“It was just an overwhelming moment for me. It’s an astounding accomplishment.”
The capsule’s touchdown was meticulously planned and executed. It re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the western US at speeds exceeding 27,000 mph.
The capsule carried samples of asteroid material estimated at approximately 250 grams (9 ounces).
Eileen Stansbery, the chief scientist at Nasa’s Johnson Space Flight Centre in Texas, said researchers can analyse these samples at high resolutions, examining even the tiniest particles.
“We know how to slice and dice a 10-micron-sized particle into a dozen slices and then map grain at nanoscales. So, 250 grams is huge.”
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