- Hardcover: 130 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 2, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1899066551
- ISBN-13: 978-1899066551
- ASIN: 0521813603
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,046,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Asteroid Rendezvous: NEAR Shoemaker's Adventures at Eros
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"Editors Bell and Mitton have done a superb job of assuring continuity and completeness. The high-quality images add to readers' understanding.... Recommended for general readers and lower- and upper-division undergraduates." Choice
This book is a collection of essays about the NASA space mission NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) by some of the scientists and engineers most closely involved with it. Aimed at non-specialists, the book recounts the whole dramatic story of the mission to the near Earth asteroid Eros, from concept through to the first ever landing of spacecraft on an asteroid, and what has been discovered as a result. The book is liberally illustrated and includes many of the best images of Eros.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The NEAR spacecraft runs into a serious problem by a too short "burn". Near shuts down in the safe mode. Later the scientists are able to save the mission by swinging the spacecraft and using earth as a sling shot to change the trajectory of NEAR to reach EROS but the mission takes longer. Near survives a couple of near catastrophes but due to back up procedures the scientists are able to save the mission.
The mission was OVER 100% successful. First as an extra the NEAR spacecraft takes images of another asteroid Mathilde. It is a very dark object and through NEAR images and data from NEAR on how Mathilde is affecting the spacecrafts passing the scientists determine this class C asteroid has lots of carbon and is not solid but a bunch of debris compacted with void space. Not dense and a spacecraft first taking images of a class C asteroid.. They intentionally blow a cover off the camera to get more light to get images. Unfortunately this causes contamination problems for later taking images of EROS but they are able to compensate.
Many fantastic images of EROS taken and you can actually see small boulders. Many impact craters and a huge uplift crack found from an ancient impact. There is much debris/regolith on EROS. Data from NEAR Shoemaker allows scientist to determine EROS is in a completely different class than Mathilde. Eros is a class S asteroid. Its mostly silicon and has an elongated bent potato shape with a much more homogeneous composition and denser; similar to Mar's Phobos moon. The scientists are able to determine EROS probably originally was an old asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but because of collisions became a Near Earth Orbit asteroid and is a big one about the size of Cape Cod near Boston.
Near Shoemaker had a magnetometer, A near infrared Spectrometer, a Multi spectral imager, x ray solar monitor sensors, a laser range finder and an x ray/gamma ray spectrometer so much more was done than just taking pictures.
Some historical firsts. First encounter with a class C asteroid. First encounter with a near earth asteroid. First spacecraft to orbit a small body in space. First spacecraft to land on a small space body.
Myself personally I have much more interest in a manned Mars mission and eventual colonization but this NEAR Shoemaker mission was spectacular. #1 it was a low cost mission that was completed on time and under budget. #2 It is extremely important to determine the composition of Near Earth Orbit objects that could threaten Earth. Remember the dinosaurs had a very bad day when an asteroid slammed into the Earth 65 million years ago. Also there has been many impacts on the earth since then. #3 the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft was never designed to land on EROS. The great group of scientists and technicians were able to safely land NEAR on EROS and NEAR was still mostly functional. The solar panels for power were still working as well as the x ray/gamma ray spectrometer getting data about EROS exterior composition. They also got great images as the spacecraft descended.
So many more questions raised about asteroids from the NEAR Shoemaker data from asteroids Mathilde and Eros.
The scientists ,technicians and builders of NEAR are to be commended on achieving an OVER 100% mission. Great job! A truely remarkable mission and a great book describing it. No difficult math. You don't need a degree in astrophysics to enjoy this book. Great for anyone interested in planetary exploration and asteroids. A nice addition to our families library.
After a long gestation period, NEAR began its voyage to Eros on 17 February 1996, the first mission flown under NASA's new Discovery program, a series of low-cost planetary science projects. NEAR finally moved into orbit around Eros on 14 February 2000, roughly a year later than intended.
Throughout 2000, NEAR explored Eros offering spectacular pictures and a rich harvest of spectroscopy data. At the conclusion of the mission, on 12 February 2001, the mission team landed it on the surface of Eros. Although the NEAR spacecraft was not designed to survive landing, its instruments remained operational until 1 March 2001.
In "Asteroid Rendezvous" several of the scientists and engineers who conducted the NEAR mission describe it in their own words from initial concept studies through development, launch, and cruise operations. The book is liberally illustrated throughout with both stunning images from the mission and explanatory diagrams.
"Asteroid Rendezvous" is long on description and celebration and short on analysis and critical examination. Even so, it is a very interesting book, and a fine start in documenting the history of this important mission. It will be of interest to amateur astronomers and general readers who want to know about the American space program. It will serve as grist for future serious historical studies of planetary exploration.