Brian May, the guitarist for Queen, has once again proven his versatility and talent by helping NASA bring its first asteroid sample back to Earth from space. In addition to his musical prowess, May is also an astrophysicist. He expressed his immense pride in being part of the team that collected the sample from the asteroid Bennu.
In a clip broadcast on NASA TV, May addressed NASA people, space fans, and asteroid fans, introducing himself as Brian May from Queen and a member of the OSIRIS-REx team. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft recently flew close to Earth after being launched seven years ago to collect samples from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. The sample, collected in 2020 from the ancient asteroid, made its return journey to Earth, specifically to Utah, in 2021.
May played a crucial role in the mission, creating stereoscopic images from spacecraft data to help mission leader Dante Lauretta and the team locate a safe place to land and collect the sample. Despite not being able to be with the team on this momentous occasion due to his rehearsals with Queen for an upcoming tour, May expressed his heartfelt support. He congratulated everyone involved in the mission, especially his dear friend Dante, and wished them all the best.
Following the capsule’s delivery in Utah, OSIRIS-REx will continue its travels to study another asteroid called Apophis, according to NASA. May’s contribution to the mission highlights his dedication to both music and astrophysics, solidifying his status as rock royalty.