The OSIRIS-REx mission has passed its latest review and is moving ahead into development and testing. The mission, to be launched in 2016, will visit the asteroid Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023. More information is available in the NASA Press Release.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 flew by the Earth on Friday, 15 February, coming within 27,700 km (17,200 miles, or roughly two Earth-diameters) at 19:24 UT (2:24 p.m. EST). 2012 DA14 is a near-Earth asteroid approximately 50 meters in diameter which passed from south to north over the Eastern Indian Ocean. Coincidentally, earlier the same day at 03:20 UT (10:20 EST, Feb. 14) an unrelated bolide disintegrated explosively in the atmosphere above Chelyabinsk, Russia. Early estimates give a size of 17 meters and a mass of 10 million kg.
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