OSIRIS-REx Targets Near-Earth Asteroid

  • Released Thursday, February 7, 2013
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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.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Arizona

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This page was originally published on Thursday, February 7, 2013.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:52 PM EDT.


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