Astromaterials Science Research Group|ISAS

Visit to NASA Johnson Space Center for sample selection for the Bennu sample

From January 22 to 25, two members of The Astromaterials Science Research Group (ASRG) – Dr. Fukai and Dr. Yada– and Dr. Kimura from the Department of Interdisciplinary Space Science, ISAS, JAXA, visited NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA.

The purpose of this visit was to visually check the asteroid Bennu sample returned to Earth by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on September 24th last year for future sample selection on site, and to collect and coordinate information. Dr. Kimura, who is in charge of planetary protection at JAXA, met biological contamination control staff at NASA Johnson Space Center to observe and exchange information with them.

Based on the results of this observation and the Bennu sample catalogue data to be released next month, JAXA will select the samples to be allocated to JAXA, submit a sample allocation request, and after coordination and division with other allocations, the samples will arrive at the Planetary Material Sample Curation Facility at JAXA Sagamihara Campus in late summer 2024.

Preparations for acceptance at JAXA are in progress. Please look forward to the initial description and scientific results after acceptance at JAXA!

In front of the curation facility building at NASA Johnson Space Center, Dr. Yada, Dr. Fukai, Dr. Kimura (from left to right).
At NASA Johnson Space Center, Dr. Fukai, Dr. McCubbin, Dr. Snead, Dr. Yada, Dr. Vander Kaaden and Dr. Lunning (from left to right).
The Bennu samples involved in the reentry capsule of OSIRIS-REx were moved to sample trays. ©NASA
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