Quotes from the news wire:
It's so important to go observe them because these asteroids tell us about a chapter of our own story -- in this case, the history when the outer planets were forming in the solar system, i'm still amazed by the fact that if you pick up a rock or you look at one of those planetary bodies and you add science to it, it turns into a history book.
NASA has been exploring Mars since Mariner 4 performed a flyby in July of 1965, with two more flybys, seven successful orbiters, and eight landers since then, perseverance, which was built from the collective knowledge gleaned from such trailblazers, has the opportunity to not only expand our knowledge of the Red Planet, but to investigate one of the most important and exciting questions of humanity about the origin of life both on Earth and also on other planets.
Bennu continues to surprise us with great science and also throwing a few curveballs, although we may have to move more quickly to stow the sample, it's not a bad problem to have. We are so excited to see what appears to be an abundant sample that will inspire science for decades beyond this historic moment.
This is the first time NASA has named a spacecraft for a living individual, it's a testament to the importance of his body of work, founding a new field of science that also inspired my own research and many important science questions NASA continues to study and further understand every day. I'm very excited to be personally involved honoring a great man and his unprecedented legacy.
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