A small capsule carrying samples from an asteroid touched down in the Utah desert on Sunday, capping off a NASA craft’s seven-year space voyage. The OSIRIS-REx performed a flyby to release the sample from the asteroid Bennu after traveling a total of 3.86 billion miles out and back. It released its brown-and-white cargo from a distance of 63,000 miles up; slowed by parachute, the capsule landed just over 10 minutes later. “Touchdown for science!” Jim Garvin, chief scientist of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said from the landing site during a live broadcast, according to Space.com. “For the first time in history, we brought goodies back home from this kind of object. This is so [huge] and we’re all breathing a big sigh of relief.” The OSIRIS-REx, the handy nickname for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer, began its mission in 2016, reaching Bennu two years later. Scientists estimate the craft was able to collect at least a cup of asteroid rubble—the largest such haul ever brought back to earth, the Associated Press reported.
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