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Why STEM education is vital for this NASA mission

The Orlando Business Journal – Matthew Richardson

“In what almost sounds like the plot to the 1998 action flick Armageddon — without the ragtag group of guys being shot into space — NASA is sending its Lockheed Martin Corp.-built spacecraft to collect samples from a giant asteroid that later may be studied by today’s middle and high school students. “This mission is multigenerational,” Katrina Corden, a mechanical engineer with Lockheed Martin, told Orlando Business Journal. “The students here today will be the ones to study the samples that will return years later.” United Launch Alliance will use its Atlas V rocket to shoot the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft into orbit Sept. 8 at 7:05 p.m. from Cape Canaveral, but the spacecraft will not reach the asteroid named Bennu until 2018. The samples the vehicle will grab will land in a desert in Utah in 2023, completing a seven-year scientific journey. But until then, NASA, Lockheed Martin and the University of Arizona are reaching out to students at various middle and high schools to explain the significance of the program.”(more)

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