First Closeup Images of Eros from Low Orbit

By Keith Cowing
May 5, 2000
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NEAR gets even closer to ErosJohns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory has begun to relase images taken by the Near Shoemaker spacecraft from its new, lower orbit just 50 km (31 miles) above the surface of asteroid 433 Eros. Objects such as this 35 m (115 foot) boulder are now clearly visible. At this altitude objects as small as 4 meters (13 feet) will be visible.

In August, NEAR will move into a high orbit that will measure 31 to 311 miles (50 to 500 kilometers). In December
NEAR will be brough back within 21 miles (35 kilometers) of Eros for additional close range studies. The mission is
scheduled to end on 14 February 2001 with the possibility of a landing (i.e. a slow motion crash) on Eros itself.

° NEAR image of the day for May 5, 4, 3, 2

° Focus On Near, SpaceRef

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.