OSIRIS-REx begins 84-million-mile journey to asteroid

Scientists in Central Florida had been waiting for Thursday night’s launch for years.

It was carrying a unique spacecraft that has just begun its 84-million-mile journey to an asteroid. And then it has to come back again.

NASA launched the OSIRIS-REx craft from Space Launch Complex 41, sending a fireball into the sky at 7:05 p.m. The craft is en route to the Bennu asteroid, where it will collect a sample and return it to Earth Sept. 24, 2023, for research.

Scientists, including some from University of Central Florida, will have plenty to do in the seven-plus years until then.