NASA'S CHEAPEST SHOT

A BOLD MISSION TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY OF THE ASTEROIDS LAUNCHES A NEW ERA OF COST-CONSCIOUS SPACE FLIGHT

DEEP IN INTERPLANETARY SPACE, AN irregularly shaped chunk of rock about twice as long as the island of Manhattan is silently speeding along the orbit it has traced for billions of years. It is an asteroid known as 433 Eros, and it is just one of thousands that have been discovered since the first was spotted in 1801. Astronomers believe these mysterious objects are rubble left over from the formation of the solar system and that they've occasionally smashed into Earth; it may well have been a wayward asteroid, for example, that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But...

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