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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A NASA space probe was launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida on Thursday on an unprecedented quest to collect samples from an asteroid and return them to Earth in hopes of learning more about the origins of life.
The United Launch Alliance booster lifted off at 7:05 p.m. EDT/2305 GMT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Perched on top of the 19-story rocket was NASA's robot explorer Osiris-Rex, built by Lockheed Martin to carry out the seven-year, $1 billion mission to and from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.
United Launch Alliance is a private partnership between Lockheed and Boeing.
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