Near-Earth Objects, or NEOs, cross our planet's orbit on a regular basis, but only a handful are large enough to pose a threat.
One of these objects is asteroid 1999 RQ36, a "leftover" from the formation of our solar system four-and-a-half billion years ago. In an effort to better understand NEOs and our planet's own origins, NASA is sending the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to asteroid 1999 RQ36 to study the evolution of its orbit and to retrieve a sample for return to Earth.
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