A preliminary study of the material brought back from the 4.5-billion-year-old Asteroid Bennu shows that the black asteroid dust is made up of carbon and clay minerals rich in water. This provides evidence that asteroids were responsible for helping start life on Earth.
Some scientists believe that asteroids like Bennu could have been responsible for bringing important materials to Earth – like water to help kick-start life around 4.5-bil-2 lion-years ago. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft had left the Earth in 2016. It reached Asteroid Bennu and collected samples in 2020. It then took nearly three years for the NASA spacecraft to travel back to the Earth and drop off the sample at a military base in the US.
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