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Published on Dec 6, 2011
Dante Lauretta, Ph.D. and professor in the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Sciences Laboratory, started his career at the UA as a math major. As a young student, he was accepted into the NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Research Program. Today, he is the principle investigator on the OSIRIS-REx mission to return a sample of pristine, carbon-rich material from asteroid 1999 RQ36. Such material may just contain precursors to key biomolecules that could tell us how life on Earth began. The sample will help spur research around the world for decades to come.