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Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Mission

Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Mission
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The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission is the first launch in the Discovery Program, a NASA initiative for small planetary missions, with a maximum 3-year development cycle and a cost capped at $150 million in FY 1992 dollars. The NEAR mission is managed for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, MD. As the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid, the NEAR mission promises to answer fundamental questions about the nature and origin of near-Earth objects, such as the numerous asteroids and comets in the vicinity of Earth's orbit. On Monday, 12 February 2001, the NEAR spacecraft touched down on asteroid Eros, after transmitting 69 close-up images of the surface during its final descent.
Submitted by elementlist on Oct 15, 2006
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