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A rocket carrying the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft lifts off at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday. The spacecraft aims to collect samples from the asteroid Bennu. John Raoux/AP hide caption

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John Raoux/AP

The Two-Way

NASA Mission To Retrieve Ancient Asteroid Dust Is Ready For Launch

The mission aims to circle a hill-sized asteroid for two years, then skim its surface and bring a hearty sample of 4.5 billion-year-old dirt back to Earth.

A U.S. Predator drone sits on the tarmac at the Kandahar military airport in southern Afghanistan in 2010. The U.S. has been using drones more and more frequently since the Sept. 11 attacks. They have been highly effective on the battlefield, but have raised legal and ethical issues. Massoud Hossaini /AP hide caption

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Massoud Hossaini /AP

The Rise Of The Drone, And The Thorny Questions That Have Followed

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I Am Made Of Hearts & Fire The Gothenburg Address
Dust and Disquiet Caspian
A Lost Soul Nathan Johnson
Postcards & X-Rays Nathan Johnson

A rocket carrying the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft lifts off at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday. The spacecraft aims to collect samples from the asteroid Bennu. John Raoux/AP hide caption

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John Raoux/AP

NASA Launches Mission To Retrieve Ancient Asteroid Dust

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Leave Them All Behind Ride
Yoake No Uta Eastern Youth
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Kanjusei Outou Seyo
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Knives Original Soundtrack
Blue Funk Tsuneo Imahori

George Takei predicted Star Trek would be too sophisticated to last — but he says he's happy to have been proved wrong. The Kobal Collection/Paramount Television hide caption

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The Kobal Collection/Paramount Television

Much More Than A 5-Year Mission: 'Star Trek' Turns 50

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Star Trek Theme (Main Title) Alexander Courage
Main Theme from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
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Shaolin Theme The Shaolin Afronauts
The Sticks The Budos Band
My Long Goodbye The Best Pessimist
Autumn Leaves (Dtes Remix) The Best Pessimist

A relaxed, undrugged dog patiently waits its turn in the MRI scanner. The scientists' trick: Make it seem fun. Enikő Kubinyi/Science hide caption

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Enikő Kubinyi/Science

How A Dog In An MRI Scanner Is Like Your Grandma At A Disco

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Atomic Dog George Clinton
R.S.B.D. Takuya Kuroda
Askim Kamasi Washington
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Canon, for voice, guitar, ukulele, strings, winds, piano & percussion Clogs
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Still Sound Toro y Moi

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