Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Approach To An Asteroid: New NEAR Movie Features Final Footage From A Landing Spacecraft

Date:
August 1, 2001
Source:
Johns Hopkins University
Summary:
Stunning close-up views of asteroid 433 Eros from the descending NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft get top billing in a new movie from NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission. The minute-long movie, released today on the NEAR Web site at http://near.jhuapl.edu covers the final moments of NEAR's yearlong orbit at Eros.

Stunning close-up views of asteroid 433 Eros from the descending NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft get top billing in a new movie from NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission. The minute-long movie, released today on the NEAR Web site at http://near.jhuapl.edu covers the final moments of NEAR's yearlong orbit at Eros. NEAR Shoemaker made history on Feb. 12, 2001, when the orbiter became the first spacecraft to land and then operate on the surface of an asteroid. NASA extended the mission until Feb. 28, 2001, so the intrepid spacecraft could gather additional data on the 21-mile-long space rock.

Imaging team member Mark Robinson produced the movie from 64 detailed pictures NEAR Shoemaker snapped during the last 3 miles (about 5 kilometers) of its controlled descent. Pointed at the surface during the entire landing sequence and taking about two pictures a minute, the digital camera pans over cracked and jagged rocks, boulder patches, craters filled with dust and debris, and mysterious areas where the surface appears to have collapsed. The final frame, taken 422 feet (128 meters) above Eros just moments before touchdown, shows features the size of a golf ball.

"The movies are a great way to see the complex surface properties on Eros," says Robinson, a research assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. "Set in motion, the descent images clearly show the asteroid's varied terrain, for example, when NEAR Shoemaker moves over boulder patches into smoother areas just before the landing site. This was the closest look we had at Eros and the pictures are incredibly valuable to our studies."

NEAR image processing is a joint project between Northwestern, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., and Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. APL built the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft and managed the mission for NASA. NEAR Shoemaker launched Feb. 17, 1996 -- the first in NASA's Discovery Program of low-cost, scientifically focused missions -- and became the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid on Feb. 14, 2000.

The car-sized satellite gathered 10 times more data than originally planned and now rests silently in Eros' southern hemisphere, nearly 197 million miles (315 million kilometers) from Earth. Visit the NEAR Web site at http://near.jhuapl.edu for more information.

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, uses innovative science and technology to solve complex problems that present critical challenges to the nation. For information, visit http://www.jhuapl.edu.


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. "Approach To An Asteroid: New NEAR Movie Features Final Footage From A Landing Spacecraft." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010801082535.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University. (2001, August 1). Approach To An Asteroid: New NEAR Movie Features Final Footage From A Landing Spacecraft. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010801082535.htm
Johns Hopkins University. "Approach To An Asteroid: New NEAR Movie Features Final Footage From A Landing Spacecraft." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010801082535.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017, opening the way to a new chapter in human spaceflight. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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