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Space missions have long exemplified humankind's indomitable spirit and boundless ambition. Once the reserve of nations, space is fact opening up to commercial enterprises and could soon be the must-go destination for tourists – provided the accumulation of debris doesn't turn Earth's orbit into a no-go zone. All this comes as missions beyond the Moon provide greater insights into our solar system and more powerful telescopes give us a glimpse at exoplanets light years away.

New Atlas keeps you up to date with the latest space news and fantastic images from all corners of the Universe.

Rare double asteroid scoots by Earth

Findings from three major world observatories confirm that a very rare binary asteroid came within a cosmic whisker of Earth on June 21, 2017 The near-Earth asteroid (actually two asteroids) passed within 3.7 million of our planet for the first time in 170 years before heading out into deep space.

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