Some of the rarest, most precious materials on Earth originated very, very far away. Japan‘s #hayabusa spacecraft landed on 25143 Itokawa asteroid in November 2005. Against all the odds, it scraped up about 1 500 tiny grains of surface material and brought them back to Earth. These Hayabusa grains have become the focus of scientific study around the world.
With the help of ZEISS scanning electron microscopes, three of them are currently being examined at ESA - European Space Agency ESTEC in the Netherlands.