NASA launched a space probe Thursday with a seven year mission to land on an asteroid, collect samples and possibly discover more about the creation of life, NBC News reported.
The 19-story rocket, built and flown for NASA by United Launch Alliance, lifted off at 7:05 p.m. (2305 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, hurling the satellite explorer Osiris-Rex on its voyage to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.
It will take Osiris-Rex two years to reach its destination, a dark, rocky mass roughly a third of a mile wide and shaped like a giant acorn orbiting the sun at roughly the same distance as Earth.
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Bennu is thought to be covered with organic compounds dating back to the earliest days of the solar system.