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Abbrev. for Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous. A NASA mission launched in Feb. 1996. It was the first mission in NASA's Discovery program, the series of projects dedicated to exploring the Solar System. In June 1997 NEAR encountered the asteroid (253) Mathilde before heading for its chief target, (433) Eros. The probe went into orbit around Eros in Feb. 2000, beginning a year-long intensive investigation of the tiny world, the first such examination ever undertaken. In March 2000, NASA decided to rename the probe NEAR-Shoemaker, to commemorate the comet expert Eugene Shoemaker, who had died in 1997. In a series of maneuvers, project scientists brought NEAR-Shoemaker ever closer to Eros and eventually made a surprise last-minute decision to land it. Thus NEAR-Shoemaker became the first human-built object to land on an asteroid. The landing took place Feb. 12 2001. The probe continued to function after landing and transmitted data back to the Earth, including stunning close-up images of the asteroid's surface, for another 16 days.

What does it mean when you dream about something very close?

If something is very close in a dream, this can indicate that the matter being dealt with in the dream is close to consciousness. The dream also might be drawing on a familiar idiom, such as “nearest and dearest” or a “near miss.”

References in classic literature ?
seem to me to accord better with the view of occasional means of transport having been largely efficient in the long course of time, than with the view of all our oceanic islands having been formerly connected by continuous land with the nearest continent; for on this latter view the migration would probably have been more complete; and if modification be admitted, all the forms of life would have been more equally modified, in accordance with the paramount importance of the relation of organism to organism.
The most striking and important fact for us in regard to the inhabitants of islands, is their affinity to those of the nearest mainland, without being actually the same species.
Many analogous facts could be given: indeed it is an almost universal rule that the endemic productions of islands are related to those of the nearest continent, or of other near islands.
The law which causes the inhabitants of an archipelago, though specifically distinct, to be closely allied to those of the nearest continent, we sometimes see displayed on a small scale, yet in a most interesting manner, within the limits of the same archipelago.
There's not a moment to lose; now take my horse to the nearest inn and conduct me to your vessel.
Patrick," said Groslow, "take this horse to the stables of the nearest inn.
15am: Nanpantan Sports Ground, Grid reference: SK517175 Nearest postcode: LE11 3TN.
It declares: This would mean we fund free travel arrangements for children of compulsory school age, who are permanently residing in the Local Authority of Kirklees, and attending their nearest suitable school as defined by Kirklees Council, as follows: | Children up to 8 years old who live more than 2 miles from their nearest suitable school.
Summary: People asked to report their sighting to nearest court and register testimony
Nearest tube: King's Cross St Pancras, then 1min walk.
The nearest star to our solar system is Alpha Centauri (and specifically its faint third component, Proxima).
Deposits and Guarantees required: Lot 1 (scenic design) Deposits (5% of the initial batch amount (excluding VAT), rounded to the nearest ten years)