NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Captures Lovely Blue Marble during Gravity Assist Swing-by to Asteroid Bennu

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid mission captured a lovely ‘Blue Marble’ image of our Home Planet during last Fridays (Sept. 22) successful gravity assist swing-by sending the probe hurtling towards asteroid Bennu for a rendezvous next August on a round trip journey to snatch pristine soil samples.

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sampler Slingshots Around Earth Friday, Sept. 21 – Catch It If You Can!

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Barely a year after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx robotic asteroid sampler launched on a trailblazing mission to snatch a soil sample from a pristine asteroid and return it to Earth for research analysis, the probe is speeding back home for a swift slingshot around our home planet on Friday Sept. 22 to gain a gravity assist speed boost required to complete its journey to the carbon rich asteroid Bennu and back.

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Watch Asteroid 3122 Florence Zip Past Earth This Weekend

Ready to hunt for low-flying space rocks? We’ve got an interesting pass of a Near Earth Asteroid this upcoming U.S. Labor Day weekend one that just slides over the +10th magnitude line into binocular range.

We’re talking about asteroid 3122 Florence which passes 4.4 million miles from our fair planet (that’s 7 million kilometers, about 18 times the distance from Earth to the Moon) this Friday on September 1st at 12:06 Universal Time (UT)/ 8:06 AM Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT).

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Watch Live 24-Hour Webcast for International Asteroid Day

Every day, Earth is hit by 60 to 300 metric tons of space dust and smaller meteors. But sometimes, larger and more dangerous space rocks plummet to Earth, such as on June 30, 1908 when an estimated 40 meter-wide meteoroid exploded over the Tunguska, Siberia region in Russia, devastating 2000 sq. kilometers (770 square miles) […]

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