This was the primary comfortable touchdown on an asteroid, and it was imagined to be the very last thing NEAR-Shoemaker ever did. However NASA was stunned to search out that the spacecraft was nonetheless intact and completely effective after hitting the asteroid. As an alternative of ending the mission as deliberate, NASA spent a pair extra weeks finding out Eros from up shut.
All through its mission, it studied issues like the asteroid’s composition and magnetic area, nevertheless it additionally took the primary close-up asteroid photos ever taken by a spacecraft in orbit.
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