Eros: The Final Approach
October 28, 2009
NEAR Shoemaker's multispectral imager (MSI) captured the images in this movie during the spacecraft's controlled descent to Eros on February 12, 2001. Starting from just over 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the surface, the camera moves over cracked and jagged rocks, boulder patches, craters filled with dust and debris, and mysterious areas where the surface seems to have collapsed. The final frame, taken 422 feet (128 meters) above Eros, shows features a few inches across. The black area across the bottom of the last frame indicates a loss of signal, as the spacecraft landed during transmission.
Topics: Disaster Accident, Environment, Discovery program, 433 Eros, 2012, EROS, NEAR Shoemaker, Spaceflight, Space exploration