During our recent Neighborhood Lecture, "A new golden age for sample return missions," Carnegie Science cosmochemist Dr. Conel Alexander took us on an exciting journey through the mysteries of our Solar System's origins and the latest advancements in space exploration.
During the talk, Dr. Alexander emphasized the importance of studying direct samples from asteroids, stating, "Sample return missions provide us with detailed information that telescopes and robotic missions cannot capture alone. They allow us to ground-truth our observations and gain a deeper understanding of the composition and history of these celestial bodies." He also shared updates on significant asteroid missions, including NASA's upcoming Osiris Rex mission and the successful Hayabusa II mission conducted by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
"We want to know what the sample tells us about the history of our Solar System, going from the pre-solar molecular cloud to planetary disks. Having these pristine materials [from asteroids] is very important.”
The event concluded with an engaging question and answer session, where participants actively discussed sample return missions with Dr. Alexander. For those who missed the event, the recorded talk is available, providing an opportunity to delve into the captivating world of space exploration and share the wonder with fellow enthusiasts.
Thank you to Dr. Alexander for his invaluable insights and to the attendees, both in person and online, for their active participation. Stay tuned for more upcoming events.