NASA’s OSIRIX-REx probe sets a space record with a close orbit of weird asteroid Bennu

If you follow space news at all, you may have heard of ‘Bennu’ – the near-Earth asteroid that has a slim (but higher than most) chance of colliding with our planet sometime nearly 200 years from now. The asteroid is notable for many reasons, including the recent discovery that it’s actually also “active,” which means that it’s been spewing dust and gravel into the surrounding space as it continuous along its path.

That discovery is what prompted NASA to reduce the distance at which its OSIRIS-REx probe orbits the spacefaring rock. The probe arrived at Bennu late last year to observe the asteroid after a selection process determined which of the known near-Earth ones would be the best candidate for a research mission.

NASA’s probe is now just over 3,000 feet above…

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