Mission operators sent commands to NEAR last night for a
revised engine burn that will keep the spacecraft on
course for asteroid Eros. Set for noon (EST) today, the
burn will cut NEAR’s approach speed from 43 mph to 18
mph (relative to Eros) and refine its trajectory toward
the giant space rock.

A rendezvous burn scheduled for yesterday was canceled
when NEAR went into a “safe” hold soon after turning on
its accelerometers for the maneuver. During safe mode,
NEAR’s onboard computers halt operations and await
instructions from Earth.

The NEAR team continues to study the anomaly, but to
avoid a similar occurrence it has decided to leave the
accelerometers on until after orbit insertion on Feb.