JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – NASA made history this week when its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft gathered pieces of rock from an asteroid located more than 200 million miles away from Earth.
For the past two years the $800 million spacecraft has been circling Asteroid Bennu for the right spot to harvest rubble using a robotic arm. It took just 16 seconds of contact to gather two ounces of rubble from its surface.
The brief encounter was the first time NASA gathered samples from an asteroid in space and the successful event was broadcast live.
It will take nearly three years for the dust and pebbles from the asteroid to return back to Utah’s west desert where scientists will be waiting to collect it.
This rock is more precious than gold in that it could reveal how the solar system came into existence.
Scientists say asteroids are time capsules containing chemical compositions of the ancient solar system which could reveal more about 4.5 billion-year-old solar system and the origins of life on Earth.
You can watch the live coverage again here..