Quote:OSIRIS-REx will be launched in September 2016, and will encounter the asteroid in 2018. It will then study the asteroid for about 6 months, globally mapping the surface from a distance of 7 km down to 250 m. The sample will be returned to Earth in 2023.
Quote:The target asteroid, Near-Earth Object (NEO 101955) 1999 RQ36, is an exciting and accessible volatile and organic-rich remnant from the early Solar System, as well as one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids known to humanity. Observations using telescopes have revealed that 1999 RQ36 is very dark. Scientists have classified it as a B-type asteroid, a rare subgroup of the dark, carbonaceous C-type asteroids. These asteroids are considered to be primitive objects, having changed little from their time of formation.
Well at least they are trying to doing something to protect the Earth from these dangerous asteroids. By bringing home a sample of the asteroid, they can then determine which measures should be used for deflection, or blowing it up, or hopefully in 10 years there will be new technology available.
Asteroid 1999 RQ36 likely to hit the Earth in 2182: