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Apr 22, 2013 11:38 AM by Ryan Haarer

NASA and UA team up for an asteroid mission

TUCSON- NASA and the University of Arizona will send a robotic space craft to a near-earth asteroid in 2017.

Osiris-Rex will map the entire asteroid and eventually find a good place to reach out and grab about two ounces of space rock. The sample will reach earth in 2023 for analysis by the university.

The sample may answer some important questions about the universe and earth itself.

"We're really looking for something that has been untouched, un-chemically processed. That's really going to give us the clue that we need to understand the questions of, where did water come from? What were the origins of the organics that gave rise to life?" said Ed Beshore, with the Osiris-Rex team at the U of A.

For more information and animations of the mission, click on the video above.

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