NASA Asteroid Explorer Finds First New Asteroid Since September Relaunch



NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) recently got a glimpse of a never-before-seen asteroid, bringing the space agency closer to its goal of locating and rerouting an asteroid by 2025.

It is the first such discovery for the asteroid observatory since it was reactivated in September. Originally called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the spacecraft was used to create a comprehensive survey of asteroids and comets but was shut down in 2011 after completing its primary mission. The renamed NEOWISE was given a new mission: Assist NASA efforts to identify potentially hazardous near-Earth objects. It will also help categorize previously detected asteroids that could be considered targets for future missions.