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NASA Attempts First Asteroid Intercept

Image rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending toward asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)
Image rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending toward asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

After two years of waiting for the perfect opportunity, NASA scientists will try to “tag” an asteroid more than 200 million miles away on Tuesday.

A spacecraft named OSIRIS-REx will attempt to vacuum some space dust off the surface of an asteroid about the size of the Empire State Building, which scientists think could hold clues about the beginnings of our solar system.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Jason Dworkin, project scientist on the mission.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.