June 12, 2024
Why in news?
  • NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission will depart from asteroid Bennu and start its two-year-long journey back to Earth.
OSIRIS-REx Mission:
  • OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer.
  • The mission was launched in 2016. It was the first U.S. mission to successfully collect a sample from an asteroid.
  • Aim: To travel to a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu and bring a small sample back to Earth for study.
Asteroid Bennu:
  • Asteroid Bennu is named after an Egyptian deity. It is as tall as the Empire State Building. It is located about 200 million miles away from the Earth.
  • The asteroid was discovered by a team from the NASA-funded Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research team in 1999.
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