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Are We There Yet? Podcast

The Mysteries At Asteroid Bennu

Since arriving at near-Earth asteroid Bennu in December 2018, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission has been studying this small world of boulders, rocks, and loose rubble - and looking for a place to touch down. The goal of OSIRIS-REx is to collect a sample of Bennu in mid-2020, and return it to Earth in late 2023. Photo: NASA

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A spacecraft the size of a passenger van is orbiting an asteroid nearly 100 million miles away and will soon snag a sample of dirt from the surface and send it back to Earth.

OSIRIS-REx launched from Cape Canaveral three years ago. The mission is NASA’s first asteroid sample return. Scientists hope the ancient asteroid Bennu will hold signs of early life in the solar system — but since arriving, scientists are learning Bennu is full of surprises.

We welcome back the mission’s principal investigator Dante Lauretta to give us an update on the mission and the surprises uncovered at the asteroid Bennu.


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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »

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