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NEARAbbrev. 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.”