The above news article is a testament to the ingenuity of human endeavour. In 2020, the NASA spacecraft Osiris-Rex collected samples of rock and dust from the asteroid Bennu (incidentally, the asteroid considered the most dangerous by NASA, in terms of hitting earth any time soon). On the 24th of September 2023, a probe launched from the craft touched down in Utah, holding these precious samples.
Whilst the samples may not amount to much more than the weight of a hamster (yes, that’s what the article says), the information they hold has got scientists excited. You see, asteroids like Bennu are thought to be debris left over from the formation of the solar system, and they may contain clues as to the formation of the planets, and how life began.
To think, this probe has zipped across the solar system, and back again, and survived to deliver us a story in the form of the building blocks of our solar system. This is an astonishing display of technical brilliance from NASA. There is the potential to learn so much from this, and who knows what these asteroid fragments will reveal?