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Re: EROS Rendezvous: NEAR Mission Problems

Andrew Reynolds wrote:
> [snip] 
> Tom,
>  Hope this is just a communications glitch. NEAR is one of those missions
> I'd like to see succeed.
> Later,
> Andy

Today's news is much better -- again from the NEAR home page:

>Contact Reestablished 
>   At 8 p.m. EST on Dec. 21 NASA's Deep Space Network verified 
>   a positive lock on a radio signal from the NEAR spacecraft. 
>   Throughout the night scientists and engineers at the program's 
>   Mission Operations Center have been communicating with the 
>   spacecraft. At 8 a.m. this morning, Dec. 22, Mission Operations 
>   personnel are intently analyzing preliminary data as NEAR 
>   transmits it to Earth. 

It does appear to me that the motor shut down early (2 secs instead
of 20 min burn) and that the spacecraft lost its attitude control
as a result of the mishap. If the EROS rendezvous can be salvaged,
the original timetable is changed.

In addition to the NEAR web site at http://near.jhuapl.edu/ also see
CNN at http://cnn.com/TECH/space/9812/21/near.01/index.html
for some additional details.


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