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The NEAR spacecraft undergoing preflight preparation in the Spacecraft Assembly Encapsulation Facility-2 at Kennedy Space Center.
Rendezvous with an Asteroid

By Andrew Cheng   NEAR was the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, the first launch in NASA’s Discovery Program—and the first dedicated asteroid mission. The plan was to insert the vehicle into orbit around Eros, one of the larger near-Earth asteroids. Not everything went according to plan.

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