A strange ‘black dust’ has forced scientists researching a ‘hazardous’ asteroid to call it quits.

NASA scientists were about to open the Osiris-Rex capsule when they saw the unusual residue on the probe.

While it may sound like science fiction, the ‘dust’ has forced scientists to postpone opening the gadget, which contains samples from the Bennu asteroid.

The Osiris-Rex mission, which launched in 2016, set out to retrieve samples from the Bennu asteroid, which is as tall as the Empire State Building.

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When the spaceship returned to Earth after seven years in space, it ejected the valuable cargo, with the capsule safely landing in the Utah desert on September 24, prompting a few cheers from the military camp.

The capsule in question has collected about nine ounces of asteroid rocks, dust, and cosmic muck.

However, as scientists prepared to open the gadget at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, they found an unexpected find.

The Touch and Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM), according to NASA, was covered in a strange ‘black dust and debris’.

NASA then indicated that the dust would be studied before scientists opened the capsule.

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“Scientists and engineers removed the lid and discovered black dust and debris on the surfaces of the avionics deck and TAGSAM,” they told the press. This dust will be subjected to a cursory examination to establish whether it is indeed debris from the asteroid Bennu.”

“When the TAGSAM is separated from the canister, it will be placed in a sealed transfer container to maintain a nitrogen environment for up to two hours,” he adds. This container gives the team ample time to insert the TAGSAM into another one-of-a-kind glovebox.

“In the end, this expedites the disassembly process.” The crew is very focused — the sample will be revealed with incredible care to facilitate delicate hardware removal without coming into contact with the sample inside.”

RELATED: Scientists Find RNA Building Components In An Asteroid Sample.

While scientists are disappointed, they remain hopeful that the sample may reveal critical information about how life on Earth originated, as well as more information about any asteroids that may come into contact with our planet.

Furthermore, the sample will allow experts to determine what the asteroid is made of, which could be critical given that it has a 1-in-2,700 probability of passing Earth between the years of 2175 and 2199.

So, while it won’t be here for a time, humans may need to devise deterrents depending on how close Bennu gets to Earth.


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