A NASA capsule with asteroid debris that may contain clues to the solar system has landed in the Utah desert.
The spacecraft completed its mission, which lasted 7 years, NASA said.
"NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft completed its latest mission by releasing its sample capsule to Earth," the space agency said.
Your package has been delivered.
The #OSIRISREx sample return capsule containing rock and dust collected in space from asteroid Bennu has arrived at temporary clean room in Utah. The 4.5-billion-year-old sample will soon head to @NASA_Johnson for curation and analysis. pic.twitter.com/Ke0PcDAKt0
— NASA (@NASA) September 24, 2023
This is the first U.S. sample return mission of its kind, and it will open a time capsule to the beginning of our solar system.
NASA's mission, called OSIRIS-REx, has been in development for more than 10 years. The spacecraft, launched in 2016, collected rock and dust samples from a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu in 2020. This weekend, it passed by Earth and sent a capsule to a landing site in remote Utah.
Recall that the landing of the capsule with the precious cargo was broadcast live by NASA at 10 am ET (that is, at 17:00 Kyiv time) on September 24.
Specimens will be taken to a sterile room to ensure that the specimen is reliably protected from outside influences. The actual content will be revealed on October 11.