Asteroids main content.


Part of the Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration exhibition.

Asteroids AR

This near-Earth asteroid, Itokawa, is longer than 50 school buses and rotates once every 12 hours. Scientists have identified more than 7,000 "near-Earth asteroids"--which means they don't stay safely in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but rather have orbits that cross Earth's. The Japanese unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa landed on Itokawa in 2005 and sent samples back to Earth.

Asteroid Mission Simulation