Status Report

How to Cover the First Touchdown on an Asteroid: Schedule of Events and Live Web and Satellite Feed Information

By SpaceRef Editor
February 8, 2001
Filed under ,

Donald Savage

Headquarters, Washington, DC

(Phone: 202/358-17547)

Helen Worth/Michael Buckley

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD

(Phone: 240/228-5113)


NASA attempts something never before done Monday, Feb. 12,
starting at 10:31 a.m. EST, mission controllers at The Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) will send
commands to NASA’s NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft. Mission managers
will initiate a series of engine burns over a 4-hour period
designed to bring the spacecraft down to the surface of the
asteroid Eros.

Due to the STS-98 mission of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, NASA
Television will not be available to provide coverage of NEAR’s
descent and the post-mission briefing, now scheduled for Feb.

These events will be broadcast live on a separate Ku Band
satellite, Telstar K5, 97 degrees West Longitude, Transponder
12, Downlink Frequency 11936 MHz Horizontal Polarity, Audio 6.2
& 2.8.

NASA will also provide an Internet video stream of the
activities originating from APL. For members of the media who
wish to follow the NEAR encounter activities on the internet,
Contact either NASA HQ or APL Public Affairs offices for access
instructions and passwords.

General public access will be available on a first-come, first-
served basis on NASA’s home page at:

The satellite and web feed schedule is as follows (all times

Monday, Feb. 12:

7 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Live shots from the NEAR Mission Operations
Center (MOC) – APL broadcast on Telstar K5.

11 a.m. – Breaking news to report results of scheduled 10:31 a.m.
engine firing, broadcast on Telstar K5.

Noon – NEAR Video File – APL broadcast on Telstar K5

1:30 p.m to 3:30 p.m. – Descent Activities from NEAR MOC.
Broadcast live via Telstar K5 with simultaneous web cast.

4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Live shots from the NEAR MOC broadcast on
Telstar K5

Wednesday, Feb. 14:

Noon – NEAR Video File – APL broadcast on Telstar K5

1 p.m. – NEAR Post-Landing Press Briefing in APL’s Kossiakoff
Center broadcast on Telstar K5 and live web cast

Panelists for the post-mission briefing will be:

– Dr. Jay Bergstralh, Acting Director, Solar System Exploration,
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

– Robert Farquhar, NEAR Mission Director, APL

– Bobby Williams, Navigation, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Pasadena, CA

– Joseph Veverka, Imaging Team Leader, Cornell University,
Ithaca, NY

– Thomas Coughlin, NEAR Project Manager, APL

SpaceRef staff editor.