[meteorite-list] Nose-To-Nose With An Asteroid

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:06 2004
Message-ID: <200101291742.JAA15305_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


          Nose-to-Nose with an Asteroid
          January 28, 2001

          The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft made history once again
          today when it brushed over the "toe" end of Eros, less
          than two miles (2.74 kilometers) from its surface, at
          5:41 a.m. EST (ground receive time). The daring pass-the
          closest any spacecraft has come to an asteroid-marked
          the conclusion of a 4-day series of low-altitude
          flyovers that is returning extraordinarily detailed
          images of the asteroid's surface.

          The low pass sequence ended this afternoon at 1:22 p.m.
          EST (ground receive time), when a 3.8-second burst from
          the spacecraft's 5-pound thrusters pulled it away from
          its breathtaking vantage point, and back toward an orbit
          22 miles (35 kilometers) above the asteroid. There it
          will remain circling Eros until a maneuver on Feb. 12
          pulls the spacecraft out of orbit and into position for
          its descent to the asteroid. Several more engine burns
          will slow NEAR Shoemaker's descent, allowing it to
          settle on to the asteroid's surface at about 3 p.m. EST.
Received on Mon 29 Jan 2001 12:42:05 PM PST

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