Bennu space dust

NASA guides Bennu asteroid precious cargo home

Alien dust samples from the ‘most dangerous known rock in the Solar System’ have been brought to Earth.

NASA safely landed the probe with the capsule containing the precious space dust in the West Desert of Utah state.

The samples had been collected up from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2020 by the Osiris-Rex spacecraft.

NASA wants to learn more about the asteroid Bennu, not least because it has an outside chance of colliding with Earth in the next 300 years, but more importantly, the samples are likely to provide fresh insights into the formation of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago and possibly even how life began here on Earth.

Touchdown was confirmed at 08:52 local time (14:52 GMT), three minutes ahead of schedule.

The container holding the precious cargo screaming into the atmosphere over the U.S. at more than 27000 mph. A heatshield and parachutes slowed its descent and dropped it gently to the ground.

Eager scientists applauded the remarkable achievement and now anticipate their chance to investigate the precious cargo further. Just 300 grams of asteroid dust were returned.

That might not sound like very much, but the scientists have access to exceptional technology that will enable them to analyse ultra small particles at a very high resolution.

Let the discovery begin.

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