SwRI-Led Team Discovers Surprisingly Old Surface On Near-Earth Asteroid

A Southwest Research Institute-led team has discovered that the surface geology on asteroid Bennu is older than expected. Early observations of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission indicate a surface that is between 100 million and 1 billion years old. “We expected small, kilometer-sized NEAs to have young, frequently refreshed surfaces,” said SwRI’s …Read More

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SwRI-Led Team Identifies Water-Bearing Minerals On Asteroid Bennu

A Southwest Research Institute-led team discovered evidence of abundant water-bearing minerals on the surface of the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Using early spectral data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft orbiting the asteroid, the team identified infrared properties similar to those in a type of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites. “Scientists are interested in the composition of Bennu …Read More

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SwRI Scientist Helps Characterize Water On Lunar Surface

A Southwest Research Institute scientist with expertise in how water reacts with lunar soil contributed to a new study that indicates water and/or hydroxyl may be more prevalent on the Moon’s surface than previously thought. “Water on the Moon is of intense interest for many reasons,” said SwRI’s Dr. Michael Poston, a coauthor of the …Read More

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SwRI’s BORE Microgravity Payload Flies Aboard Commercial Suborbital Spaceflight

A Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) experiment designed to assess the surface properties and processes of near-Earth asteroids successfully flew aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle April 2. The Box of Rocks Experiment (BORE) consists of two transparent boxes enclosing two types of rocks that simulate an asteroid’s regolith — the layer of loose, heterogeneous …Read More

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