Asteroid: Bennu capsule

NASA/Keegan Barber
October 26, 2023
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Color photo of desert with black metal orb
NASA/Keegan Barber

The sample return capsule from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission is seen shortly after touching down in the desert, Sept. 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.

In 2021, the spacecraft then began its long journey to another asteroid, but not before it passed Earth to drop off its sample cannister. As it soared by Earth this past September, OSIRIS-REx dropped the capsule containing the Bennu samples. The capsule entered Earth’s atmosphere off the coast of California, and when it landed on the desert floor in Utah, scientists promptly collected it to prevent contamination as much as possible.


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