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Today NASA will try to land Nir on Eros

News agencies

The knowledge site will follow the operation later this evening

For the first time a spacecraft will land on an asteroid (16:52)

The asteroid "Eros". Nir will photograph details in size
ten centimeters
Photo: Reuters

NASA scientists plan to carry out the "controlled landing" today
The first unmanned spacecraft on an asteroid. The scientists said
that the chances are high that the spaceship will be damaged during the landing, but they are hopeful
Collect valuable photographs of the surface of the asteroid, which is about 34

The spacecraft "NEAR Shoemaker" (- NEAR is the initials of the words 'meeting with
Asteroid near the Earth') revolves around the asteroid
Engaged since February 14, 2000

NASA people hope that the spacecraft's camera will pick up tiny details on my face
The area of ​​the asteroid, at the level of detail of a 10 centimeter stone.
The photographs will be taken in the last minutes before landing, and the scientists hope
that they will help answer questions about the geological features of
the asteroid.

At 5:30 Israel time inspectors will start in the applied physics laboratory
at Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland, to command the shuttle
start with a series of maneuvers aimed at landing it on the surface of
the asteroid. The process is expected to last about four hours. The controlled landing is
A high-risk operation, according to the scientists, and its purpose is to slow down the rate of decline
from 30 km/h to 8 km/h. The camera will start taking pictures every 30 seconds for 45
The last minutes of the landing, and you will stop to take pictures at a height of about 200 meters
from the surface of the ground. The spaceship was not supposed to land on the asteroid, and it is possible
that she would not survive the landing operation. "The chances are very slim, less
From one percent, that the spaceship will land in its entirety," said Helen Worth, a spokeswoman
Johns Hopkins Lab. Once the shuttle lands it will stay
Instead, NASA has no intention of returning it to Earth.

NASA said that the members of the "Nir" photography team want to get to the bottom of them
of some strange features on the asteroid's surface, observed for the first time
Last October. They hope the close-up photos taken by the spacecraft will help
Answer questions about the geology of the asteroid, which is at a distance of
More than 315 million kilometers from Earth. "Since last October
We saw details of Eros with an accuracy of one meter, which we had not seen before
Nowhere else, and we don't understand them," said astronomer Joseph
Warka of Cornell University, who heads the photography team.

Photographs of the landing attempt will be broadcast live on the website of

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