The U.S. has, for the first time, delivered rocks and dust from an asteroid to Earth. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx sample capsule, carrying a sample of asteroid Bennu, touched down on the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range at 10:52 a.m. EDT (8:52 a.m. MDT).
Radar data from the Utah Testing and Training Range confirmed that the capsule entered Earth’s atmosphere as planned at 10:42 a.m. EDT (8:42 a.m. MDT) off the coast of California.
The drogue parachute, the smaller of the two parachutes onboard the capsule, opened after atmospheric entry to help with stability and later separated from the capsule. The main parachute deployed at 10:47 am EDT (8:47 pm EDT). It slowed the capsule down from hypersonic speed to about 11 mph by the time it touched the ground.