An asteroid named 2000 EM26 raced past the Earth at a distance of 3.4 million kilometer on 17 February 2014. The asteroid 2000 EM26 was tracked by the Slooh Space Camera atop the Mount Teide in Canary Island, Spain.
The asteroid 2000 EM26 equal to the size of three football fields is 270 meters in diameter and is moving at the speed of 12.37 kilometers per second.
The streaking of 2000 EM26 asteroid past the Earth took place one year after another asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia on 13 February 2013. The explosion of the asteroid had injured 1200 people and sent shock waves shattering windows and damaging buildings in Chelyabinsk.
The closest NEOs that moved quickly past Earth in our lifetimes was asteroid 2012 DA14 a 40000 ton space rock with 30meter diameter.
About Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)
Tracking the asteroids or Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) has been a significant endeavour for NASA and the astronomical community. So far 10731 known near- Earth objects have been discovered.
Towards this NASA is in the process of developing an Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). ARM will be the first ever mission to identify, capture and redirect an asteroid.
ARM plans to use capabilities of the new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket and high-power solar electric propulsion to capture an asteroid in near future.
In developing ARM, NASA is assessing two concepts to robotically capture and redirect an asteroid mass into a stable orbit around the Moon.
In the first concept, NASA will capture and redirect an entire asteroid. In the other concept, NASA will retrieve a large, boulder-like mass from a larger asteroid and return it to the lunar orbit.
In both the cases, astronauts aboard an Orion spacecraft will then study the redirected asteroid mass in the vicinity of the Moon and bring back samples.