Photos: Spectacular sunset launch of asteroid mission
Video: Post-launch news conference
OSIRIS-REx probe launched to asteroid in compelling search for the origins of life
Video: NASA mission launched to return sample of asteroid
Live coverage: Atlas 5 countdown and launch journal
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 7:05 p.m. EDT (2305 GMT) today to send NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on a seven-year, 4.4-billion-mile mission to rendezvous with Asteroid Bennu and bring a sample of the primordial object back to Earth. Follow the mission in our live journal.
OSIRIS-REx reaches launch pad with money to spare
The scientist in charge of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission hopes to apply more than $30 million in leftover funding toward reducing the risk of the probe’s touch-and-go maneuver to snag a piece of asteroid Bennu, then eventually hire more experts to analyze the primordial specimens when they return to Earth in 2023.