here we go...
> MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
> JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
> CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
> NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
> PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
> Contact: Martha J. Heil (818) 354-0850
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 7, 2000
> NEW ASTEROID TARGET CHOSEN FOR JAPANESE-U.S. MISSION
> The MUSES-C project, a joint effort of Japan's Institute of
> Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) and NASA to explore an
> asteroid and return a sample to Earth, has announced that the
> asteroid target of the project and the launch date have been
> The launch is now slated for November or December 2002,
> arrival at the asteroid in September 2005 and return to earth in
> June of 2007. Its previous schedule included launch in July
> 2002, arrival at its previous target in 2003, and return to Earth
> in June 2006.
> The new target is the asteroid 1998 SF36. The NASA-built
> science payload is a rover that will gather and transmit science
> data to the Japanese spacecraft. The spacecraft will then gather
> and return to Earth samples of the asteroid. The ISAS-built
> spacecraft will stay at the asteroid for three months.
> The launch date and subsequent target asteroid changes are
> due to delays in the provision of the Japanese MV launch vehicle,
> which will carry the MUSES mission to space.
> Asteroid 1998 SF36, whose orbital period is about 1.5 years,
> will approach to within 6.4 million kilometers (4 million miles)
> of the Earth on March 29, 2001 and to within about 2.09 million
> kilometers (1.3 million miles) on June 25, 2004. Extensive
> ground-based observing campaigns will be planned near these close
> approach times to determine the asteroid's approximate size,
> shape, rotation state, and some surface characteristics.
> NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., is
> managing the U.S. portion of the mission, which is called MUSES-
> CN, and includes the rover and various support services for the
> ISAS mission. ("MUSES-C" stands for Mu Space Engineering
> Spacecraft C, "N" refers to NASA.) The JPL MUSES-CN project has
> also arranged for the testing of the MUSES-C reentry heat shield
> at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. JPL will
> also arrange for supplemental tracking of the spacecraft by
> NASA's Deep Space Network, and will assist in navigating the
> spacecraft to the asteroid. Japanese and U.S. scientists will
> collaborate on the investigations of the asteroid and the
> returned samples.
> For more information, see
> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/facts/muses.pdf .
> MUSES CN is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science by
> the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL is a
> division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
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