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Apocalypse now! NASA launches space mission to hunt asteroid that could hit the Earth
Recently, NASA has launched its first asteroid hunting mission, the Osiris-Rex. The main goal of this mission is to gather samples of dirt and debris from the surface of an asteroid and return them to Earth by 2023 for further studies.

Even though primarily, this mission is for studying an unexplored asteroid Bennu, the larger goal is to protect planet Earth some day. 

Bennu comes past the Earth's surface once in every six years and it could come so close in another 150 years that it could hit our planet.

The US$800 million (around Rs 5,323 crores) costing mission is scheduled to reach Bennu by August 2018. 

Bennu is considered to be one of the most dangerous space rocks. By sending the craft to it, scientists will be able to learn more about the mysterious paths of asteroids in general, and help prevent a possible collission with Earth. 

Bennu will come closest to Earth the next time in 2135, when it will pass just inside the moon's orbit.

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