From Solo Cup to an asteroid: NASA’s newest space mission


MIAMI: The idea for a device that could unveil the origins of life in our solar system began with a Solo cup. Next month, an invention inspired by that plastic, disposable beverage cup will launch into space aboard the United States’ first robotic mission aimed at scooping up 4.5 billion-year-old dust from an asteroid. The $800 million NASA mission is called OSIRIS-REx, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. The unmanned spacecraft will travel to an asteroid near Earth called Bennu to collect space dust that may reveal how the materials necessary for life — such as carbon and ice — made their way to our planet.



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