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NASA Spacecraft Spots Its First New Asteroid

Date: 01/08/2014
Category: Mission News & Science
By: Andy Shaner

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft has spotted a never-before-seen asteroid -- its first such discovery since coming out of hibernation last year.

NEOWISE originally was called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which had made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets. The spacecraft was shut down in 2011 after its primary mission was completed. But in September 2013, it was reactivated, renamed and given a new mission, which is to assist NASA's efforts to identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs). NEOWISE also can assist in characterizing previously detected asteroids that could be considered potential targets for future exploration missions.

To read more, visit the NASA WISE website.

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