NASA's Osiris-Rex Capsule Safely Lands in Utah Desert

  • 26 Sep 2023

On 24th September, 2023, NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft successfully delivered asteroid samples to Earth as its capsule parachuted into the Utah desert, marking the end of a seven-year mission.

Key Points

  • Safe Return of Asteroid Samples: In a remarkable achievement, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft released its sample capsule from a distance of 63,000 miles during an Earth flyby. The capsule landed safely four hours later in a remote area of military land.
  • Preserving 4.5 Billion-Year-Old Samples: The sealed capsule, which contains samples from the carbon-rich asteroid Bennu, was transported to a temporary clean room at the Defence Department's Utah Test and Training Range.
  • Scientists believe these samples could provide insights into the formation of Earth and life itself, as they date back 4.5 billion years.
  • Significance of the Asteroid Samples: The capsule's contents are estimated to contain at least a cup of rubble from Bennu, providing a substantial collection of material from beyond the moon.
  • This haul is the largest since the Apollo moon missions and is expected to be a treasure for scientific analysis in the coming years.