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Saturday, 09/30/2023 6:16:42 PM

Saturday, September 30, 2023 6:16:42 PM

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Brian May, best known as Queen's guitarist, helped NASA return its 1st asteroid sample to Earth
The legendary guitarist recently put his doctorate in astrophysics to use to help NASA return its first-ever asteroid sample to Earth. The sample was taken from the asteroid Bennu.
Eric Lagatta
When he's not rocking out on stage as a founding member of Queen, Brian May enjoys a healthy scientific interest in outer space.

But it's no mere hobby for the 76-year-old guitar legend to gaze upon the stars or research the nature of the universe. May, an accomplished scientist who has a doctorate in astrophysics, recently helped NASA return its first ever asteroid sample to Earth.

The sample consisting of rocks and dust was obtained from the asteroid Bennu and arrived Sunday back in Earth's orbit. May was an integral part of the mission, creating stereoscopic images that allowed the mission's leader and team to find a safe landing spot on the asteroid, which has the potential to crash into Earth sometime in the future.

"This box when it is opened of material from the surface of Bennu can tell us untold secret of the origins of the universe, the origins or our planet and the origins of life itself," May said Monday in a statement on his website. "What an incredibly exciting day."

Brian May, left, and Adam Lambert from the band Queen perform in June 2022 at the Platinum Jubilee concert taking place in front of Buckingham Palace, London.
Record-setting space flight:NASA astronaut returns to Earth after American record 371 days in space

Brian May was rehearsing for Queen tour when sample reached Earth

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