The Asteroid Hunter

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Author: Dante Lauretta

Category: Mathematics & science

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

ISBN: 9781538722947

RRP: $55.00


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A “captivating, behind-the-scenes account” of NASA’s historic OSIRIS-REx mission to return an asteroid sample and unlock the mystery of formation on life on earth braided with the remarkable life story of the mission’s leader, Dr. Dante Lauretta (Sara Seager).

On September 11, 1999, humanity made a monumental discovery in the vastness of space. Scientists uncovered an asteroid of immense scientific importance-a colossal celestial entity. As massive as an aircraft carrier and towering as high as the iconic Empire State Building, this cosmic titan was later named Bennu. Remarkable for much more than its size, Bennu belonged to a rare breed of asteroids capable of revealing the essence of life itself. But just as Bennu became a beacon of promise, researchers identified a grave danger. Hurtling through space, it threatens to collide with our planet on September 24, 2182.

Leading the expedition was Dr. Dante Lauretta, the Principal Investigator of NASA’s audacious OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission. Tasked with unraveling Bennu’s mysteries, his team embarked on a daring quest to retrieve a precious sample from the asteroid’s surface – one that held the potential to not only unlock the secrets of life’s origins but also to avert an unprecedented catastrophe.

A tale of destiny and danger, The Asteroid Hunter chronicles the high-stakes mission firsthand, narrated by Dr. Lauretta. It offers readers an intimate glimpse into the riveting exploits of the mission and Dr. Lauretta’s wild, winding personal journey to Bennu and back. Peeling back the curtain on the wonders of the cosmos, this enthralling account promises a rare glimpse into the tightly woven fabric of scientific exploration, where technical precision converges with humanity’s profound curiosity and indominable spirit.

Dr. Dante Lauretta is a Regents Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona. Since 2011 he has served as the Principal Investigator for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. In addition, he is a co-Investigator on Japan’s Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission, the European Space Agency’s Hera planetary defense mission, and Director of the Arizona Astrobiology Center.

Dr. Lauretta is a distinguished academic researcher and has published over 200 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and co-edited several academic books. His research has been featured on the covers of Science, Nature, Nature Astronomy, and Sky and Telescope. He has won numerous awards for his work including the 2020 American Astronautical Society Space Technology Award, the NASA Silver Achievement Medal, and two Guinness World Records.

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