NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker spacecraft was launched in 1996 and conducted the first long-term, close-up study of an asteroid (Asteroid 433 Eros). NEAR Shoemaker touched down on the surface of Eros on February 12, 2001, and ceased communications on February 28, 2001, marking the end of the very successful mission.

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How Asteroids Work
Illustrated description of the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft.
Mission Archive: NEAR Encounter at Eros
A large collection of news stories and images, from Space.com.
Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission
NEAR - First spacecraft to orbit an asteroid, 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. First launch in the Discovery Program, a NASA initiative for small planetary missions.
NEAR Information
Detailed mission information, images, and links related to the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous.
NEAR Team Deactivates Spacecraft's Near-Infrared Sensor
Status report on the Near-Infraed Sensor and implications for the mission. (June 07, 2000)
NEAR Science Update
A scientific news briefing summarizing the discoveries made by NEAR. (June 01, 2000)
Boulders Seen on Asteroid
An image from NEAR's low orbit showing massive boulders on the surface of Eros. (May 17, 2000)
Gold rush in space?
Article on NEAR's first encounter with Eros. Suggests that the asteroid may contain trillions of dollars worth of precious metals. (July 22, 1999)
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March 19, 2014 at 8:50:18 UTC
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