Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deep Space Network Hear Last From Faraway NEAR Asteroid Probe

Date:
March 1, 2001
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
The last data from the overachieving Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR Shoemaker) mission to asteroid Eros has been received via NASA's Deep Space Network telecommunications system.

Feb. 28, 2001 -- The last data from the overachieving Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR Shoemaker) mission to asteroid Eros will be received today via NASA's Deep Space Network telecommunications system.

A group of engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory stands by, monitoring final telemetry from this successful extended mission to map and understand the asteroid. NEAR Shoemaker was directed to a successful landing on the asteroid on Feb. 12. Today, the Deep Space Network, Earth's phone line to Eros, will hang up, marking the probable conclusion to the historic mission, which is managed by the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md, for NASA.

The Deep Space Network, managed by JPL for NASA, consists of large antennas at three complexes located in Goldstone, Calif., near Canberra, Australia, and near Madrid, Spain. Each complex houses several radio antennas of different sizes, including giant 70-meter (230-foot) telescopes, used to communicate with interplanetary spacecraft.

Antennas at Goldstone today received science data from the last NEAR experiment, spectrometry from the spacecraft's gamma ray instrument. This data will tell scientists about the surface and subsurface composition of asteroid Eros. NEAR's position on the asteroid precludes it from using its largest communications antenna, called the high-gain antenna. To receive the weaker signal from the low-gain antenna, the Deep Space Network is using its own largest antenna, the 70-meter dish.

"The pass is going fine, we're locked on to the spacecraft's signal and we're getting good data back." said JPL's Allen Berman, the telecommunications and mission systems manager for NEAR. Telecommunications support of the mission were scheduled to end at 4 p.m Pacific Standard Time today, he said.

Throughout NEAR's five-year mission, controllers at the Deep Space Network have provided every link between the spacecraft and Earth. The Deep Space Network has transferred information about the size, shape and gravity of the asteroid from the spacecraft to Earth, sent commands to make changes in the spacecraft's course, and maintained the contact for the exciting landing on Feb. 12.

"We're the vehicle of getting those commands from the mission controllers at Applied Physics Lab to the spacecraft," said Berman. "Then we receive the science and engineering data from the spacecraft to Earth. We also generate navigational data -- the Deep Space Network continuously measures the velocity of the spacecraft through the Doppler shift imprinted in the signal. We extract that data, and send it to the JPL navigation team so that they can determine the orbit and develop maneuvers."

The antennas rotate toward certain portions of the sky where engineers predict the signal will come from the spacecraft. Data, in the form of radio signals, is intercepted by the antennas, and sent via data processing equipment at the facility to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where navigators determine the exact position of the spacecraft.

The Deep Space Network also provided all the ground communications for the NEAR mission between the Applied Physics Lab, JPL and worldwide Deep Space Network stations via voice and data networks.

The NEAR spacecraft spent the last year in a low-altitude orbit of asteroid 433 Eros, a near-Earth asteroid that is currently 316 million kilometers (196 million miles) from Earth. During that time it collected 10 times more data than originally planned and completed all its science goals before attempting its descent to the asteroid.

The Deep Space Network is managed and operated for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NEAR is managed by Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University for NASA. For mission updates, images and other information, see http://near.jhuapl.edu . JPL, a NASA center, is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Deep Space Network Hear Last From Faraway NEAR Asteroid Probe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301073345.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2001, March 1). Deep Space Network Hear Last From Faraway NEAR Asteroid Probe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301073345.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Deep Space Network Hear Last From Faraway NEAR Asteroid Probe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301073345.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

NASA (July 25, 2014) One station cargo ship leaves, another arrives, aquatic research and commercial spinoffs. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) 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:
from the past week

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