NEAR gets a new name

NEARNASA’s NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) unmanned spacecraft is officially renamed NEAR-Shoemaker, honoring Eugene Shoemaker, discoverer of multiple asteroids and comets, who died in 1997. Shoemaker had also put his geology skills to use in training Apollo astronauts after a medical diagnosis prevented him from joining the astronaut corps himself. NEAR-Shoemaker continues to orbit asteroid 433 Eros.