How Earth’s new Rubin Observatory will usher in the next era of asteroid space missions

The forthcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory will never leave Earth itself, but the highly detailed, “big picture” view of the cosmos it will offer scientists may very well kick-start a new era of space exploration. 

The solar system is filled with billions of small rocky bodies and icy objects, many of which formed around 4.5 billion years ago when planets like the Earth were forming around the sun. Space missions like NASA’s OSIRIS-REx, Lucy, and Psyche have been making strides in visiting these primordial solar system bodies. They’ve been collecting images, and OSIRIS-REx even snagged a few samples, for investigation here on Earth — all informed by data collected by observatories across the globe. 

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