Why NASA Picked Space Rock Bennu for Its Asteroid-Sampling Mission

September 7, 2016 11:43 AM

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Why NASA Picked Space Rock Bennu for Its Asteroid-Sampling Mission

NASA had literally thousands of potential targets for its asteroid-sampling OSIRIS-REx mission, which is scheduled to launch Thursday (Sept. 8) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here. But the agency decided on a space rock named Bennu, because the asteroid checks off three important boxes.

"Bennu's size, primitive and carbon-rich composition and orbit make it one of the most fascinating and accessible asteroids, and that is why it was ultimately chosen as the target asteroid for the OSIRIS-REx mission," Christina Richey, OSIRIS-REx deputy program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Wash...

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