HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE Joins Team Analyzing Bennu Asteroid Samples Collected by the NASA OSIRIS-REx Sample Collector

|   Press Release

HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE Co., Ltd.  (hereinafter “HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE”), a Horiba Group company handling analysis/service businesses, joined the research team led by Professor Hisayoshi Yurimoto from Hokkaido University to start the analysis of rocks, sediment, and other samples harvested from the Bennu asteroid by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) OSIRIS-REx sample collector. HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE utilized its EMIA-Step carbon/sulfur analyzer to analyze the carbonate, organic, and other carbon content of the samples.
As with the samples collected on Ryugu by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2, Bennu is thought to be a carbon and water-rich asteroid. A comparison of the samples taken from these two asteroids hopes to shed some more light on the origins and evolution of our solar system and life itself.
Previously, HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE was part of the chemical analysis team led by Professor Hisayoshi Yurimoto tasked with analyzing samples taken from Ryugu asteroid during the Hayabusa2 project. Leveraging the knowledge gained during that project, HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE takes advantage of its advanced technologies to properly handle and analyze the Bennu samples.

Responsibilities of HORIBA in the Project

As with the samples taken from Ryugu, HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE initially used the same carbon/sulfur analyzer to measure the carbonate, organic, and other carbon content of samples collected from Bennu. This primary analysis of these samples, of which HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE was in charge, completed in December 2023. Currently, the research team is conducting more comprehensive analyses of Bennu to achieve a detailed comparison of the results obtained by analyzing the samples from Ryugu.

Carbon/Sulfur Analyzer

The EMIA-Step carbon/sulfur analyzer heats samples in a high-temperature furnace to produce a redox reaction between the material substances in order to measure the carbon and sulfur content of samples.
This type of analyzer measures the carbon and sulfur content in a variety of industrial materials from ceramics and steel to non-ferrous metals to help in material development and quality control processes.

Product Details:EMIA-Step Carbon/Sulfur Analyzer

Remarks from Doctor of Engineering Shintaro Komatani,
Senior Corporate Officer and General Manager,
Analytical Technology Division, HORIBA TECHNO SERVICE

“I am extremely proud that we have been entrusted to analyze not only the samples from Ryugu but also Bennu, which should reveal more about the origins of life and our solar system. Professor Hisayoshi Yurimoto and his team chosen by NASA have praised the HORIBA Group for its broad lineup of analytical instruments, sophisticated preprocessing of samples, and its analysis technologies. With these measurement technologies that are essential to spearhead innovation in analysis and measurement, we will make humble efforts to make contributions to help start a new chapter for humanity.”













Sep. 2016 OSIRIS-REx begins its journey to Bennu after its launch in Florida, USA.
Oct. 2020OSIRIS-REx touches Bennu and successfully harvests rocks and sediment from the asteroid surface.
From Sep. 2023  NASA and its affiliates begin analysis after retrieving the OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule that landed in the Utah dessert.
By the end of 2024NASA plans to provide asteroid samples to JAXA.


Bennu sample analysis using the EMIA-Step carbon/sulfur analyzer at the HORIBA TECNO SERVICE Analytical Solution Plaza (Kyoto City)
EMIA-Step Carbon/Sulfur Analyzer