Beating the odds
s, the plucky
little probe chirped
its presence from the surface of Eros
today, confirming that it had landed successfully. NASA believes that the probe is lying on its side in the south Polar region
of the asteroid; the systems appear to be fine. The camera won't be of much use; even if it's aligned correctly, its minimum focal length
is on the order of 600 meters.
In a wave of optimism, NASA scientists are apparently discussing whether or not to try to relaunch the probe from the surface. This would make Eros only the second heavenly body that humanity has managed a touch-and-go on (the Moon being the first, natch). It's the fifth body touched by a human craft, after the Moon, Mars, Venus and Jupiter.