Sunday, October 19th, 2014

University Of Arizona To Lead Mission To Land Unmanned Aircraft On Asteroid

The University of Arizona is leading a $1 Bbllion project to land an unmanned craft on an asteroid that may pose a hazard to Earth. The Arizona Republic reports that the school is heading a project called OSIRIS-Rex that is scheduled for a September 2016 launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. According to the project's mission, the unmanned craft is slated to bring back a sample of asteroid Bennu, which is a third of a mile in diameter. Scientists say that if Bennu hit the Earth, it would gouge a crater four miles wide and cause widespread damage for hundreds of miles. One calculation puts the probability of collision in 2182 at 1-in-1800. The contract for the mission is the university's largest space contract to date.

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