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5 asteroids buzz by Earth TODAY, as NASA gears up for historic touchdown on asteroid Bennu

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Asteroid that may hit Earth day before US election is ‘not big enough to cause harm,’ Neil deGrasse Tyson reassures earthlings

None of these compare with humanity’s own extreme close flyby expected to take place on Tuesday at the Bennu asteroid located over 200 million miles from Earth on that day. 

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will make its first attempt at collecting a sample of the space rock shortly before 2pm ET on Tuesday. The craft is expected to touch down for just a few seconds, long enough for its robotic arm to blast the surface with high pressure gas and vacuum up some of the asteroid’s space dust for analysis back here on Earth. 

We’re cautiously optimistic that this will be the only time we touch the surface,” said Richard Burns, the OSIRIS-REx project manager at NASA’s Goddard Flight Center. 

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