NASA’s first look: Tiny asteroid is studded with boulders

WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA’s first look at a tiny asteroid shows the space rock is more moist and studded with boulders than originally thought.

Scientists on Monday released the first morsels of data collected since their spacecraft Osiris-Rex hooked up last week with the asteroid Bennu, which is only about three blocks wide and weighs about 80 million tons (73 million metric tons). Bennu regularly crosses Earth’s orbit and will come perilously close to Earth in about 150 years.

There’s no liquid water on the asteroid, but there’s plenty of it in the form of wet clay. Project scientist Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona said the blueish space rock is more rugged than thought with hundreds of 33-foot (10 meter) boulders, instead of just one or two.

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