1st LD: NASA mission touches down on asteroid Bennu to collect sample

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) — NASA said its Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission touched down on asteroid Bennu on Tuesday and collected a sample from the asteroid’s surface.

It is the first U.S. mission to retrieve a pristine sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth for further study.

The van-size spacecraft briefly touched down its arm in a landing site on Bennu called Nightingale. Later, the spacecraft completed a back-away burn, and moved to a safe distance away from Bennu, according to NASA live broadcast.

The sample is scheduled to be returned to Earth in September 2023.