NEAR spacecraft has LANDED on the surface of asteroid 433 Eros!
And it still works! This is an astounding achievement of human intellect and science. I am proud of all of the people who were involved. This craft was not even designed to land, and it is still sending data. Photos from as close as 390 feet!
This is so cool The USA really knows how to build 'em - 196 million miles on the same engine
Congrats, APL and NASA. I hope this helps pump some blood ($$) into our space programs.
I am proud also! Thanks for the link, narayan.
Ah, you beat me to it. I was just gonna post this.
Pretty darn cool huh? One particular fact jumped out at me. Read this news article about it and you might notice why this mission was so astoundingly successful.
Here's the link to the news story I saw: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/2001...landing_9.html
(narayan's link goes to the official NEAR site, I believe.)
Ok, I won't be a stinker, I'll just tell you why I think this mission accomplished more than anyone expected out of such a mission. Because everyone expected NASA-type results. And NASA is hopelessly bloated, slow, laden with red-tape, and so intertwined with our government they probably have Secret Service protection. But as this story points out, although actually developed by NASA, NASA's role in this mission was totally minimized. This was essencially a private sector mission (well, a step towards that anyways).
NEAR was built and operated under a faster-better-cheaper space exploration philosophy developed at NASA. Under the direction and control of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the spacecraft was designed, built and launched in just 26 months. Some deep space explorations have taken a decade or more to mount. NEAR is also the first deep-space mission to be operated by a non-NASA space
[This message has been edited by OuTpaTienT (edited 02-12-2001).]
Isn't technology great?
NEAR was not designed to land anywhere. Shaped like tin can attached to four solar panels, the craft was not equipped with wheels or braces to absorb the landing force.
Weiler commented, ``This is not a landing. It is a controlled crash.''
Eros has very light gravity, about one-thousandth that of Earth, which means that an object, such as NEAR, weighing 1,100 pounds on Earth, would weigh only slightly over a pound in the gravity field of Eros. A quarter, dropped from head-high on Eros, would take five seconds to fall to the surface
WOW!!! That's really amazing! Is the thing STILL able to send pictures? Have they not TRIED to get more pictures?
[This message has been edited by dafremen (edited 02-13-2001).]
Actually, an important achievement, 'cause we'll need to do so to sample asteroids for content (& return the samples), and maybe even nuke one out of a collision course w/mother earth.
This is amazing! Where's Otheos? I thought he would have been all over this post!
hehe, not really browsing the community forums lately (too much US politics for my taste).
just following the news as everybody else. What can I say... amazing. Really!
The ongoing politics (and tactics-strategies as OuT mentioned) within NASA and between NASA and ESA (especially the philosophy mentality differences), all came to a sudden hold with this success. For me, mars was always the frontier in space exploration, but this one is so exotic you can't really breath thinking about it. At work we had a small briefing on the science, but being all extragalactic astronomers (space exploration in our field is a dream of the impossible) we only gazed at the slides, amazed (and a bit envious) for the achievment and the grandeur of the human species!!
Thank you American tax payers! (I am being dead serious on this one!)
Very good news indeed.
Coincidently I am reading a book about the dangers of asteroids and comets crashing into the Earth. The more we know about these things the better. Lets hope this will make the governments of the world get together somehow and take notice that asteroids crashing into the Earth is a very real threat. Perhaps this is the start of serious work on detection and hopefully combatting anything that may be heading our way.
Human flight (especially surviving the flight ) was once 'a dream of the impossible.'
Dreamers will never be taken seriously until the time comes that their dreams acheive reality, which usually is well after their lifetime. But a dream wouldn't be a dream unless....
How true Joel....
It is amazing what our species has accomplished in its comparatively short existance on this planet. And think, all from ONE chromosome, or we would all be swinging around on trees
While I was participating I Texas BEST (Robotics) the Mars Exploration Project Head from NASA talked to us about how taxing such a mission would be on the human body and mind.
Anyone hear about those 3 French guys who are doing a NASA test that calls for them to lay still for 3 months.?! they get 12 grand a piece or something- good deal.
Hey! Get off of my asteroid!
Geeze, I leave the yard for one second and someone leaves a tin can behind. Lousy neighbors.
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