Earth.

It began conducting surveys after crossing Bennu in December 2018 and then descended to the asteroid's surface in October 2020 to gather rock samples.

The collected material is scheduled to be returned to Earth in September of next year.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration had hoped to acquire a sample weighing at least 60 grammes.

Around 5.4 grammes of material from Ryugu were carried back by Hayabusa2, a craft that is smaller than OSIRIS-REx.

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