Brian May helps NASA collect first asteroid sample

LEGENDARY guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, has played a significant role in the return of NASA’s first-ever asteroid sample from space.

During an appearance on NASA TV on Sunday, the 76-year-old lead guitarist disclosed that he was part of the team involved in the collection of the sample from the asteroid Bennu and its journey back to Earth.

According to CNN, May expressed his pride in being a member of OSIRIS-REx, whose spacecraft completed a flyby of Earth on Sunday. This mission continued the legacy initiated by the spacecraft seven years ago when it ventured into space to gather samples from Bennu.

“Hello, NASA folks, space fans, and asteroid aficionados. This is Brian May of Queen, as you probably know, but I’m also immensely proud to be a team member of OSIRIS-REx”, May said in a clip released by NASA TV, as reported by CNN.

According to the outlet, May assisted mission leader Dante Lauretta in identifying the collection point for the sample by creating stereoscopic images from the spacecraft’s data.

The capsule, which contains pieces of the asteroid Bennu, was parachuted into the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah’s West Desert after re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, as reported by USA Today. The sample will now be transported to Houston’s Johnson Space Centre for further study.