February 11, 2013
OSIRIS-REx Targets NEO
Near-Earth Objects, or NEO’s, cross our planet’s orbit on a regular basis, but only a handful are large enough to pose a threat. One of these objects is asteroid 1999 RQ36, a “leftover” from the formation of our solar system four-and-a-half billion years ago. In an effort to better understand NEO’s and our planet’s own origins, NASA is sending the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to asteroid 1999 RQ36 to study the evolution of its orbit and to retrieve a sample for return to Earth.