‘Touchdown’: NASA’s first asteroid samples land on Earth

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid landed in the Utah desert Sunday.


This is the end of a seven-year journey NASA launched from Florida’s Space Coast in 2016.

The Osiris-Rex spacecraft traveled to the Bennu asteroid, collecting about a half-pound of dust and rock. Scientists will open the container this week to see how much rubble was collected.

NASA will share samples of the asteroid with scientists to learn more about the formation of our solar system and give a public presentation in October.

Read: NASA’s Osiris-REx spacecraft to drop off asteroid sample to Earth this weekend

“We are trying to learn what planets are made out of,” said Jim Bell, an Arizona University professor. “Where the water, the organic molecules on the Earth, and other planets come from,”

Its next mission will be to retrieve another sample from an asteroid called Apophis.

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