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Next week, the first attempt will be made to land the "NiR" spacecraft on an asteroid

The spacecraft will probably crash, but will provide great images

by Tamara Traubman

Photo: NASA
The area on the asteroid "Eros" on which the Nir spacecraft is intended to land

In an unprecedented operation, the Nir Shoemaker spacecraft will land on Monday
The asteroid "Eros". Nir - acronym in English for "meetings with
"Asteroid close to Earth" - is the first spacecraft to orbit

The spacecraft actually has no landing gear, so there is only a tiny chance that it is
You will manage to survive the mission safely. However, on her way down she will pass Nir
Unprecedented quality close-up images of the rocky surface of Eros.

The pictures that will be taken before landing will be at a resolution 10-5 times higher than any other
Photograph of an asteroid made so far. It will be possible to distinguish in the photographs
in details measuring 10 centimeters. This is what he told the "Washington Post" yesterday
The director of the mission, Dr. Robert Farquhar, from the "Johns Hopkins" University
who built the spaceship.

For about a year now, the unmanned spacecraft has been carefully circling Eros, collecting
Photographs and data about him. Because asteroids have a shape no
uniform, the flight around them is more complicated than around a round body - like a star
gone NASA, which coordinates the operation of NIR, defined its mission yesterday
The research of the spacecraft as the most successful.

NIR has already sent data from millions of measurements of Eros to Earth,
and took about 160 thousand pictures of him. "The spacecraft provided so much
data, and only some of it has been studied so far," he told the AP news agency
Dr. Andrew Chang, the project's chief scientist, added: "The data
These will be tested by scientists for years."

Dr. Chang explained that the knowledge sent from Nir will "advance the understanding of humanity
As for asteroids, and will help develop defenses against them - if they are ever needed
them". There is evidence suggesting that an asteroid (small from Eros) that hit
on Earth about 65 million years ago, caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Eros itself is not expected to collide with Earth in the near future, but scientists
It is said that there is a small chance of such a collision in about 1.5 million years.

Eros belongs to the group of asteroids closest to the Earth - Shegha
At a distance of about 195 million kilometers from the sun. Besides the moon, these are the bodies
The closest spaces to Earth. Most of them were probably ejected from a belt
The largest asteroid between Mars and Jupiter.
Scientists believe that Eros contains samples of ancient material from which they were formed
The planets, including the Earth, about 4.5 billion years ago. Gravity
Barros is only a thousandth of that on Earth. This fact requires landing
at very low speed. "The whole operation is more complicated and delicate than we thought. but until
Let's try, we won't know if it can work", concluded Dr. Parkhour.
{Appeared in Haaretz newspaper, 7/2/2001{

Scientists: the asteroid "Eros" is older than the Earth

This is according to the findings of the Nir Hagga spacecraft around the asteroid

In the picture: the asteroid "Eros". One of the oldest bodies in the solar system
Photo: Reuters

Scientists claim that the age of the asteroid Eros may be large
from that of the earth. The asteroid, named after the god of love
The Greek, is probably one of the oldest bodies in the solar system
ours, and in its possibility to give clues about the formation of the earth and the formation of
Other rocky planets.
The researchers who examined the asteroid determined that the asteroid was formed before 4.55
A billion years. The age of the earth is estimated at 4.50 billion years.
The scientists further reported that the asteroid is composed of solid rock, unlike
Other asteroids, made up of a pile of rock parts. "This knowledge
Essential for those tracking asteroids and trying to avoid a bullet collision
The Earth with rocks in space," said Andrew Cheng, NEAR Expedition Project Scientist
The unmanned spacecraft sent to check the asteroid - which is nearby
to Earth - and has been orbiting it since August.

News agencies

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