Grant Hutchison's NEAR Orbit for Celestia

Unzipped into your extras folder, this file creates a directory called "NEAR", which contains files near.ssc and, defining the orbit of the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft around the asteroid Eros, between 2000 Feb 14 15:45UT (the time of orbit insertion) and 2001 Feb 12 19:45UT (the last available position data, about 17 minutes before touchdown on Eros' surface).

As provided, the file uses the Galileo model distributed with Celestia as a substitute for NEAR-Shoemaker. However, a NEAR- Shoemaker model is available from Jack Higgins' website at If you have this model installed, you should edit near.ssc to replace the line

Mesh "galileo.3ds"
Mesh "near.3ds"
to make use of the model.

Horizons xyz data have been rotated to fit the Celestia coordinate system, truncated to an accuracy of 10 seconds and 10 metres, and resampled to reduce the file size without excessively degrading accuracy.

The loops around Eros are almost hypnotic when speeded up a little, and the final approach looks nice, with various braking manoeuvres very evident as the model makes its final approach.

Grant Hutchison, June 2004

See also:

The content of these Web pages was provided by Grant Hutchison.

This Web page is maintained by Selden Ball at Wilson Lab.
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