Colorado-built OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Hurtles Toward ‘Near-Earth’ Asteroid

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<p>United Launch Alliance</p>
<p>The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket, races toward its rendezvous with asteroid Bennu on Sept. 8, 2016.</p>

A spacecraft built in Colorado is on its way to take a bite out of an asteroid. The mission of OSIRIS-REx is to rendezvous with an asteroid as it speeds through space, study it and collect a sample that will be returned to Earth. The target asteroid, named Bennu, is classified as "potentially hazardous" by NASA, with a 1 in 2,700 chance of colliding with Earth. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin in Littleton and launched by Centennial's United Launch Alliance. Astronomer Doug Duncan, director of the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, spoke with Colorado Matters' host Nathan Heffel.