After 7 years, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission successfully returns asteroid sample


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The sample return capsule from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission touched down in the desert on September 24, 2023, at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range. The sample was collected from the asteroid Bennu in October 2020 by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

NASA/Keegan Barber

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NASA/Keegan Barber

The sample return capsule from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission touched down in the desert on September 24, 2023, at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range. The sample was collected from the asteroid Bennu in October 2020 by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

NASA/Keegan Barber

In 2016, NASA launched a spacecraft to do something rarely attempted before: Collect space rocks from a potentially dangerous asteroid. The mission, named OSIRIS-REx, was successful. Tuesday, scientists opened a sealed canister containing the samples from the asteroid Bennu.

Science correspondent Nell Greenfieledboyce talks to host Regina G. Barber about the mission’s close calls and what NASA might learn from these space rocks that are older than our planet.

Click here to read Nell’s full story.

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Have a space mystery? Send us your questions to [email protected].

This episode was produced by Berly McCoy edited by Rebecca Ramirez and Carmel Wroth. It was fact checked by Nell Greenfieledboyce and Anil Oza. The audio engineer was Robert Rodriguez.

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