Status Report

NEAR Mission Status Report 03-27-2000

By SpaceRef Editor
March 27, 2000
Filed under


NEAR Shoemaker continued to operate nominally this past week in orbit around the asteroid 433
Eros. NEAR Shoemaker 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 science operations.

NEAR Shoemaker is presently in a 200 km by 209 km orbit around Eros. NEAR Shoemaker will stay in
this orbit conducting Science observations until April 2, 2000 when an Orbit Correction Maneuver will
place the spacecraft in a 200 km x 100 km transfer orbit.

The March 23 Momentum Control Maneuver (MCM 2) successfully executed, biasing S/C momentum
with minimal perturbing effects on the orbit.

The modified Earth Safe Macro, which prevents instruments from being turned off during safing
conditions when sufficient power is available, was uplinked to NEAR Shoemaker on March 22 after
Brassboard (simulator) testing was completed.

The NEAR Shoemaker software team completed its analysis of the recent Multispectral Imager (MSI)
Digital Processing Unit (DPU) anomalies and completed a corrective software patch. The patch was
tested with results discussed during a special NEAR Shoemaker Configuration Control Board (CCB)
team meeting on March 22. The CCB approved uplink of the software patch. Mission Operations
successfully uploaded the MSI DPU patch on March 23rd.

Science activities conducted this week included Eros “high altitude” ~200 Km observations with the MSI,
NIS, MAG, NLR and XGRS instruments. 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 Shoemaker mission operation:

April 2 Eros Orbit Correction Maneuver 3

(200 Km x 100 Km transfer orbit)

April 12 Eros Orbit Correction Maneuver 4

(100 Km orbit circularization)

SpaceRef staff editor.