Special Perspectives

Adventures in Near-Earth Object Exploration

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Science  02 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5778, pp. 1328-1329
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128496

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Asteroids, because of the hazard they pose to Earth, are compelling targets for robotic and human space exploration. Yet because of their exotic low-gravity environment, simply landing on an asteroid appears to be much more challenging than we had appreciated 5 or 10 years ago. Thanks to a bold new mission from Japan that has made the first asteroid sample return attempt, this goal is now within our reach.

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