NASA Capsule Carrying Asteroid Sample Lands in Utah Desert

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A NASA-collected asteroid sample touched down in the Utah desert by parachute on Sunday, September 24, marking the first time the agency successfully delivered asteroid rocks and dust to Earth.

In a flyby of Earth on Sunday, NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft released the capsule containing the sample and it landed on a remote part of the US Department of Defense’s Test and Training Range in Dugway.

Footage posted to X by NASA shows the capsule’s landing and a recovery team approaching the site on Sunday morning. After confirming the capsule was intact, it was transported to a temporary cleaning room by helicopter, the agency said.

“In the clean room, it will be disassembled and packaged in parts for transport on Monday to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, its permanent home,” they added.

Osiris-Rex, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer, launched in 2016 and commenced orbit around the asteroid Bennu in 2018, NASA said. Credit: NASA via Storyful