Planetary defense: The Bennu experiment

On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid. It will inspect nearly every ...

A solar-powered asteroid nursery at the orbit of Mars

The planet Mars shares its orbit with a handful of small asteroids, the so-called Trojans. Among them, one finds a unique group, all moving in very similar orbits, suggesting that they originated from the same object. But ...

NASA to map the surface of an asteroid

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch September 2016 and travel to a near-Earth asteroid known as Bennu to harvest a sample of surface material and return it to Earth for study. The science team will be looking for something ...

Celestial flybys set to thrill

Astronomers are gearing up for thrills this year when Earth gets buzzed by two rogue asteroids and two comets, including a wanderer last seen by the forerunners of mankind.