- NASA is launching a space probe to catch up to an asteroid
- OSIRIS-REx will bring back a sample of asteroid Bennu
(CNN)NASA is sending a space probe to chase down a dark, potentially dangerous asteroid. The probe will take a sample of the asteroid and -- in a US space first -- bring the sample back to Earth.
What OSIRIS-REx will do?
Will Bennu really hit Earth?
The mission is a first for NASA, but ...
- The Apollo astronauts brought back rocks and soil from the moon.
- NASA's Stardust mission brought back samples of dust from Comet Wild 2.
- The GENESIS mission brought back samples of the solar wind, material ejected from the outer portion of the sun, in 2004.
- And NASA has landed on an asteroid before: The NEAR-Shoemaker mission touched down on asteroid Eros in 2000. It's still there. But it didn't send back any samples.