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NASA to webcast Eros landing

Probe to land on most distant rock yet

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A NASA space probe will land on the asteroid Eros later today. NASA says that it will provide a video stream of events at mission control over the web as well as via satellite.

The pictures will be available to the public, via the NASA site or the NEAR homepage, on a "first-come-first-served" basis, the agency said.

Over a four hour period, starting today at 10.31 AM Eastern Standard Time, the US space agency will initiate a series of engine burns which will bring the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft down onto the surface of the asteroid.

The first pictures from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) will be broadcast on the Telstar K5 satellite between seven and eight AM, EST, but the first web feed of the descent begins later - at 1:30, again eastern time.

The landing of the NEAR Shoemaker probe will be the furthest landing from earth ever undertaken.

The craft has orbited the asteroid for the past year. Its mission was to collect as much compositional data as possible about the asteroid, and learn more about its relationship with the rest of the material in the solar system.

NASA said that it hopes streaming material over the web will stimulate the public's interst in NASA and its missions. ®

More info is available here.

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