One Cool Thing: NASA Spacecraft Fetches A Rock From Nearby Asteroid

Photo: NASA

NASA announced that its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully touched down on the near-Earth asteroid Bennu after spending two years orbiting it.  Its task was to grab a sample from the asteroid’s surface with its robotic arm.  Bennu sits 200 million miles from Earth (so close) and NASA’s leadership was thrilled with this latest “first” — the sample will be back in 2023, but photos of the historic moment were available right away – amazing.  “This was an incredible feat,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in a statement. “A piece of primordial rock that has witnessed our solar system’s entire history may now be ready to come home for generations of scientific discovery, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.”  Way cool.  We only wish we could explore the depths of the oceans right here on Earth with the same gusto.

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