Following a rapid and red-hot descent through Earth’s atmosphere, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule touched down in the desert at 8:52 a.m. MT, returning NASA’s first-ever asteroid sample. The capsule is estimated to hold about a cup of material from Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid. Scientists hope it will teach us more about the origin of organics that led to life on Earth and help us better understand planet formation.
Just prior to landing, the capsule entered the atmosphere traveling more than 27,000 mph. It then gently landed in the sands of the U.S. government’s Utah Test and Training Range.
A specialized recovery team led by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] – who designed, built and currently flies the mission for NASA – comprising representatives from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, the University of Arizona, then secured the capsule.
“The landing was safe, recovery was a huge success, and we’re thrilled that the next phase of this mission can now begin,” said Kyle Griffin, vice president and general manager of Commercial Civil Space at Lockheed Martin. “This particular sample return is monumental – scientists are about to open a time capsule with some of the earliest history of our solar system inside.”
SOURCE : PRNewswire