Harold C. Connolly Jr. on Bringing an Asteroid Sample Back to Earth

11.28.2020 - By Geology Bites By Oliver Strimpel

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There are some things we just cannot learn about other bodies in the solar system without actually having our hands on a sample of the body and analyzing it on Earth using the battery of techniques that have been refined for the analysis of terrestrial rocks.  Harold C. Connolly Jr. is Professor and Founding Chair at the Department of Geology at Rowan University.  He investigates the origin of the very oldest planetary materials from which the Earth was made.  Asteroids are a good place to look for such materials, and, to that end, he is Mission Sample Scientist for OSIRIS-REx, a NASA asteroid sample return mission, as well as a member of the Japanese asteroid sample return mission called Hayabusa 2.  He explains how the sample was captured, and what we hope to learn from analyzing it back on Earth.
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