NEAR launched on 17 February 1996, the first of the NASA Discovery class planetary missions. It completed its scheduled flyby of asteroid (253) Mathilde on 27 June 1997, passing within 1,212 km. An aborted engine burn on 20 December 1998 and the subsequent successful recovery efforts altered the initial mission timeline, but the objective - rendezvousing with and orbiting of the asteroid (433) Eros - remained the same. The spacecraft rendezvoused with (433) Eros on 14 February 2000, then orbited the asteroid through 11 February 2001. On 12 February 2001, NEAR successfully descended to the surface of (433) Eros.
The primary objectives include measuring the gross physical properties of the asteroids, their surface compositions and morphologies, the properties of the regolith, interactions with the solar wind, and to look for evidence of current activity, intrinsic magnetism and internal mass distribution.
The NEAR Mission web site is maintained by the Johns-Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
The SBN is the PDS lead node for the NEAR mission; the Planetary Plasma Interactions, Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility, and Geosciences Nodes are sharing responsibilities. The PDS-SBN NEAR Data Archive contains the final version of the PDS-approved data from the NEAR mission (all instruments).
Use the Small Bodies Data Ferret to find other datasets for this mission/target.