The Home Stretch Begins
October 27, 2009
NEAR Shoemaker obtained this image on December 15, 2000, from an altitude of 34 kilometers (21 miles), during the first days of its final low mapping orbit. The science strategy in this orbit focuses on very high-resolution imaging and measuring the elemental composition of the asteroid's surface using the X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers. This picture, for example, covers a region only about 1.1 kilometers (0.7 miles) across, and each pixel projects onto the surface as a spot only about 2 meters (6 feet) across.
Topics: Environment, Exploration, Discovery program, Space exploration, Disaster Accident, high-resolution imaging, X-ray, Gamma ray spectrometer, Space, NEAR Shoemaker, Asteroid