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Old 02-07-2012, 05:13 AM
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For Eugene

Eugene,
Since I came down here to rest
Nothing but dust and rock
From far before life came to be
Your name was given to me on the way out
But you soon sped after me
into the eternal night
Can you see me from the moon?
- A salute from Eros

For Eugene-near-shoemaker-eros-1-144.jpg
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:17 AM
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NEAR-Shoemaker on Eros in app. 1:144

Cheers in the control room as telemetry showed no more movement. The first landing on an asteroid was history.
On 12 February 2001 the small probe NEAR-Shoemaker gently touched down on the surface of Eros. Its journey began almost exactly five years earlier, when a Delta 7925-8 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at the 17th of February 1996. A Star 48 kick motor sent the probe, then named NEAR off in the right direction. When NEAR 'woke up" its name was changed into NEAR Shoemaker.

Eugene Shoemaker was a geologist born in 1928 who specialized in astrogeology, the science and the study of the other planets in our Solar System. While training the American astronauts for their Apollo flights he himself got into the program and was a potential first geologist to walk on the moon. Unfortunately, due to a disease he had he was disqualified. He kept on training the astronauts and after Apollo ended, he started to work on asteroids. He also co-discovered a new comet, which plummeted itself in Jupiter's atmosphere one year after the discovery., leaving a massive scar in the cloud deck of the big planet.
Only 69, he died in a car accident in 1997.
Some of his ashes were carried to the moon with the Lunar Prospector probe which impacted on its surface on the 31th of july 1999.

NEAR-Shoemaker had a troublesome journey which almost went wrong. An accident during an orbital insertion burn to get NEAR to orbit Eros was aborted and got the thrusters to fire uncontrollably for a long time. It took a whole day before contact was re-established. No one knows what happened but the fuel on board NEAR was now almost down to the level that there was no more room for errors. They brought NEAR into an orbit around the sun which was close to that of Eros.
In 2000 they again attempted to get the probe into orbit around the asteroid, which they did, and a year later after busloads of photos and data they landed the probe on the asteroid itself.

This is what I made of it, along with that small poem. - I got a bit inspired, I guess...

The probe is almost completely scratchbuilt, apart from the main bus, for which I used NASA's very crude model as a guideline. The rest is my own stuff. In the title here I said it's 1/144 but I start to think it is more in the range of 1/96th. But anyway, it's small.
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Last edited by Paper Kosmonaut; 02-07-2012 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:20 AM
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The rest of the build. It took me about 5 hours to make this. It was a very inspiring and super fun build. Even I was amazed this time about how small the thing turned out to be. Hope you like it as much as I do!
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:07 AM
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Indeed, that is very cool! I really enjoy the pictures on the asteroid. Well Done!
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:09 AM
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Nice build for a nice landing !
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:54 AM
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Outstanding!!!!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:54 AM
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Lovely build. Yet another fine idea, executed very nicely.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:25 AM
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I'll echo David's comment. Mind if I steal the idea for the display?

Les (Friendly Airplane Asylum & ex-NASA flack)
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:54 AM
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Very well done!
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:01 AM
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Thank you all. Les, of course and by all means, feel free to use the display idea.
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