Waltz By Mathilde Is Nearly Perfect
LAUREL, MD. As it whizzed by toward its true target, the Near spacecraft—the first of NASA’s Discovery program of low-cost planetary science missions—succeeded in imaging an asteroid that is both common and unusual. In a feat of dexterity, the small spacecraft grabbed pictures of the paradoxical 253 Mathilde, a member of the main belt of asteroids that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.
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