Press Release

NEAR Status Report

By SpaceRef Editor
November 19, 1999
Filed under

NEAR Mission Status Reports –


The NEAR spacecraft continued to operate nominally in Operational Mode
with Flight Computer #1 and Attitude Interface Unit #2 in control. NEAR
continues to Sun-point (GS-5). All instruments remained “ON” during this

NEAR is presently 144,582.5 Km from Eros (89,839.2 miles).

NEAR’s spacecraft momentum bias target was loaded this past Monday to
increase spacecraft momentum and wheel speeds in preparation for TCM 21.

Concurrent with the momentum biasing, which is accomplished with off-Sun
pointing, NEAR performed a ranging test on 11/15 and 11/17. This took
advantage of the slightly higher Fanbeam antenna signal strength that
resulted from more favorable antenna to Earth geometry during the momentum
biasing. Both tests resulted in “bonus” ranging data for the Navigation
team in preparation for TCM 21. Due to its success, the ranging test has
been extended through next Monday.

Real-time operations staffing was increased this past month to gear up for
next year’s orbital operation. The final of four openings was filled this
week. The recently hired flight controllers will be training for a
2-month period with senior Spacecraft Evaluators before 24×7 operations
begin in January.

Met with Navigation team on 11/15 to continue contingency planning for
next year’s orbital operation.

Review of 12/15 Flight Test will be held on 12/3 at 9:00 a.m. in the NEAR
MOC. An agenda has been distributed.

The 12/20 Flight Test designed to serve as an end-to-end flight test of
high bandwidth data flow has been modified to include a full flight test
of all OpNav sequences planned for next year.

Upcoming Spacecraft Activities:

The following are operationally significant activities planned for
November-December time frame:

Nov 19-22 Continue RF ranging test on the FBA

Dec 6 TCM 21 – test of TCM 20 “fix”

Dec 15 Flight Test of Rendezvous Sequence

Dec 17 NLR/MSI Co-Timing Test

Dec 20 MSI/SDC Lightcurve and OpNav Test

SpaceRef staff editor.