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 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 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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