An Asteroid Could Hold The Secret To Our Solar System’s Beginnings

Aug 01, 2016 at 1:34 PM ET

For insight into your horrifying future, spend a few minutes scrolling through Tinder while watching an American political panel show. For insight into the past, the distant past, before you or me or any human were a glint in anybody’s eye, we have to turn our eyes to space.

NASA seeks to explore an asteroid called Bennu, a mass of space rock virtually untouched since the solar system was formed. They’re sending a spacecraft named OSIRIS-REx to use spectrometry to map the asteroid and eventually gather a sample.

Not for nothing, the spaceship’s namesake Osirus is the name of the ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife. Cheeky of NASA to use the name of the god of the dead to examine the origins of the living. Time is a flat circle.