UWinnipeg gains access to asteroid sample

The University of Winnipeg has gained access to a sample of a 4.5-billion-year-old asteroid that was retrieved during NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, which was launched in 2016. The sample—which looks like black powder and has to be stored in a sealed, nitrogen-filled box to protect it from Earth’s atmosphere—was received from NASA after Canada supplied the mission with an instrument. “These asteroids can tell us something about how the Solar System formed 4.5 billion years ago, and there is also interest that some of these asteroids may have seeded life on Earth,” said UWinnipeg Professor Dr Ed Cloutis. UWinnipeg will have the sample for two weeks to conduct a non-destructive analysis, after which it will be circulated to other Canadian universities.

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