NASA Probe Reaches Bennu Asteroid
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has completed its flight of more than two years, arriving Monday at its destination: a carbon-rich 1,650-foot-wide asteroid located between Mars and Jupiter. The craft will spend several weeks shadowing Bennu, researching its composition and mass, before entering its orbit Dec. 31. In mid-2020, OSIRIS-REx will swoop toward the 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid’s surface and use a 10-foot-long robotic arm to collect samples that could provide clues about the solar system’s origins. If all goes well, it’ll bring them home to Earth in 2023.