| For Immediate Release
November 14, 2001
NEAR Mission Picked for Popular Science "Best of What's New" Award
The NEAR mission to asteroid Eros landed one of this year's 14th Annual "Best of What's New" Awards by Popular Science magazine, which honors the world's most outstanding breakthrough products and technologies. Unfortunately, the spacecraft will never get the news since it rests in deep freeze 228 million miles away on the surface of Eros, where it landed Feb. 12, 2001. But science team members who worked on what was the most comprehensive study ever of an asteroid are happy to be chosen for this tribute.
NEAR was one of the 100 new products and innovations selected from thousands examined by the magazine. All winners must improve the quality of life either through entertaining, healing the sick, or advancing the body of human knowledge. NEAR was one of 10 selected in the Aviation & Space categorybg. Visitors to the magazine's Web site (www.popsci.com) are being asked to vote for a single Readers' Choice Award winner, which will be announced on Jan. 4, 2002.
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, the first in NASA's Discovery Program, was managed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md. The mission's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft traveled more than two billion miles in a 5-year journey to Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit a small body and the first to land on an asteroid.
Nov. 13 proved to be a banner day for the mission, which since in addition to winning the Popular Science award, was also selected for the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum Trophy for Current Achievement.
For details on the NEAR mission, visit Web site: http://near.jhuapl.edu.
The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.