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Archive for August, 2010

NASA To Visit Asteroid That May Hit Earth

Posted by 3citynewswire on 08/09/2010

There’s a mountain-size asteroid on a potential

collision course with Earth, and NASA has plans to pay it a visit.

The asteroid 1999 RQ36 diameter of approximately 1,837.27 feet (560 metres) made headlines last week with the announcement that the space rock could hit our planet in 2182. But a handful of scientists have had their eyes on this asteroid since 2007, planning a sample-return mission designed to help us better predict—and avoid—impact hazards.

DOPPLER IMAGE OF 1999 RQ36

The mission, called OSIRIS-Rex (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer), is one of two finalists in the current competition for funding under NASA’s New Frontiers program, up against a proposed mission to land on Venus. The selected mission will be announced in summer 2011.


If OSIRIS-Rex gets the green light, the spacecraft will launch in 2016 with the goal of mapping and bringing back pieces of the asteroid.
The potentially hazardous Asteroid (101955)
Asteroid Images

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