OSIRIS-REx arrived at asteroid Bennu yesterday! It will stay in orbit to do a complete survey of the asteroid. But even cooler, it will get so close to the surface it will touch Bennu briefly and use a puff of hydrogen to dislodge surface material, that it will then collect. After that, OSIRIS-REx heads back to Earth to deliver the sample!
Here is a really cool video on how this little orbiter got to Bennu (including a gravity assist from Earth), and detailing its mission: https://youtu.be/NYGHbl_esgw
This won’t hurt one bit.
I see first contact is starting out swimmingly as always…
I think I watched too much Dr Who, know too much about biology and evolution, and have too much cynicism to believe this going to turn out well for us. lol. If life on earth was possibly spawned by space dust, what do we think bringing a whole new innoculation back could do? “We have safeguards” said someone at the beginning of every major fiasco, lol. Seriously though, can’t wait to hear the results.