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NASA's Asteroid Mining Mission

NASA's Asteroid Mining Mission

NASA's OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer) spacecraft is set to launch in 2016 on a mission to study a near-Earth asteroid. OSIRIS-REx is expected to arrive at asteroid (101955) Bennu in 2018 and spend over a year analyzing the space rock, with the ultimate aim of bringing back a sample to Earth. Scientists hope to learn about planet formation and the origin of life, as well as how such asteroids pose an impact risk to Earth. Asteroid Bennu has a 1-in-1,000 chance of smashing into the planet in the year 2182. More info, including video, at Space.com.

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