OSIRIS-REx sample analysis begins at the University of Arizona

Dec. 20, 2023

Researchers at the University of Arizona's Kuiper-Arizona Laboratory for Astromaterials Analysis have begun studying particles brought to Earth by the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Tom Zega, professor of planetary science at the UArizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, leads the sample analysis team that has been allocated about 200 milligrams – roughly seven-thousandths of an ounce – of sample from the asteroid Bennu.

Thanks to the lab's extremely sophisticated equipment, they can extract a wealth of information from sample particles down to the nanogram, even picogram level, referring to a billionth or trillionth of a gram, respectively.

In the video above, hear from Zega and his team about what they hope the sample can tell them about the origins of life in the universe.

Read more about the Bennu sample analysis at UArizona News.