NEAR Aces Final Flight Test
The NEAR spacecraft passed its final flight test
last week, flawlessly rehearsing the 30 hour rendezvous sequence that will precede its orbit of asteroid Eros.
The sequence includes a low-phase flyby on February 13, during which
NEAR will fly directly between Eros and the Sun. The pass affords a unique opportunity to map the minerals on Eros' northern half under
optimal lighting; a similar operation in October will cover the asteroid's southern hemisphere.
NEAR remains on course for its February 14 rendezvous with Eros, which is
now about 15,250 miles away from the spacecraft. The NEAR team continues searching for small moons or space debris around Eros, though none
appear in the approach ../../../images NEAR has taken over the past two weeks.
Click here for the latest information on the NEAR encounter.
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