Seven years after its departure, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is completing its most important mission to date. This Sunday, it released the 8.81-ounce sample of the asteroid Bennu, which it has transported through space since 2020, over the Utah desert. It is the first time that NASA has achieved such a feat.
NASA launched this spacecraft in 2016, and two years later, it reached the asteroid called Bennu. The space agency intends to examine the composition of the rock to gain more details about the creation of Earth's solar system. Bennu is an Asteroid that could collide with Earth in the future.
OSIRIS REx arrived, positioned itself in Earth's orbit and released its payload, planning for it to land in Utah at the Department of Defense complex. With the help of a parachute, the transport capsule traveled 62,000 miles at a speed of 27,650 miles per hour. It took about 10 minutes to land after entering the Earth's atmosphere.
NASA and Pentagon personnel went to the landing site with helicopters to recover the capsule carrying the asteroid sample. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will head out into the solar system once again, this time heading towards the asteroid Apophis.