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NASA collected a sample from an asteroid for the first time — here’s why it matters

Victoria Thiem, system safety engineer from Lockheed Martin, checks the temperature of the actual size OSIRIS-REx’s return capsule sample during the recovery rehearsal at Lockheed Martin, Waterton Canyon campus in Littleton, Colorado on Tuesday, June 27, 2023.  | Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

The OSIRIS-REx mission, launched in 2016, has collected as much as several hundred grams of asteroid material, which could help scientists understand the earliest stages of the solar system.

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