TARLAKENYO (Sept. 25, 2023) — A space capsule containing 250 grams of pristine asteroid pieces finally landed on Earth after traveling seven years and 6.2 billion kilometers.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx return capsule of rocks and dust from the asteroid Bennu will help scientists worldwide make discoveries to better understand planet formation and the origin of organics and water that led to life on Earth, as well as benefit all of humanity by learning more about potentially hazardous asteroids.
The asteroid Bennu, discovered in 1999, is a potentially dangerous one: No other space rock has a higher known probability of hitting Earth in the next 200 years.
The asteroid-sampling mission will help scientists better understand how to protect humankind if Bennu’s trajectory were ever to intersect with that of our planet.
OSIRIS-REx launched on Sept. 8, 2016. The scientists then guided it to arrival at Bennu on Dec. 3, 2018, through the search for a safe sample-collection site between 2019 and 2020, sample collection on Oct. 20, 2020, and during the return trip home starting on May 10, 2021.