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OSIRIS-REx Mission to Asteroids

Goals: OSIRIS-REx is designed to approach and study near-Earth asteroid 1999 RQ36 and ultimately collect samples from its surface. The samples will be returned to Earth for study.

Asteroids are leftovers formed from the cloud of gas and dust -- the solar nebula -- that collapsed to form our sun and the planets about 4.5 billion years ago. They contain the original material from the solar nebula, which can tell us about the conditions of our solar system's birth.

Accomplishments: This mission is in development.

Key Dates
2016:  Launch
2020:  Arrival at asteroid 1999 RQ36
Status: In Development
Fast Facts
OSIRIS-REx Facts OSIRIS-REx will be the first U.S. mission to carry samples from an asteroid back to Earth.

Japan's Hayabusa was the first successful asteroid sample return mission.

OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA's New Frontiers program.

Asteroid 1999 RQ36 (above) is approximately 1,900 feet in diameter or roughly the size of five football fields.
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Last Updated: 25 May 2011