NASA Launches Spacecraft To Intercept 'God of Chaos' Asteroid

Formerly named OSIRIS-REx, the spacecraft completed a seven-year, four billion-mile journey to the asteroid Bennu for sample collection

Apophis, named after the Egyptian God of Chaos, will be intercepted in 2029 when it comes within 20,000 miles of Earth

The close approach is expected to alter Apophis's orbit and affect the length of its day due to Earth's gravity.

Potential seismic activity and landslides on the 1,000-foot-wide asteroid may result from Earth's gravitational forces.

OSIRIS-APEX's mission is to study the effects of Earth's gravity on Apophis and provide insights into planet formation processes in the solar system.

Scientists hope the data gathered will offer details on fundamental processes like tidal forces and rubble pile material accumulation.

The close approach is considered a valuable natural experiment with the potential to inform our understanding of planetary formation.