OSIRIS-REx Targets Near-Earth Asteroid

  • Released Thursday, February 7, 2013
  • Updated Monday, June 17, 2019 at 5:46PM
  • ID: 11098

On February 15, 2013, a 45-meter asteroid called Duende (formerly 2012 DA14) passed within 28,000 kilometers of Earth - the closest approach on record for an object of this size. Although such Near-Earth Objects, or NEO's, cross our planet's orbit on a regular basis, only a handful are large enough to pose a threat. One of these objects is asteroid Bennu (formerly 1999 RQ36), a "leftover" from the formation of our solar system. In an effort to better understand NEO's and our planet's own origins, NASA is sending the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to asteroid Bennu to study the evolution of its orbit and retrieve a sample for return to Earth.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Arizona


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