Near-Earth asteroid mission to travel to 433 Eros
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1996. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 77, Issue 8, pages 73–79, 20 February 1996
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1996), Near-Earth asteroid mission to travel to 433 Eros, Eos Trans. AGU, 77(8), 73–79, doi:10.1029/96EO00046., , and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
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Just after Valentine's Day the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft is scheduled to embark on a 3-year long journey to the asteroid Eros (Figure 1) to study its geophysical state and its geochemistry. The three-axis stabilized spacecraft, which is passively cooled and powered with fixed solar panels (Figure 2), was built by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. It will launch aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral on February 16. To further our understanding of asteroids and their role in the formation of the solar system, the spacecraft will orbit Eros for a year after its trajectory through the inner solar system (Figure 3). Once it arrives in February 1999, NEAR will use five scientific instruments to make measurements and transmit data to Earth through a 1.5-m, fixed, high-gain antenna at rates up to 27 kbits/s.