February 12, 2001 Laurel, Maryland - Scientists at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory broke out the champagne to celebrate today when the clock ticked 3:02:10 p.m. EST and the last picture was taken by NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft as it lowered at 4 mph for the first historic landing of an Earth vehicle on the asteroid Eros 196 million miles away. Touchdown was in the yellow circle below on the edge of the asteroid's saddle-shaped feature named Himeros.
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