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NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is about to suck up asteroid rubble for the first time. Watch the risky maneuver live.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is about to suck up asteroid rubble for the first time. Watch the risky maneuver live.

An artist's rendering shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the surface.
NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona




NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is set to land on asteroid Bennu and collect samples of rock on Tuesday evening.




The van-sized probe will have to maneuver past a rock field to land on a small, smooth stretch of the asteroid's surface.




Live coverage of the maneuver begins at 5 p.m. ET on NASA TV, embedded below.




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For the first time ever, a NASA spacecraft is about to try to gather up an asteroid's dusty rock. The $1 billion OSIRIS-REx spacecraft a?? short for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer a?? has been orbiting asteroid Bennu since December 2018.The 1.7-ton robot has spent much of that time looking for the perfect spot to suck up some extraterrestrial dirt in a risky "touch-and-go" maneuver. NASA has settled on a location named Nightingale, a small, unobstructed, and relatively smooth area covered in fine dust and grit called regolith.But landing on Nightingale will be tricky.
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