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Best New Tucson-Related Space Mission 

OSIRIS-Rex

Staff Pick

The crew at the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab, which has done more space exploration than anyone this side of Green Lantern, has a new mission: Fly a robot lab next to near-Earth asteroid 1999 RQ36, and take pictures for a year and half before sliding up to give the rock a peck on the cheek and gather the samples that come flying off. The guys with the joysticks here in Tucson will then fly OSIRIS-REx back to Earth for a landing in the Utah desert. How cool is that? The $800 million NASA grant is the largest the UA College of Science has ever seen. Watch for blast-off in 2016.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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