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31-Dec-98 | NEAR asteroid orbit insertion fails, will try again later

Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) orbit of asteroid 433 Eros has been postponed to February 2000. The spacecraft suffered a rough start during its first rendezvous burn and subsequently tumbled, leaving controllers out of communication for about 25 hours. Quick recovery allowed the spacecraft to take photos of Eros as it passed within 4,100 kilometres (2,500 miles) of the asteroid. A course correction burn is scheduled for 3 January, allowing NEAR to return to Eros for another attempt at orbit in just 13 months. NEAR was launched by Delta 232 in February 1996.


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