After a two-year journey, a NASA spacecraft arrives at its target asteroid

<em>An artistic rendering of OSIRIS-REx arriving at Bennu</em>”  data-src=”×0:944×576/1310×873/”></p>
<p id=Today, one of NASA’s deep-space probes, OSIRIS-REx, arrived at the space rock it’s been traveling toward for the last two years, an asteroid named Bennu. At noon ET, OSIRIS-REx came within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the asteroid, which is closer than ever before. The arrival means that OSIRIS-REx is now starting a new phase of its mission that entails extensively mapping the surface of the asteroid to find the best place to grab a sample of material.

“We have arrived!” Javi Cerna, the OSIRIS-REx telecom engineer at Lockheed Martin, jubilantly proclaimed on NASA TV when the mission team received word that the spacecraft had made it to the asteroid. The announcement was followed by cheers and applause by the team members at the…

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