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A Nasa spacecraft is on course to deliver material from an asteroid to Earth – here's what we could learn

By Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences, The Open University
Around 15 years ago, I was on a European Space Agency (Esa) committee, looking at Esa’s strategy for proposed forthcoming space missions. Under consideration was a mission to an asteroid. Over dinner, one of the committee members, an astrophysicist, quizzed me on why we needed to visit one of these objects.

“Nasa has already been to one and the Japanese Space Agency to another. Why do you need to go to another one? They’re all the same aren’t they, just lumps of rock?” My deliberately less-than-polite response was: “Why do astronomers…The Conversation

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