Watch as NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission attempts to grab a sample from an asteroid

This afternoon, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will grab a small sample of rocks from the surface of an asteroid named Bennu zooming through space more than 200 million miles from Earth. It’s an ambitious task, but if it works, OSIRIS-REx may eventually return to Earth with the largest sample of material from another space body since NASA’s Apollo missions to the Moon.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been circling Bennu for the last two years, mapping its surface and hunting for the right spot to snag these rocks. After an intense amount of planning from the mission team, the engineers have a target all picked out on Bennu and are ready to send their spacecraft down to the surface. OSIRIS-REx will lightly touch the surface of Bennu with an…

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