Asteroid Mathilde
Asteroid Mathilde Asteroid 253 Mathilde was visited by the NEAR spacecraft on June 27, 1997, on its way to Eros. Mathilde is a C-type main-belt asteroid, 59 x 47 kilometers in size. NASA / JPL / Ted Stryk

The encounter was the first fast flyby of an asteroid; for the images to be captured, the spacecraft's targeting had to be updated less than 12 hours before the encounter, based upon the orbital information provided by pre-encounter images.

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