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NASA opens a stuck box


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NASA, after putting men on the moon, co-building a space station, sending probes throughout and beyond the solar system, landing sophisticated exploration robots on Mars, and spending trillions to usher in a new age of exploration, today celebrated the removal of two stuck fasteners on a box of dust!

The Guardian reports:

Curators at Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Houston have said they are “overjoyed” to have finally got a canister of asteroid dust open, four months after it parachuted down through the Earth’s atmosphere into the Utah desert.

The space administration announced Friday that it had successfully removed two stuck fasteners that had prevented some of the samples collected in 2020 from the 4.6bn-year-old asteroid Bennu, which is classified as a “potentially hazardous” because it has one in 1,750 chance of crashing into Earth 

Most of the rock samples collected by Nasa’s Osiris-Rex mission were retrieved soon after the canister landed in September, but additional material remaining inside a sampler head that proved difficult to access.

After months of wrestling with the last two of 35 fasteners, scientists in Houston managed to get them dislodged. “It’s open! It’s open!” Nasa’s planetary science division posted on Twitter/X. The division also posted a photograph of dust and small rocks inside the canister.



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