The team behind Nasa’s Osiris-REx mission is struggling to open fully the container holding the bulk of the sample from asteroid Bennu. Since the 4.5 billion year-old sample landed in the Utah desert earlier this month, scientists have already managed to collect 70.3 grams of rocks and dust lying on the outside of the container, as well as some from inside the sampler head. But last week they realised that two of the 35 fasteners on the head could not be removed with the current tools approved for use in the Osiris-REx glovebox – where the work is performed under a flow of nitrogen to prevent contamination through exposure to Earth’s atmosphere. Nasa said the team is working on finding a new procedure to extract the remaining material. This might delay the process by a few weeks. Not too bad for a seven-year mission that might help explain the origins of life on Earth.