Among the many scientists who participated in the success of the Osiris-REx mission, there is one we would not expect. This is Brian May, the historic guitarist of the group Queen. Holder of a doctorate in astrophysics, he actively participated in the preparation of the Osiris-REx probe mission. The latter has just brought back to Earth a sample of the asteroid Bennu.
It was Brian May who created the stereoscopic images which allowed the Osiris-REx team to determine the most suitable area for taking this sample. The operation took place on October 20, 2020. Scientists hope to recover up to 250 grams of rocks and dust from Bennu.
Brian May defended his thesis in astrophysics in 2007
Brian May submitted his doctoral thesis in 2007, thirty years after he began writing it. It focused on the movement of dust clouds in the solar system.
« Hello NASA people, space fans, asteroid aficionados. I’m Brian May from Queen, as you probably know, but also immensely proud to be a member of the Osiris-REx team “, said the musician in a video shared by NASA on the day the samples were returned. “ I’m currently rehearsing for a Queen tour, but my heart is with you during the recovery of this precious sample “, he added.
The capsule containing the Bennu samples arrived at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston (Texas). The researchers will list and then distribute these samples to scientific teams around the world. Only 30% will be used initially. The remaining 70% will be preserved for future studies over the coming decades.
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