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Marco Polo-R​

is a European Space Agency mission. The primary objective of the project is to return a sample from a primitive Near-Earth Asteroid. Only one low-albedo asteroid, namely the main belt asteroid (243) Mathilde, has been observed by spacecraft to date and only during a brief fly-by and with limited instrumentation. The Marco Polo mission expects …

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Is NASA’s mission to launch a spacecraft to an asteroid in 2016 and use a robotic arm to pluck samples that could better explain our solar system’s formation and how life began. The mission, called Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, will be the first U.S. mission to carry samples from an asteroid back to …

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