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  • Evening Launch Catapults OSIRIS-REx Toward Asteroid Encounter

An Atlas V rocket traced a blazing arc into the Florida sky Thursday evening to send a small robotic explorer on its way to an asteroid on a mission that scientists anticipate will reveal answers to some of the basic questions about the solar system.

“Tonight is a night for celebration, we are on the way to an asteroid,” said Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist. “We’re going to be answering some of the most fundamental questions that NASA works on.”

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