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NASA set to launch its first-ever asteroid-sampling spacecraft on Thursday evening.[/caption]
NASA set to launch its first-ever asteroid-sampling spacecraft on Thursday evening.
"The Atlas V rocket and range equipment are ready, and the combined government and contractor launch team is prepared to launch this fantastic asteroid sample-retrieval mission,” NASA official said.
The USD 800 million OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) mission is scheduled to lift off Thursday at 2305 GMT.
OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with a 1,640-foot-wide (500 meters) asteroid named Bennu in August 2018, grab a sample of space rock material two years later and return that material to Earth in September 2023.
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