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It was once considered the most dangerous object in the universe, heading for Earth with the explosive power of 84 Hiroshimas. Now an asteroid called 2000SG344, a lump of rock barely the size of a large yacht, is in the spotlight again, this time as a contender for the next giant leap for mankind.
The mission - the first to what officials call a Near Earth Object (NEO) - is being floated within the US space agency as a crucial stepping stone to future space exploration.