It was a big day for University of Arizona when part of the Osiris Rex spacecraft, managed by UA made a safe re-entry and touchdown with a sample of an asteroid.

Now about three days after the landing, NASA specialists have opened the sealed container with the asteroid sample inside.

NASA shared photos from a special clean room set up in the same lab where NASA analyzes rocks from the Apollo moon landings. They show the deep black, carbon heavy material the probe was able to capture.

Scientists believe the material from the asteroid Bennu is older than our solar system so it could help explain how the planets formed. They say it could also hold clues to whether asteroids brought to Earth the building blocks of early life.

NASA and UA scientists expect to talk about an early analysis of the sample in about two weeks. They expect scientists to continue to work with the samples for many years to come.