Queen's Brian May Reveals He Helped NASA Team That Returned First Asteroid Sample from Space

May created stereoscopic images from the spacecraft's data to help the mission leader collect the sample

<p>Dave Benett/Getty Images</p> Brian May in London in May 2023

Dave Benett/Getty Images

Brian May in London in May 2023

Brian May is apparently partially to thank for the return of NASA's first-ever asteroid sample from space.

The Queen lead guitarist, 76, revealed during a Sunday appearance on NASA TV that he was part of the team that helped in the collection of the sample from the asteroid named Bennu and its journey to Earth.

Per CNN, May said he was proud to be a member of OSIRIS-REx, whose spacecraft flew by Earth on Sunday. This trip continued the legacy that the spacecraft began when it journeyed to space seven years before to collect samples from Bennu.

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Dave J Hogan/Getty Brian May photographed in 2016
Dave J Hogan/Getty Brian May photographed in 2016

Related: Queen Guitarist Brian May Helped Photograph the Most Distant Space Object Ever Captured on Film

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

According to the outlet, May helped mission leader Dante Lauretta to identify where to collect the sample, by creating stereoscopic images from the spacecraft’s data.

<p>JMEnternational/Getty Images</p> Brian May in London in June 2023

JMEnternational/Getty Images

Brian May in London in June 2023

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May also celebrated the news on his website.  “Today is the day – the long awaited day – when the sample of a piece of material From Bennu – the asteroid most likely to hit the Earth in the future, is recovered to Earth,” the rock star wrote. “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.”

The capsule containing pieces of the asteroid Bennu was parachuted into the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah's West Desert after entering the earth's atmosphere, USA Today said. The sample will now be sent to Houston's Johnson Space Center and studied.

While May is proud of the asteroid's recovery, he maintains apprehensions regarding the advancement of certain technologies when they impact the music industry. Earlier this month, the legendary rocker shared his thoughts on the impact of artificial intelligence in music.

May told Guitar Player that he was concerned that people will eventually not be able to tell the music that was created by humans to the music that was created by AI.

He added that he believes 2023 could be “the last year when humans really dominated the music scene.”

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