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NASA Launches Interstellar Search for Life's Origins

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft lifts off from launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Osiris-Rex will travel to asteroid Bennu, collect ground samples, then haul them back to Earth.

    NASA launched a space probe Thursday with a seven year mission to land on an asteroid, collect samples and possibly discover more about the creation of life, NBC News reported.

    The 19-story rocket, built and flown for NASA by United Launch Alliance, lifted off at 7:05 p.m. (2305 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, hurling the satellite explorer Osiris-Rex on its voyage to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.

    It will take Osiris-Rex two years to reach its destination, a dark, rocky mass roughly a third of a mile wide and shaped like a giant acorn orbiting the sun at roughly the same distance as Earth.

    Bennu is thought to be covered with organic compounds dating back to the earliest days of the solar system.