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Doug Isbell/Don Savage Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1547)

December 11, 1998

Helen Worth

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel,


(Phone: 240/228-5113)



The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft's rendezvous with and orbit insertion of asteroid 433 Eros on Jan. 10, 1999, will be previewed at a media briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1998, at NASA Headquarters. The briefing will cover mission status, planned activities and science objectives for the first-ever asteroid rendezvous and orbit.

The briefing will originate from NASA Headquarters Auditorium, 300 E St., SW, Washington, DC, and will be carried live on NASA TV with two-way question and answer capability for reporters covering the event from participating NASA centers.

Panelists will be:

* Dr. Carl Pilcher, Director, Solar System Exploration, NASA


* Dr. Robert W. Farquhar, NEAR Mission Manager, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, MD

* Dr. Andrew F. Cheng, Project Scientist, APL

* Dr. Donald K. Yeomans, Radio Science Team, NASA Jet Propulsion


Pasadena, CA

* Dr. Joseph Veverka, Science Team Head, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Eros Encounter Activities - January 10-14, 1999

The NEAR spacecraft, launched in February 1996, will enter

orbit around 433 Eros on Jan. 10, 1999, at 10 a.m. EST.

video feeds from the Mission Operations and Science Data centers will be provided via a closed circuit to APL's Kossiakoff Center Auditorium, where mission background and status reports also will


be presented throughout the morning starting at 8 a.m. EST for reporters covering the rendezvous.

A press briefing at noon EST, Jan. 10, 1999, in the Kossiakoff Auditorium will provide an early look at the rendezvous and early science and mission activities. Color and black-and- white images of Eros taken during NEAR's approach should be available for distribution. The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA TV with no two-way question-and-answer capability from NASA Centers. Reporters planning to cover the rendezvous at APL should call the Public Affairs office at 240/228-5113 for accreditation.

A press briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Jan. 14, 1999, also in the Kossiakoff Auditorium, will provide the latest images, mission

information and science results from the first 3-4 days of NEAR's mission at Eros. The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA TV

(no two-way question-and-answer).

the NEAR Website at:

Results will also be posted on

NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C, located at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz. Audio of the broadcast will be available on voice circuit at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on 407/867-1220, 1240, 1260.

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