NEAR Mission Status Reports –


The NEAR spacecraft continued to operate nominally in Operational Mode
with Flight Computer #1 and Attitude Interface Unit #2 in control. NEAR
continues to Sun-point (GS-5). All instruments remained “ON” during this

NEAR is presently 133,546.6 Km from Eros (82,981.9 miles).

NEAR’s spacecraft momentum target, loaded last week in preparation for TCM
21, has been achieved.

Concurrent with the momentum biasing NEAR performed several ranging tests
on 11/15, 11/17, 11/19, and 11/22. NEAR’s +Z axis was pointed 10-deg
off-Sun on 11/15 and 11/17 placing the Fanbeam antenna in a move favorable
geometry with Earth. Longer integration times on those tracks resulted in
valid ranging points although fewer than normally obtained. By 11/22, the
+Z axis Sun angle had returned to zero (momentum biasing completed), yet
ranging appears to have been successful, out performing expected results.
This suggests additional ranging on the DSN HEF antennas may be possible
without slewing the spacecraft off-Sun.

Flight Controller training of recent new hires continues.

Ground preparations for TCM 21 continue. A successful TCM 21 Brassboard
test was performed yesterday. The TCM 21 review will be held on 11/30 at
10:00 a.m. in the MOC. An announcement has been distributed to System
Engineer, QA, and participating engineers.

Ground preparations for December flight tests are proceeding on schedule.
A review of 12/15 Flight Test will be held on 12/3 at 9:00 a.m. in the
NEAR MOC. An agenda has been distributed to System Engineer, QA,
participating engineers, and reviewing engineers.

Upcoming Spacecraft Activities:

The following are operationally significant activities planned for
November-December time frame:

Dec 6 TCM 21 – test of TCM 20 “fix”

Dec 15 Flight Test of Rendezvous Sequence

Dec 17 NLR/MSI Co-Timing Test

Dec 20 MSI/SDC Lightcurve and OpNav Test