“This is too easy,” Dunham says.
“Well,” says Farquhar, smiling now, “it’s easy after you’ve done all the work.”
When the spacecraft hits a preset velocity, the thrusters shut themselves off. Soon the tracking data comes back: NEAR has hit its marks perfectly, and is now nestled into the desired close orbit. Farquhar and the rest of his mission team can sit back and relax. For now.