NASA launches spacecraft to intercept asteroid

NASA launches spacecraft to intercept asteroid

Reporting live from Cape Canaveral, Florida (CNN). It was obtained that NASA on Thursday evening launched a space probe called OSIRIS-REx to track down a dark, potentially dangerous asteroid called Bennu“NASA did it again!” Jim Green, Planetary Science Division director at NASA, said at a post-launch briefing.

The probe will take a sample of the asteroid and — in a US space first — return the sample back directly to the Earth.
According to  Ellen Stofan“Tonight is a night for celebration,” , NASA chief scientist. “We are on our way to an asteroid.”
OSIRIS-REx lifted off at 7:05 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. NASA tweeted, “Our @OSIRISREx spacecraft is on its way, and everything is on the timeline …”

Our @OSIRISREx spacecraft is on its way, and everything is on the timeline. Keep watching:— NASA (@NASA) September 8, 2016

Mission managers said the launch was flawless, the spacecraft is in super-dynamic and excellent condition and that the mission is hitting all its pre-set projections

“The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is happy and healthy,” said Rich Kuhns, OSIRIS-REx program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Lockheed Martin built the spacecraft.
The mission’s principal investigator, Dante Lauretta, said the next big moment for him will be seeing Bennu for the first time from OSIRIS-REx.

“Every focus scientist on the team has some image in their mind of what Bennu is going to look like and it’s going to be phenomenal to see what it really looks like.”

Those images should start arriving in about two years as OSIRIS-REx approaches Bennu.