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NASA's Osiris-Rex capsule returns to Earth with asteroid samples

By T.K. Randall
September 26, 2023 · Comment icon 21 comments

The mission has been a complete success. Image Credit: NASA
The spacecraft touched down in the Utah desert after a seven-year journey to and from the asteroid Bennu.
Measuring approximately 500 meters in diameter, Bennu has long been of interest to scientists because of its potential to teach us more about the earliest days of the solar system.

It is also significant due to its potential to collide with the Earth at some point in the future, however recent estimates have generally played down the likelihood that this will happen.

Back in September 2016, NASA sent a spacecraft - Osiris-Rex - to rendez-vous with Bennu.

After arriving there in 2018, it spent over two years investigating the asteroid and collecting samples.
Then in 2021, having completed its task, it left the asteroid and headed for home.

Now, at last, Osiris-Rex has touched down on terra firma in a highly successful landing that will provide scientists with a treasure trove of data about Bennu and other asteroids like it.

"What an incredible day this has been," NASA's Lori Glaze said on Sunday.

"These types of samples - they are truly the gifts that keep on giving."

"They are a treasure... for scientific analysis for years and years to come, to our kids and our grandkids and people who haven't even been born yet."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (21)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
Comment icon #13 Posted by L.A.T.1961 10 months ago
But they did send in an explosive expert first, did they not. ?  So a chance of something in that area going boom. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
Helicopter Transports Sample Capsule to Clean Room  
Comment icon #15 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
No chance of something going boom... that's the entire point of sending in an explosives expert.   Edited to add: After doing a bit of googling you are right that there could be munitions there, but I stand by my statement above... the reason they have an expert is so that there is no chance of a boom. With such a massive area the chances of being unlucky enough to land where there is unexploded munitions is very low indeed. Having an expert approach the capsule first reduces the risk to almost zero.  
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
Comment icon #17 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Capsule Secured in Utah Clean Room  
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
Comment icon #20 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 months ago
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Capsule Arrives in Houston  
Comment icon #21 Posted by Cho Jinn 10 months ago
Tremendous achievement.

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