NASA’s Osiris-Rex asteroid exploration vehicle returned Monday. The probe has been closely studying the asteroid Bennu since 2018, which orbited it for two years before landing on its surface last fall. Since then, the probe has collected an estimated 200-400 grams of asteroid debris, which it will now transport back to Earth. Your journey home will take two years.
According to Dante Loretta, the scientist leading the research, the probe was so successful that it was originally expected to be able to collect just over sixty grams of debris. This will be the largest dose of spacecraft that NASA will return to Earth since the lunar missions, The Guardian reported.
The scientists involved in the research greeted the return of the probe with bitterness. “When I started working on remaking rocks, my daughter was still wearing diapers. She’s graduating now, so it was a very long journey,” said Jason Dorkin, one of the researchers on the program. Loretta spoke about how they have become accustomed in recent years to “We are there in Benno and get new, exciting images and data every day.” (Across Watchman)
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