How NASA's trip to a small asteroid may answer big questions about the origins of life on Earth

September 7, 2016 5:05 PM

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Get ready for an interplanetary treasure hunt. On Thursday, NASA will launch its first mission to visit an asteroid and bring precious samples back to Earth.

OSIRIS-REx, set to launch around 7:05 p.m. EDT, will head to Bennu, a dark rubble-pile of an asteroid that stretches 492 meters (1,614 feet) wide. After the spacecraft reaches and orbits the near-Earth asteroid in 2018 and carries samples back to Earth, scientists hope to develop a detailed profile ...

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