Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NEAR Shoemaker Makes Historic Touchdown On Asteroid Eros

Date:
February 13, 2001
Source:
Johns Hopkins University
Summary:
After a 5-year, 2-billion-mile journey -- the last year spent in a close-orbit study of asteroid 433 Eros -- the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft has touched down the surface of the asteroid, the first time such a feat has ever been tried or accomplished.

After a 5-year, 2-billion-mile journey -- the last year spent in a close-orbit study of asteroid 433 Eros -- the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft has touched down the surface of the asteroid, the first time such a feat has ever been tried or accomplished. Eros is 196 million miles (316 million kilometers) from Earth.

Related Articles


"This was a bonus," says NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) Mission Director Dr. Robert Farquhar of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., which built the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft and manages the mission for NASA.

"The NEAR mission and the spacecraft were not designed to touch down on the asteroid, and such a maneuver has never been attempted before," Farquhar says. "But the risk was worth taking. During our yearlong study of Eros we collected 10 times more data than originally planned. And now, at the end of the mission, we had a chance to gather close-up images of Eros' surface – capturing features as small as 4 inches (10 centimeters) across – by executing a controlled descent to the surface of Eros. So we took it."

A successful engine burn at 10:31 a.m. (EST), nudged NEAR Shoemaker toward Eros from about 16 miles (26 kilometers) away. Then four breaking maneuvers brought the spacecraft to rest on asteroid's surface in an area just outside a saddle-shaped depression, Himeros, at approximately 3:05 p.m. (EST).

NEAR mission news, images and end-of-mission activities can be found at the NEAR Web site: http://near.jhuapl.edu/media/index.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University. "NEAR Shoemaker Makes Historic Touchdown On Asteroid Eros." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010213071136.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University. (2001, February 13). NEAR Shoemaker Makes Historic Touchdown On Asteroid Eros. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010213071136.htm
Johns Hopkins University. "NEAR Shoemaker Makes Historic Touchdown On Asteroid Eros." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010213071136.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) The Geminids meteor shower lights up the skies over the Changbai Mountains in northeast China. Duration: 01:03 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

AP (Dec. 13, 2014) A U.S. defense satellite launched from California's central coast on Friday after weather delays caused by a major storm that drenched the state. (Dec. 13) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins