The MUSES-C mission is a
joint Japanese/NASA mission to send a robotic rover to asteroid 4660
Nereus and return a sample. After arrival in September of 2003 the
spacecraft will survey the asteroid at an altitude of 20 km, then will
perform a series of soft landings with a rover. After two months near
Nereus, on 11/11/2003, it will begin the 2-year cruise back to Earth with
samples. The rover will measure texture, composition and morphology at
the cm-scale of the surface. Instrumentation consists for a multi-band
imager and a near-IR spectrometer.
- Jan 07, 2002 - Launch
- May 26, 2003 - Arrival
- Nov 11, 2003 - Begin 2 year cruise to Earth
IRTF Mission Support
- Frequent astrometric measurements will be required of the targets
to ensure that the orbits are extremely well known for the close approaches.
- Knowledge of the nucleus/asteroid sizes and rotation are needed to
plan the photographic aspects of the mission, as well as to estimate the
gravity field. The IRTF is ideally suited for obtaining nucleus parameters,
such as size, albedo and rotation.
Click here to return to the NASA / IRTF
Mission support homepage.
Last modified: Mar 23, 1998