Even in science, luck sometimes produces more exciting discoveries than the most ambitious plans. And sometimes it’s a stonemason who has the right tool to take research further.

In 1989, while digging a cable pit at a landlord property in Blaubeuren, Swabia, Germany, its sphere hit a rock measuring 28 by 25 by 20 centimeters. After lifting it half a meter above the surface, he saw that it was quite heavy. He grabbed a magnet in the rock and realized that there was iron in it.

The rock was then left in the garden for decades. The person who found the stone 31 years later thought it might have fallen from space. In January 2020, he reported his findings to the Planetary Research Institute at the German Aerospace Center. (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).

For scientific analysis, a small part of the stony body had to be cut, but the experts did not have an appropriately sized tool. Finally, DLR Professor Dieter Heinlein found the workshop of master stonemason and sculptor Peter Fraefel from Mindelheim in Allgäu. After intensive planning and preliminary negotiations, a 576-gram meteorite corner was cut. The diamond saw was installed on May 30, 2020.

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