NASA asteroid probe Osiris-Rex launched

NASA and United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, successfully launched a rocket carrying a probe on a 7-year mission to collect samples from an asteroid.

Called Osiris-Rex, the probe will take two years to travel to the near-earth asteroid Bennu, which orbits the sun at roughly the same distance as earth.

The probe will gather samples from Bennu and return them to earth so they may be studied to gain a deeper understanding on how life may have been seeded here.

It will also improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact earth, NASA said.

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NASA asteroid probe Osiris-Rex launched