Status Report

NEAR Mission Status Report 03-10-2000

By SpaceRef Editor
March 10, 2000
Filed under


The NEAR satellite continued to operate nominally this past week in orbit
around the asteroid Eros. NEAR has been in Operational Mode with Flight
Computer #1 and Attitude Interface Unit #2 in control. All instruments
remained “ON” during this week. S/C attitude pointing continues to
alternate between Eros nadir proximity pointing, Earth pointing, and Sun
pointing as required to conduct Eros orbital operations. NEAR will have
completed its first month in Eros orbit next Tuesday.

Latest orbit solutions from JPL Navigation indicated NEAR is presenting in
a 200.6 Km by 209.1 Km orbit around Eros. NEAR will stay in this orbit
conducting Science observations until April 2,2000 when an Orbit
Correction Maneuver will place NEAR in a 200 Km x 100 Km transfer orbit.

The XGRS instrument made its first direct measurement of Eros’s elemental
composition this past week during a brief period of intense solar
activity. Congratulations to the XGRS team! In addition, the Gamma Ray
Burst experiment continues to provide valuable timing information that
supports determining Gamma Ray Burst points of origin. This effort
recently confirmed NEAR’s onboard timing accuracy to 100 ms.

Operations efforts this week focused on preparing for next week’s momentum
bias maneuver planned for March 15th. All preparations are now complete.

Science activities conducted this week included Eros “high altitude” ~200
Km observations with the MSI, NIS, MAG, NLR and XGRS instruments.
Activities conducted are too numerous to mention here. Please consult
science timelines for more details.

Upcoming Spacecraft Activities:

In addition to regular Eros Science and Optical Navigation, the following
are operationally significant activities planned for the near future:

March 15 Propulsive Momentum Bias
March 22 Propulsive Momentum Bias
April 2 Eros Orbit Correction Maneuver 3
(200 Km x 100 Km transfer orbit)

SpaceRef staff editor.