PASADENA ( — Officials with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) were expected to discuss an near-Earth flyby of an asteroid that will pass closely – but safely – next week.

The space rock known as 2012 DA14 is about 150 feet in diameter and will pass by the Earth at a distance of 17,000 miles – a distance that is approximately 14 times closer than the moon.

In a statement, NASA acknowledged that the fly-by would mark the “the closest pass to our blue planet in recorded history” and said the flyby creates a unique opportunity for researchers to observe and learn more about asteroids.

NASA is scheduled to hold a media teleconference at 11 a.m. on Thursday.


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