OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Targets Near-Earth Asteroid

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. Asteroid 1999 RQ36 is 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.