The Planetary Society congratulates the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the successful capture of asteroid dust grains by their Hayabusa mission. The spacecraft returned the samples in a lander to the Australian desert a few months ago. Subsequent analysis by scientists at JAXA has confirmed that the particles in the sample return capsule are indeed from an asteroid.
"Today's announcement that Hayabusa has brought back the first ever sample of asteroid dust is one more fantastic achievement in a fantastic mission. These tiny grains are particles from another world, a primordial one. They are indeed small, but they could easily change the way we view our place in space. If I may, JAXA rocks!" said Bill Nye, Executive Director of the Planetary Society.
See images of the tiny particles in Emily Lakdawalla's Planetary Society Blog.
About The Planetary Society
The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of The Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO.