The US space agency Nasa has announced the ultimate smash-and-grab raid: the first attempt to collect a handful of asteroid rock and bring it back to Earth. There are three reasons why astronomers and space buffs should cheer the seven-year, $800m robot mission and one reason why they should sob.
And in the comments:
I\’m a bit perplexed what the author means about being \”the first attempt to collect a handful of asteroid and bring it back to earth\”. The Japanese probe Hayabusa was the first to attempt this, from asteroid 25143 Itokawa, and also the first to succeed, returning to Earth on 13th June 2010, with a small sample. It\’s a bit late to be first.
Still, better than most of their economic coverage which is usually 50 years out of date.