Robotic Asteroid Voyager for NASA Liftoff in 2016

28 May

Spaceflight Now: Touting its ability to lay the groundwork for future human voyages, NASA officials announced Wednesday a robotic probe named OSIRIS-REx will launch to an asteroid in 2016 and return up to 4 pounds of rock and dust to Earth seven years later.

Led by a research team at the University of Arizona in Tucson, OSIRIS-REx will approach a carbon-rich asteroid and collect samples with an air gun. Scientists expect the asteroid harbors organic molecules, the building blocks that may have kick-started life on Earth.

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