Cover image for Asteroid rendezvous : NEAR Shoemaker's adventures at Eros
Asteroid rendezvous : NEAR Shoemaker's adventures at Eros
Bell, Jim, 1965-
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xiii, 115 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Eros: special among the asteroids / Joseph Veverka -- A date with Eros / Robert Farquhar -- From launch to rendezvous / Scott Murchie -- Landscape of an asteroid / Louise Prockter and Mark Robinson -- Eros: form and substance / Peter Thomas -- Ingredients of an asteroid / Jim Bell -- The battered history of Eros / Clark R. Chapman -- On course and picture perfect / Maureen Bell and Bill Owen -- Mission accomplished / Andrew Cheng.
Corporate Subject:
Format :


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QB651 .A848 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) was the first mission to orbit and eventually land on an asteroid. A phenomenal success, the mission returned with hundreds of thousands of images, spectra, and other measurements about the large near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros. Some of the scientists and engineers who made NEAR such a success describe the mission here in their own words, from the initial concept studies, through the development phase, launch, cruise operations, the flyby of asteroid Mathilde, the near-catastrophic main engine failure in 1998, the heroic rescue and recovery of the spacecraft, the amazing year-long up-close look at one of Earth's most primitive celestial neighbors, and, finally, the daring attempt to land the spacecraft on Eros at the end of the mission. The book is illustrated throughout with images from the mission and explanatory diagrams. Jim Bell is an Assistant Professor in the Cornell University Astronomy Department whose research focuses on the geology, chemistry, and mineralogy of planets, asteroids, and comets using data obtained from telescopes and spacecraft missions. He is a member of a number of space science teams, including the NASA Mars Pathfinder and NEAR. Author of some 70 first and co-authored journal publications, he is a frequent contributor to popular astronomy magazines and radio shows. The International Astronomical Union recently awarded him the honor of having asteroid 8146 Jimbell named after him. Jacqueline Mitton is the Press Officer and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a member of the International Astronomical Union, and a Member of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. She is the author or co-author of 16 astronomy books; her most recent being The Cambridge Dictionary of Astronomy (2001).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Near-Earth asteroids are a hot topic since one might crash into Earth causing considerable damage. NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) Shoemaker was the first mission to orbit and eventually land on an asteroid. Launched in early 1997, its circuitous trajectory allowed a fly-by of another asteroid, Mathilde. Decisions to permit this added target later affected the Eros mission. A different member of the team wrote each chapter of the book, providing many viewpoints of the mission's challenges and successes. There is some repetition of facts--it is hard to avoid mentioning the botched rendezvous of December 1998, which almost ended the mission--but it is such an important part of the story that most authors included their reactions to it. Redesigning the mission "on the fly" resulted in a successful orbit in February 2000 (and a much longer mission), and a soft landing that produced unique data. Editors Bell and Mitton have done a superb job of assuring continuity and completeness. The high-quality images add to readers' understanding. Brief glossary. Recommended for general readers and lower- and upper-division undergraduates. M.-K. Hemenway University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents

Carolyn ShoemakerJoseph VeverkaRobert FarquharScott MurchieLouise Prockter and Mark RobinsonPeter ThomasJim BellClark R. ChapmanMaureen Bell and Bill OwenAndrew Cheng
Preface and acknowledgementsp. vii
Forewordp. xi
1 Eros: Special among the Asteroidsp. 1
2 A Date with Erosp. 10
3 From Launch to Rendezvousp. 23
4 Landscape of an Asteroidp. 37
5 Eros: Form and Substancep. 51
6 Ingredients of an Asteroidp. 61
7 The Battered History of Erosp. 74
8 On Course and Picture Perfectp. 86
9 Mission Accomplishedp. 101
Bibliographyp. 109
Glossary of technical terms and abbreviationsp. 110
Indexp. 114