NASA scientists unscrew stubborn screws to reveal an asteroid sample

NASA Scientists now know the euphoria of A Stubborn lock. For several months, the last two screws were fixed to the lid of the container that contained her samples NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission It prevented researchers from accessing the rocks and dust of the 4.6 billion-year-old asteroid Pino. The nails simply wouldn't budge and were at risk of stripping, if they hadn't already. The researchers had to develop and test special tools to finally loosen the fasteners while preserving the integrity of the asteroid sample, according to the American “space” website. NASA.

Scientists were able to remove 33 of the 35 clasps on the lid shortly after it was retrieved container When it returns to Earth in late 2023. But the last two screws were Uncooperative, which usually poses no problem for some of the world's smartest gearheads. But NASA scientists couldn't try Tricks People swear when a fixture threatens to etch or warp, because the sample container is inside a glove box that protects it from Earth's atmosphere.

#283-Bino samples are finally available

This meant that the options were limited to tools that would be approved by NASA for use within the sensitive environment housing the container. It's not as if researchers could just use a blowtorch on stuck fasteners and be done with it — they had to design something that would work within those constraints, and eventually developed a couple of multi-part tools that seem to combine something like a vice or clamp with a screwdriver to buy tools. Installation while disassembling it. for every NASA:

Processors temporarily halted disassembly of TAGSAM head hardware in mid-October after they discovered that two of the 35 fasteners could not be removed using tools approved for use inside the OSIRIS-REx glovebox.

In response, two new multi-part tools were designed and manufactured to support further disassembly of the TAGSAM head. These instruments include newly manufactured parts made from a certain grade of non-magnetic surgical stainless steel; The hardest metals approved for use in original handling glove boxes.

“In addition to the design challenge of limiting processing-based materials to protect the scientific value of the asteroid sample, these new instruments also need to operate within the confined space of a glove box, which limits their height, weight and capabilities.” “Sagittarius movement,” said Dr. Nicole Lunning, curator of OSIRIS-REx at Johnson. “The remediation team showed amazing flexibility and did an amazing job removing these stubborn fasteners from the TAGSAM head so we could continue dismantling. We are very pleased with this success.”

picture: NASA

NASA explains that the instruments underwent extensive testing and development, as well as mock experiments:

Before the successful removal, Johnson's team tested the new tools and removal procedures in a training laboratory. After each successful test, engineers increased the assembly torque values ​​and repeated the test procedures until the team was confident that the new tools would be able to achieve the required torque while minimizing the risk of any potential damage to the TAGSAM head or any contamination of the sample inside.

NASA scientists rejoiced when the stabilizers were finally loosened, and celebrated by posting their success on Twitter (known as X.)

Now that the container is open and NASA scientists are relieved that a stubborn or stripped screw has been defeated, Bennu's samples will undergo analysis before being cataloged and sealed for safekeeping. Researchers say that the asteroid samples contain some of the oldest materials formed in the solar system.

Image for the article titled NASA Scientists Finally Loosen Stubborn Bolts to Reveal Ancient Asteroid Sample

picture: NASA

Image for the article titled NASA Scientists Finally Loosen Stubborn Bolts to Reveal Ancient Asteroid Sample

picture: NASA

Image for the article titled NASA Scientists Finally Loosen Stubborn Bolts to Reveal Ancient Asteroid Sample

picture: NASA

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