A space capsule containing half a pound of asteroid material has returned safely to Earth, completing a seven year journey to the depths of space and back. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx capsule was launched on a small spacecraft in 2016 heading towards a large asteroid named Bennu. OSIRIS-REx landed on Bennu in 2019, collected samples in 2020, and started on the path home in 2021. NASA retrieved OSIRIS-REx from the Utah desert and took the asteroid samples to the Johnson Space Center for further research. The samples from Bennu will help be distributed to scientists around the world to help them understand planet formation, asteroid composition, and the origins of life.
Image via NASA
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