|This is the Web Edition of "A Trip Into Space", a Coimbra-based electronic book on space science. Both the texts and the photos are by courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.|
|A Trip Into Space Asteroids Asteroid Gaspra - Montage|
|See also: Asteroid Fact Sheet, Asteroid Gaspra - Comparison With Deimos And Phobos, Asteroid 951 Gaspra|
The earliest view (upper left) was taken 5 3/4 hours before closest approach when the spacecraft was 164,000 kilometers (102,000 miles) from Gaspra, the last (lower right)at a range of 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles), 30 minutes before closest approach.
Gaspra spins once in roughly 7 hours, so these images capture almost one full rotation of the asteroid. Gaspra spins counterclockwise; its north pole is to the upper left, and the "nose" which points upward in the first image, is seen rotating back into shadow, emerging at lower left, and rotating to upper right. Several craters are visible on the newly seen sides of Gaspra, but none approaches the scale of the asteroid's radius. Evidently, Gaspra lacks the large craters common on the surfaces of many planetary satellites, consistent with Gaspra's comparatively recent origin from the collisional breakup of a larger body.
The Galileo project, whose primary mission is the exploration of the Jupiter system in 1995-97, is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Last Update: 2005-Nov-29