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Sample records for prospecting asteroid mission

  1. Asteroids. Prospective energy and material resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Badescu, Viorel (ed.) [Bucharest Polytechnic Univ. (Romania). Candida Oancea Institute

    2013-11-01

    Recent research on Prospective Energy and Material Resources on Asteroids. Carefully edited book dedicated to Asteroids prospective energy and material resources. Written by leading experts in the field. The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power. Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth. Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space. This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions to old problems that could become reality in our life time. The book therefore is a great source of condensed information for specialists involved in current and impending asteroid-related activities and a good starting point for space researchers, inventors, technologists and potential investors. Written for researchers, engineers, and businessmen interested in asteroids' exploration and exploitation.

  2. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission: The Boulder Capture Option

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Nuth, J.; Mazanek, D.; Merrill, R.; Reeves, D.; Naasz, B.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is examining two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will return asteroid material to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO) using a robotic solar-electric-propulsion spacecraft, called the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). Once the ARV places the asteroid material into the LDRO, a piloted mission will rendezvous and dock with the ARV. After docking, astronauts will conduct two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to inspect and sample the asteroid material before returning to Earth. One option involves capturing an entire small (approximately 4-10 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA) inside a large inflatable bag. However, NASA is examining another option that entails retrieving a boulder (approximately 1-5 m) via robotic manipulators from the surface of a larger (approximately 100+ m) pre-characterized NEA. This option can leverage robotic mission data to help ensure success by targeting previously (or soon to be) well-characterized NEAs. For example, the data from the Hayabusa mission has been utilized to develop detailed mission designs that assess options and risks associated with proximity and surface operations. Hayabusa's target NEA, Itokawa, has been identified as a valid target and is known to possess hundreds of appropriately sized boulders on its surface. Further robotic characterization of additional NEAs (e.g., Bennu and 1999 JU3) by NASA's OSIRIS REx and JAXA's Hayabusa 2 missions is planned to begin in 2018. The boulder option is an extremely large sample-return mission with the prospect of bringing back many tons of well-characterized asteroid material to the Earth-Moon system. The candidate boulder from the target NEA can be selected based on inputs from the world-wide science community, ensuring that the most scientifically interesting boulder be returned for subsequent sampling. This boulder option for NASA's ARM can leverage knowledge of previously characterized NEAs from prior robotic missions, which provides more

  3. Concepts of Operations for Asteroid Rendezvous Missions Focused on Resources Utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.; Sibille, Laurent; Sanders, Gerald B.; Jones, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    Several asteroids are the targets of international robotic space missions currently manifested or in the planning stage. This global interest reflects a need to study these celestial bodies for the scientific information they provide about our solar system, and to better understand how to mitigate the collision threats some of them pose to Earth. Another important objective of these missions is providing assessments of the potential resources that asteroids could provide to future space architectures. In this paper, we examine a series of possible mission operations focused on advancing both our knowledge of the types of asteroids suited for different forms of resource extraction, and the capabilities required to extract those resources for mission enhancing and enabling uses such as radiation protection, propulsion, life support, shelter and manufacturing. An evolutionary development and demonstration approach is recommended within the framework of a larger campaign that prepares for the first landings of humans on Mars. As is the case for terrestrial mining, the development and demonstration approach progresses from resource prospecting (understanding the resource, and mapping the 'ore body'), mining/extraction feasibility and product assessment, pilot operations, to full in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). Opportunities to gather specific knowledge for ISRU via resource prospecting during science missions to asteroids are also examined to maximize the pace of development of needed ISRU capabilities and technologies for deep space missions.

  4. Asteroids prospective energy and material resources

    CERN Document Server

    2013-01-01

    The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power.   Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth.   Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space.   This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions t...

  5. Asteroid retrieval missions enabled by invariant manifold dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Joan Pau; García Yárnoz, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Near Earth Asteroids are attractive targets for new space missions; firstly, because of their scientific importance, but also because of their impact threat and prospective resources. The asteroid retrieval mission concept has thus arisen as a synergistic approach to tackle these three facets of interest in one single mission. This paper reviews the methodology used by the authors (2013) in a previous search for objects that could be transported from accessible heliocentric orbits into the Earth's neighbourhood at affordable costs (or Easily Retrievable Objects, a.k.a. EROs). This methodology consisted of a heuristic pruning and an impulsive manoeuvre trajectory optimisation. Low thrust propulsion on the other hand clearly enables the transportation of much larger objects due to its higher specific impulse. Hence, in this paper, low thrust retrieval transfers are sought using impulsive trajectories as first guesses to solve the optimal control problem. GPOPS-II is used to transcribe the continuous-time optimal control problem to a nonlinear programming problem (NLP). The latter is solved by IPOPT, an open source software package for large-scale NLPs. Finally, a natural continuation procedure that increases the asteroid mass allows to find out the largest objects that could be retrieved from a given asteroid orbit. If this retrievable mass is larger than the actual mass of the asteroid, the asteroid retrieval mission for this particular object is said to be feasible. The paper concludes with an updated list of 17 EROs, as of April 2016, with their maximum retrievable masses by means of low thrust propulsion. This ranges from 2000 tons for the easiest object to be retrieved to 300 tons for the least accessible of them.

  6. Business analysis: The commercial mission of the International Asteroid Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    The mission of the International Asteroid Mission (IAM) is providing asteroidal resources to support activities in space. The short term goal is to initiate IAM by mining a near-Earth, hydrous carbonaceous chondrite asteroid to service the nearer-term market of providing cryogenic rocket fuel in low lunar orbit (LLO). The IAM will develop and contract for the building of the transportation vehicles and equipment necessary for this undertaking. The long-term goal is to expand operations by exploiting asteroids in other manners, as these options become commercially viable. The primary business issues are what revenue can be generated from the baseline mission, how much will the mission cost, and how funding for this mission can be raised. These issues are addressed.

  7. Logistics Needs for Potential Deep Space Mission Scenarios Post Asteroid Crewed Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Pedro, Jr.

    2015-01-01

    A deep-space mission has been proposed to identify and redirect an asteroid to a distant retrograde orbit around the moon, and explore it by sending a crew using the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft. The Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), which represents the third segment of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), could be performed on EM-3 or EM-4 depending on asteroid return date. Recent NASA studies have raised questions on how we could progress from current Human Space Flight (HSF) efforts to longer term human exploration of Mars. This paper will describe the benefits of execution of the ARM as the initial stepping stone towards Mars exploration, and how the capabilities required to send humans to Mars could be built upon those developed for the asteroid mission. A series of potential interim missions aimed at developing such capabilities will be described, and the feasibility of such mission manifest will be discussed. Options for the asteroid crewed mission will also be addressed, including crew size and mission duration.

  8. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Chodas, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Ticker, Ronald

    2016-07-01

    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human spaceflight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human spaceflight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM). Mission Description: NASA's ARM consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), the first robotic mission to visit a large (greater than ~100 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, demonstrate a planetary defense technique, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will take the Orion capsule to rendezvous and dock with the robotic vehicle, conduct multiple extravehicular activities to explore the boulder, and return to Earth with samples. NASA's proposed

  9. Overview of Mission Design for NASA Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, Nathan; Landau, Damon; McElrath, Timothy; Lantoine, Gregory; Lam, Try; McGuire, Melissa; Burke, Laura; Martini, Michael; Dankanich, John

    2013-01-01

    Part of NASA's new asteroid initiative would be a robotic mission to capture a roughly four to ten meter asteroid and redirect its orbit to place it in translunar space. Once in a stable storage orbit at the Moon, astronauts would then visit the asteroid for science investigations, to test in space resource extraction, and to develop experience with human deep space missions. This paper discusses the mission design techniques that would enable the redirection of a 100-1000 metric ton asteroid into lunar orbit with a 40-50 kW Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system.

  10. Asteroid Kinetic Impactor Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, Steven

    2015-08-01

    Asteroid impact missions can be carried out as a relatively low-cost add-ons to most asteroid rendezvous missions and such impact experiments have tremendous potential, both scientifically and in the arena of planetary defense.The science returns from an impactor demonstration begin with the documentation of the global effects of the impact, such as changes in orbit and rotation state, the creation and dissipation of an ejecta plume and debris disk, and morphological changes across the body due to the transmission of seismic waves, which might induce landslides and toppling of boulders, etc. At a local level, an inspection of the impact crater and ejecta blanket reveals critical material strength information, as well as spectral differences between the surface and subsurface material.From the planetary defense perspective, an impact demonstration will prove humankind’s capacity to alter the orbit of a potentially threatening asteroid. This technological leap comes in two parts. First, terminal guidance systems that can deliver an impactor with small errors relative to the ~100-200 meter size of a likely impactor have yet to be demonstrated in a deep space environment. Second, the response of an asteroid to such an impact is only understood theoretically due to the potentially significant dependence on the momentum carried by escaping ejecta, which would tend to enhance the deflection by tens of percent and perhaps as much as a factor of a few. A lack of validated understanding of momentum enhancement is a significant obstacle in properly sizing a real-world impactor deflection mission.This presentation will describe the drivers for asteroid impact demonstrations and cover the range of such concepts, starting with ESA’s pioneering Don Quijote mission concept and leading to a brief description of concepts under study at the present time, including the OSIRIS-REx/ISIS, BASiX/KIX and AIM/DART (AIDA) concepts.

  11. The Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment Mission and its Potential Contributions to Human Exploration of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andy S.

    2014-01-01

    The joint ESA and NASA Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission, involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. AIDA's primary objective is to demonstrate a kinetic impact deflection and characterize the binary NEA Didymos. The science and technical data obtained from AIDA will aid in the planning of future human exploration missions to NEAs and other small bodies. The dual robotic missions of AIDA, ESA's Asteroid Impact Monitor (AIM) and NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), will provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific examinations of the binary target Didymos both prior to and after the kinetic impact demonstration. The knowledge gained from this mission will help identify asteroidal physical properties in order to maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for future small body missions. The AIDA data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations.

  12. A Cubesat Asteroid Mission: Propulsion Trade-offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Bur, Michael J.; Burke, Laura M.; Fittje, James E.; Kohout, Lisa L.; Fincannon, James; Packard, Thomas W.; Martini, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    A conceptual design was performed for a 6-U cubesat for a technology demonstration to be launched on the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) test launch EM-1, to be launched into a free-return translunar trajectory. The mission purpose was to demonstrate use of electric propulsion systems on a small satellite platform. The candidate objective chosen was a mission to visit a Near-Earth asteroid. Both asteroid fly-by and asteroid rendezvous missions were analyzed. Propulsion systems analyzed included cold-gas thruster systems, Hall and ion thrusters, incorporating either Xenon or Iodine propellant, and an electrospray thruster. The mission takes advantage of the ability of the SLS launch to place it into an initial trajectory of C3=0.

  13. OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission Image Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevres Fernandez, Lee Roger; Bos, Brent

    2018-01-01

    NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission constitutes the “first-of-its-kind” project to thoroughly characterize a near-Earth asteroid. The selected asteroid is (101955) 1999 RQ36 (a.k.a. Bennu). The mission launched in September 2016, and the spacecraft will reach its asteroid target in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023. The spacecraft that will travel to, and collect a sample from, Bennu has five integrated instruments from national and international partners. NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission spacecraft includes the Touch-And-Go Camera System (TAGCAMS) three camera-head instrument. The purpose of TAGCAMS is to provide imagery during the mission to facilitate navigation to the target asteroid, confirm acquisition of the asteroid sample and document asteroid sample stowage. Two of the TAGCAMS cameras, NavCam 1 and NavCam 2, serve as fully redundant navigation cameras to support optical navigation and natural feature tracking. The third TAGCAMS camera, StowCam, provides imagery to assist with and confirm proper stowage of the asteroid sample. Analysis of spacecraft imagery acquired by the TAGCAMS during cruise to the target asteroid Bennu was performed using custom codes developed in MATLAB. Assessment of the TAGCAMS in-flight performance using flight imagery was done to characterize camera performance. One specific area of investigation that was targeted was bad pixel mapping. A recent phase of the mission, known as the Earth Gravity Assist (EGA) maneuver, provided images that were used for the detection and confirmation of “questionable” pixels, possibly under responsive, using image segmentation analysis. Ongoing work on point spread function morphology and camera linearity and responsivity will also be used for calibration purposes and further analysis in preparation for proximity operations around Bennu. Said analyses will provide a broader understanding

  14. Human spaceflight and an asteroid redirect mission: Why?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burchell, M. J.

    2014-08-01

    The planning of human spaceflight programmes is an exercise in careful rationing of a scarce and expensive resource. Current NASA plans are to develop the new capability for human-rated launch into space to replace the Space Transportation System (STS), more commonly known as the Space Shuttle, combined with a heavy lift capability, and followed by an eventual Mars mission. As an intermediate step towards Mars, NASA proposes to venture beyond Low Earth Orbit to cis-lunar space to visit a small asteroid which will be captured and moved to lunar orbit by a separate robotic mission. The rationale for this and how to garner support from the scientific community for such an asteroid mission are discussed. Key points that emerge are that a programme usually has greater legitimacy when it emerges from public debate, mostly via a Presidential Commission, a report by the National Research Council or a Decadal Review of science goals etc. Also, human spaceflight missions need to have support from a wide range of interested communities. Accordingly, an outline scientific case for a human visit to an asteroid is made. Further, it is argued here that the scientific interest in an asteroid mission needs to be included early in the planning stages, so that the appropriate capabilities (here the need for drilling cores and carrying equipment to, and returning samples from, the asteroid) can be included.

  15. Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission: Robotic Boulder Capture Option Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Merrill, Raymond G.; Belbin, Scott P.; Reeves, David M.; Earle, Kevin D.; Naasz, Bo J.; Abell, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently studying an option for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) that would capture a multi-ton boulder (typically 2-4 meters in size) from the surface of a large (is approximately 100+ meter) Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and return it to cislunar space for subsequent human and robotic exploration. This alternative mission approach, designated the Robotic Boulder Capture Option (Option B), has been investigated to determine the mission feasibility and identify potential differences from the initial ARRM concept of capturing an entire small NEA (4-10 meters in size), which has been designated the Small Asteroid Capture Option (Option A). Compared to the initial ARRM concept, Option B allows for centimeter-level characterization over an entire large NEA, the certainty of target NEA composition type, the ability to select the boulder that is captured, numerous opportunities for mission enhancements to support science objectives, additional experience operating at a low-gravity planetary body including extended surface contact, and the ability to demonstrate future planetary defense strategies on a hazardous-size NEA. Option B can leverage precursor missions and existing Agency capabilities to help ensure mission success by targeting wellcharacterized asteroids and can accommodate uncertain programmatic schedules by tailoring the return mass.

  16. Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous: mission overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Santo, A. G.; Heeres, K. J.; Landshof, J. A.; Farquhar, R. W.; Gold, R. E.; Lee, S. C.

    1997-10-01

    The Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, the first launch of NASA's Discovery Program, will be the first mission to orbit an asteroid. NEAR will make the first comprehensive scientific measurements of an asteroid's surface composition, geology, physical properties, and internal structure. NEAR launched successfully on February 17, 1996, aboard a Delta II-7925. It will orbit the 20-km-diameter near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros for about 1 year, at a minimum orbit radius of about 35 km from the center of the asteroid. The NEAR is a solar-powered, three-axis stabilized spacecraft with a launch mass including propellant of 805 kg. NEAR uses X band telemetry to the NASA Deep Space Network, with the data rates at Eros up to 8.8 kbits/s using a 34-m High Efficiency (HEF) dish, and up to 26.5 kbits/s using a 70-m dish. A solid-state recorder is accommodated with a memory capacity of 1.8 Gbytes. Attitude control is to 1.7 mrad, line-of-sight pointing stability is within 50 μrad over 1 s, and post processing attitude knowledge is within 50 μrad. NEAR accommodates 56 kg of instruments and provides them with 84 W. The instruments are a multispectral imager (MSI), a near-infrared spectrograph (NIS), an X ray/gamma ray spectrometer (XRS/GRS), a magnetometer (MAG), and a laser rangefinder (NLR), while a radio science (RS) investigation uses the coherent X band transponder. NEAR will make a flyby of the C-type asteroid 253 Mathilde in June 1997 and will rendezvous with 433 Eros in February 1999. It will execute an initial slow flyby of Eros, with a flyby speed of 5 m/s and a closest approach distance of 500 km. Subsequently, its orbit will be lowered to 35 km. The NEAR Mission Operations Center and the Science Data Center are at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The Science Data Center will maintain the entire NEAR data set on-line, and data from all instruments can be accessed by every member of the NEAR Science Team. Data, including images, are released over

  17. Post mitigation impact risk analysis for asteroid deflection demonstration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Hestroffer, Daniel; Thuillot, William; Bancelin, David; Cano, Juan L.; Cichocki, Filippo

    2015-08-01

    Even though mankind believes to have the capabilities to avert potentially disastrous asteroid impacts, only the realization of mitigation demonstration missions can validate this claim. Such a deflection demonstration attempt has to be cost effective, easy to validate, and safe in the sense that harmless asteroids must not be turned into potentially hazardous objects. Uncertainties in an asteroid's orbital and physical parameters as well as those additionally introduced during a mitigation attempt necessitate an in depth analysis of deflection mission designs in order to dispel planetary safety concerns. We present a post mitigation impact risk analysis of a list of potential kinetic impactor based deflection demonstration missions proposed in the framework of the NEOShield project. Our results confirm that mitigation induced uncertainties have a significant influence on the deflection outcome. Those cannot be neglected in post deflection impact risk studies. We show, furthermore, that deflection missions have to be assessed on an individual basis in order to ensure that asteroids are not inadvertently transported closer to the Earth at a later date. Finally, we present viable targets and mission designs for a kinetic impactor test to be launched between the years 2025 and 2032.

  18. NASA's Human Mission to a Near-Earth Asteroid: Landing on a Moving Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jeffrey H.; Lincoln, William P.; Weisbin, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a Bayesian approach for comparing the productivity and cost-risk tradeoffs of sending versus not sending one or more robotic surveyor missions prior to a human mission to land on an asteroid. The expected value of sample information based on productivity combined with parametric variations in the prior probability an asteroid might be found suitable for landing were used to assess the optimal number of spacecraft and asteroids to survey. The analysis supports the value of surveyor missions to asteroids and indicates one launch with two spacecraft going simultaneously to two independent asteroids appears optimal.

  19. A CubeSat Asteroid Mission: Design Study and Trade-Offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa; Hepp, Aloysius; Stegeman, James; Bur, Mike; Burke, Laura; Martini, Michael; Fittje, James E.; Kohout, Lisa; hide

    2014-01-01

    There is considerable interest in expanding the applicability of cubesat spacecraft into lightweight, low cost missions beyond Low Earth Orbit. A conceptual design was done for a 6-U cubesat for a technology demonstration to demonstrate use of electric propulsion systems on a small satellite platform. The candidate objective was a mission to be launched on the SLS test launch EM-1 to visit a Near-Earth asteroid. Both asteroid fly-by and asteroid rendezvous missions were analyzed. Propulsion systems analyzed included cold-gas thruster systems, Hall and ion thrusters, incorporating either Xenon or Iodine propellant, and an electrospray thruster. The mission takes advantage of the ability of the SLS launch to place it into an initial trajectory of C3=0. Targeting asteroids that fly close to earth minimizes the propulsion required for fly-by/rendezvous. Due to mass constraints, high specific impulse is required, and volume constraints mean the propellant density was also of great importance to the ability to achieve the required deltaV. This improves the relative usefulness of the electrospray salt, with higher propellant density. In order to minimize high pressure tanks and volatiles, the salt electrospray and iodine ion propulsion systems were the optimum designs for the fly-by and rendezvous missions respectively combined with a thruster gimbal and wheel system For the candidate fly-by mission, with a mission deltaV of about 400 m/s, the mission objectives could be accomplished with a 800s electrospray propulsion system, incorporating a propellant-less cathode and a bellows salt tank. This propulsion system is planned for demonstration on 2015 LEO and 2016 GEO DARPA flights. For the rendezvous mission, at a ?V of 2000 m/s, the mission could be accomplished with a 50W miniature ion propulsion system running iodine propellant. This propulsion system is not yet demonstrated in space. The conceptual design shows that an asteroid mission is possible using a cubesat

  20. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, D.; Neugebauer, M.; Weissman, P.R.

    1989-01-01

    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission is designed to answer the many questions raised by the Halley missions by exploring a cometary nucleus in detail, following it around its orbit and studying its changing activity as it moves closer to and then away from the Sun. In addition, on its way to rendezvous with the comet, CRAF will fly by a large, primitive class main belt asteroid and will return valuable data for comparison with the comet results. The selected asteroid is 449 Hamburga with a diameter of 88 km and a surface composition of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The expected flyby date is January, 1998. The CRAF spacecraft will continue to make measurements in orbit around the cometary nucleus as they both move closer to the Sun, until the dust and gas hazard becomes unsafe. At that point the spacecraft will move in and out between 50 and 2,500 kilometers to study the inner coma and the cometary ionosphere, and to collect dust and gas samples for onboard analysis. Following perihelion, the spacecraft will make a 50,000 km excursion down the comet's tail, further investigating the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere. The spacecraft will return to the vicinity of the nucleus about four months after perihelion to observe the changes that have taken place. If the spacecraft remains healthy and adequate fuel is still onboard, an extended mission to follow the comet nucleus out to aphelion is anticipated

  1. Asteroid Redirection Mission Evaluation Using Multiple Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazzocchi, Michael C. F.; Emami, M. Reza

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, a low-thrust tugboat redirection method is assessed using multiple spacecraft for a target range of small near-Earth asteroids. The benefits of a landed configuration of tugboat spacecraft in formation are examined for the redirection of a near-Earth asteroid. The tugboat method uses a gimballed thruster with a highly collimated ion beam to generate a thrust on the asteroid. The target asteroid range focuses on near-Earth asteroids smaller than 150 m in diameter, and carbonaceous (C-type) asteroids, due to the volatiles available for in-situ utilization. The assessment focuses primarily on the three key parameters, i.e., the asteroid mass redirected, the timeframe for redirection, and the overall system cost. An evaluation methodology for each parameter is discussed in detail, and the parameters are employed to determine the expected return and feasibility of the redirection mission. The number of spacecraft employed is optimized along with the electrical power needed for each spacecraft to ensure the highest possible return on investment. A discussion of the optimization results and the benefits of spacecraft formation for the tugboat method are presented.

  2. The Mission Accessibility of Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbee, Brent W.; Abell, P. A.; Adamo, D. R.; Mazanek, D. D.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Chodas, P. W.; Chamberlin, A. B.; Benner, L. A. M.; Taylor, P.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The population of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) that may be accessible for human space flight missions is defined by the Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS). The NHATS is an automated system designed to monitor the accessibility of, and particular mission opportunities offered by, the NEA population. This is analogous to systems that automatically monitor the impact risk posed to Earth by the NEA population. The NHATS system identifies NEAs that are potentially accessible for future round-trip human space flight missions and provides rapid notification to asteroid observers so that crucial follow-up observations can be obtained following discovery of accessible NEAs. The NHATS was developed in 2010 and was automated by early 2012. NHATS data are provided via an interactive web-site, and daily NHATS notification emails are transmitted to a mailing list; both resources are available to the public.

  3. Asteroid Rendezvous Mission Design Using Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya-zhong Luo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A new preliminary trajectory design method for asteroid rendezvous mission using multiobjective optimization techniques is proposed. This method can overcome the disadvantages of the widely employed Pork-Chop method. The multiobjective integrated launch window and multi-impulse transfer trajectory design model is formulated, which employes minimum-fuel cost and minimum-time transfer as two objective functions. The multiobjective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO is employed to locate the Pareto solution. The optimization results of two different asteroid mission designs show that the proposed approach can effectively and efficiently demonstrate the relations among the mission characteristic parameters such as launch time, transfer time, propellant cost, and number of maneuvers, which will provide very useful reference for practical asteroid mission design. Compared with the PCP method, the proposed approach is demonstrated to be able to provide much more easily used results, obtain better propellant-optimal solutions, and have much better efficiency. The MOPSO shows a very competitive performance with respect to the NSGA-II and the SPEA-II; besides a proposed boundary constraint optimization strategy is testified to be able to improve its performance.

  4. The Ion Propulsion System for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Daniel A.; Santiago, Walter; Kamhawi, Hani; Polk, James E.; Snyder, John Steven; Hofer, Richard; Sekerak, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission is a Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission (ARRM) whose main objectives are to develop and demonstrate a high-power solar electric propulsion capability for the Agency and return an asteroidal mass for rendezvous and characterization in a companion human-crewed mission. This high-power solar electric propulsion capability, or an extensible derivative of it, has been identified as a critical part of NASA's future beyond-low-Earth-orbit, human-crewed exploration plans. This presentation presents the conceptual design of the ARRM ion propulsion system, the status of the NASA in-house thruster and power processing development activities, the status of the planned technology maturation for the mission through flight hardware delivery, and the status of the mission formulation and spacecraft acquisition.

  5. Prospects for asteroid mass determination from close encounters between asteroids: ESA's Gaia space mission and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivantsov, Anatoliy; Hestroffer, Daniel; Eggl, Siegfried

    2018-04-01

    We present a catalog of potential candidates for asteroid mass determination based on mutual close encounters of numbered asteroids with massive perturbers (D>20 km). Using a novel geometric approach tuned to optimize observability, we predict optimal epochs for mass determination observations. In contrast to previous studies that often used simplified dynamical models, we have numerically propagated the trajectories of all numbered asteroids over the time interval from 2013 to 2023 using relativistic equations of motion including planetary perturbations, J2 of the Sun, the 16 major asteroid perturbers and the perturbations due to non-sphericities of the planets. We compiled a catalog of close encounters between asteroids where the observable perturbation of the sky plane trajectory is greater than 0.5 mas so that astrometric measurements of the perturbed asteroids in the Gaia data can be leveraged. The catalog v1.0 is available at ftp://dosya.akdeniz.edu.tr/ivantsov.

  6. BILLIARDS: A Demonstration Mission for Hundred-Meter Class Near Earth Asteroid Disruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Matthew; Sloane, Joshua; Ortiz, Oliver; Barbee, Brent W.

    2015-01-01

    Currently, no planetary defense demonstration mission has ever been flown. While Nuclear Explosive Devices (NEDs) have significantly more energy than a kinetic impactor launched directly from Earth, they present safety and political complications, and therefore may only be used when absolutely necessary. The Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector, and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System (BILLIARDS) is a demonstration mission for planetary defense, which is capable of delivering comparable energy to the lower range of NED capabilities in the form of a safer kinetic impactor. A small asteroid (disrupt the larger asteroid. To reduce the cost and complexity, an asteroid pair which has a natural close approach is selected.

  7. The Bering small vehicle asteroid mission concept

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, Rene; Andersen, Anja; Haack, Henning

    2004-01-01

    targets. The dilemma obviously being the resolution versus distance and the statistics versus DeltaV requirements. Using advanced instrumentation and onboard autonomy, we have developed a space mission concept whose goal is to map the flux, size, and taxonomy distributions of asteroids. The main focus....... Although the telescope based research offers precise orbital information, it is limited to the brighter, larger objects, and taxonomy as well as morphology resolution is limited. Conversely, dedicated missions offer detailed surface mapping in radar, visual, and prompt gamma, but only for a few selected......The study of asteroids is traditionally performed by means of large Earth based telescopes, by means of which orbital elements and spectral properties are acquired. Space borne research, has so far been limited to a few occasional flybys and a couple of dedicated flights to a single selected target...

  8. Formulation Assessment and Support Team (FAST) for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Abell, Paul; Reeves, David M.; NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) Formulation Assessment and Support Team (FAST)

    2016-10-01

    The Formulation Assessment and Support Team (FAST) for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) was a two-month effort, chartered by NASA, to provide timely inputs for mission requirement formulation in support of the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) Requirements Closure Technical Interchange Meeting held December 15-16, 2015. Additionally, the FAST was tasked with developing an initial list of potential mission investigations and providing input on potential hosted payloads and partnerships. The FAST explored several aspects of potential science benefits and knowledge gain from the ARM. Expertise from the science, engineering, and technology communities was represented in exploring lines of inquiry related to key characteristics of the ARRM reference target asteroid (2008 EV5) for engineering design purposes. Specific areas of interest included target origin, spatial distribution and size of boulders, surface geotechnical properties, boulder physical properties, and considerations for boulder handling, crew safety, and containment. In order to increase knowledge gain potential from the mission, opportunities for partnerships and accompanying payloads that could be provided by domestic and international partners were also investigated. The ARM FAST final report was publicly released on February 18, 2016 and represents the FAST's final product. The report and associated public comments are being used to support mission requirements formulation and serve as an initial inquiry to the science and engineering communities relating to the characteristics of the ARRM reference target asteroid. This report also provides a suggested list of potential investigations sorted and grouped based on their likely benefit to ARM and potential relevance to NASA science and exploration goals. These potential investigations could be conducted to reduce mission risks and increase knowledge return in the areas of science, planetary defense, asteroid resources and in-situ resource

  9. NEOWISE REACTIVATION MISSION YEAR ONE: PRELIMINARY ASTEROID DIAMETERS AND ALBEDOS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugent, C. R.; Cutri, R. M. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E.; Sonnett, S.; Stevenson, R. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Wright, E. L., E-mail: cnugent@ipac.caltech.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2015-12-01

    We present preliminary diameters and albedos for 7956 asteroids detected in the first year of the NEOWISE Reactivation mission. Of those, 201 are near-Earth asteroids and 7755 are Main Belt or Mars-crossing asteroids. 17% of these objects have not been previously characterized using the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or “NEOWISE” thermal measurements. Diameters are determined to an accuracy of ∼20% or better. If good-quality H magnitudes are available, albedos can be determined to within ∼40% or better.

  10. Electric solar-wind sail for asteroid touring missions and planetary protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janhunen, P.

    2014-07-01

    The electric solar-wind sail (electric sail, E-sail [1,2]) is a relatively new concept for moving around in the solar system without consuming propellant and by using the thrust provided by the natural solar wind to produce propulsion. The E-sail is based on deploying, using the centrifugal force, a set of long, thin metallic tethers and charging them to high positive voltage by actively removing negative charge from the system by an electron gun. To make the tethers resistant towards inevitable wire cuts by micrometeoroids, they must be made by bonding from multiple (typically 4) thin (25--50 μ m) aluminium wires. Production of the tethers was a technical challenge which was recently overcome. According to present numerical estimates, the E-sail could produce up to 1 N of propellantless thrust out of less than 200 kg package which is enough to give characteristic acceleration of 1 mm/s^2 to a spacecraft weighing 1 tonne, thus producing 30 km/s of delta-v per year. The thrust scales as ˜ 1/r where r is the solar distance. There are ways to control and vector the thrust enough to enable inward and outward spiralling missions in the solar system. The E-sail working principle has been indirectly measured in a laboratory, and ESTCube-1 CubeSat experiment is underway in orbit (in late March 2014 it was waiting to be started) to measure the E-sail thrust acting on a short 10-m long tether. A full-scale mission requires ˜ 1000 km of tether altogether (weighing ˜10 kg). The production of a 1-km piece of tether has been demonstrated in laboratory [3]. If the E-sail holds up its present promise, it would be ideally suited for asteroid missions because it enables production of similar level of thrust than ion engines, but needs only a small fraction of the electric power and never runs out of propellant because it does not use any (the ''propellant'' being the natural solar-wind plasma flow). Here we consider especially a mission which would tour the asteroid belt for a

  11. BILLIARDS: A Demonstration Mission for Hundred-Meter Class Near-Earth Asteroid Disruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Matthew; Sloane, Joshua; Ortiz, Oliver; Barbee, Brent William

    2015-01-01

    Collisions from near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have the potential to cause widespread harm to life on Earth. The hypervelocity nature of these collisions means that a relatively small asteroid (about a quartermile in diameter) could cause a global disaster. Proposed strategies for deflecting or disrupting such a threatening asteroid include detonation of a nuclear explosive device (NED) in close proximity to the asteroid, as well as intercepting the asteroid with a hypervelocity kinetic impactor. NEDs allow for the delivery of large amounts of energy to a NEA for a given mass launched from the Earth, but have not yet been developed or tested for use in deep space. They also present safety and political complications, and therefore may only be used when absolutely necessary. Kinetic impactors require a relatively simple spacecraft compared to NEDs, but also deliver a much lower energy for a given launch mass. To date, no demonstration mission has been conducted for either case, and such a demonstration mission must be conducted prior to the need to utilize them during an actual scenario to ensure that an established, proven system is available for planetary defense when the need arises. One method that has been proposed to deliver a kinetic impactor with impact energy approaching that of an NED is the "billiard-ball" approach. This approach would involve capturing an asteroid approximately ten meters in diameter with a relatively small spacecraft (compared to the launch mass of an equivalent direct kinetic impactor), and redirecting it into the path of an Earth-threatening asteroid. This would cause an impact which would disrupt the Earth-threatening asteroid or deflect it from its Earth-crossing trajectory. The BILLIARDS Project seeks to perform a demonstration of this mission concept in order to establish a protocol that can be used in the event of an impending Earth/asteroid collision. In order to accomplish this objective, the mission must (1) rendezvous with a

  12. Small D-type asteroids in the NEO population: new targets for space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Perna, D.; Popescu, M.; Fornasier, S.; Doressoundiram, A.; Lantz, C.; Merlin, F.; Fulchignoni, M.; Dotto, E.; Kanuchova, S.

    2018-06-01

    In the framework of the Near Earth Objects (NEOs) observational campaign carried out within the NEOShield-2 project, we identify nine new small D-type asteroids with estimated diameter less than 600 m. The link with meteorites for this class of asteroids is weak and the best fit obtained is with the Tagish Lake meteorite for seven of them. D-type asteroids are believed to contain the most pristine material of the Solar system and could have delivered the pre-biotic material to the Earth. Our results double the known sample of the D-types in the NEO population and triple the candidates of this class for a sample-return mission (at very low ΔV). Our finding increases considerably the number of targets for sample-return mission. A sample-return mission to a D-type asteroid will provide a major progress in understanding the early history of the Solar system and to investigate the origin of life on the Earth.

  13. Integrated science and engineering for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, D.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission will survey near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu to understand its physical, mineralogical, and chemical properties, assess its resource potential, refine the impact hazard, and return a sample of this body to the Earth [1]. This mission is scheduled for launch in 2016 and will rendezvous with the asteroid in 2018. Sample return to the Earth follows in 2023. The OSIRIS-REx mission has the challenge of visiting asteroid Bennu, characterizing it at global and local scales, then selecting the best site on the asteroid surface to acquire a sample for return to the Earth. Minimizing the risk of exploring an unknown world requires a tight integration of science and engineering to inform flight system and mission design. Defining the Asteroid Environment: We have performed an extensive astronomical campaign in support of OSIRIS-REx. Lightcurve and phase function observations were obtained with UA Observatories telescopes located in southeastern Arizona during the 2005--2006 and 2011--2012 apparitions [2]. We observed Bennu using the 12.6-cm radar at the Arecibo Observatory in 1999, 2005, and 2011 and the 3.5-cm radar at the Goldstone tracking station in 1999 and 2005 [3]. We conducted near-infrared measurements using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii in September 2005 [4]. Additional spectral observations were obtained in July 2011 and May 2012 with the Magellan 6.5-m telescope [5]. We used the Spitzer space telescope to observe Bennu in May 2007 [6]. The extensive knowledge gained as a result of our telescopic characterization of Bennu was critical in the selection of this object as the OSIRIS-REx mission target. In addition, we use these data, combined with models of the asteroid, to constrain over 100 different asteroid parameters covering orbital, bulk, rotational, radar

  14. Geophysical Evolution of Ch Asteroids and Testable Hypotheses for Future Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    The main population of asteroids related to meteorites in the collections remains to be explored in situ. Ch asteroids are the only midsized asteroids that display a signature of hydration (besides Pallas) and the spectral connection between Ch asteroids and CM chondrites suggests that the former represent potential parent bodies for the latter. This class of asteroids is particularly interesting because it hosts many objects 100-200 km in size, which are believed to belong to a primordial population of planetesimals. This presentation will explore multiple evolution pathways for Ch-asteroids leading to possible hypotheses on the geological, petrological, and geophysical properties that a disrupted parent body would present to a future mission. This work is being carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA.

  15. Science Experiments of a Jupiter Trojan asteroid in the Solar Power Sail Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, T.; Kebukawa, Y.; Aoki, J.; Kawai, Y.; Ito, M.; Yano, H.; Okamoto, C.; Matsumoto, J.; Bibring, J. P.; Ulamec, S.; Jaumann, R.; Iwata, T.; Mori, O.; Kawaguchi, J.

    2017-12-01

    A Jupiter Trojan asteroid mission using a large area solar power sail (SPS) is under study in JAXA in collaboration with DLR and CNES. The asteroid will be investigated through remote sensing, followed by in situ in-depth observations on the asteroid with a lander. A sample-return is also studied as an option. LUCY has been selected as the NASA's future Discovery class mission which aims at understanding the diversity of Jupiter Trojans by multiple flybys, complementally to the SPS mission. The SPS is a candidate of the next medium class space science mission in Japan. The 1.4-ton spacecraft will carry a 100-kg class lander and 20-kg mission payloads on it. Its launch is expected in mid 2020s, and will take at least 11 years to visit a Jupiter Trojan asteroid. During the cruise phase, science experiments will be performed such as an infrared astronomy, a very long baseline gamma ray interferometry, and dust and magnetic field measurements. A classical static model of solar system suggests that the Jupiter Trojans were formed around the Jupiter region, while a dynamical model such as Nice model indicates that they formed at the far end of the solar system and then scattered inward due to a dynamical migration of giant planets. The physical, mineralogical, organics and isotopic distribution in the heliocentric distance could solve their origin and evolution of the solar system. A global mapping of the asteroid from the mothership will be conducted such as high-resolved imaging, NIR and TIR imaging spectrometry, and radar soundings. The lander will characterize the asteroid with geological, mineralogical, and geophysical observations using a panoramic camera, an infrared hyperspectral imager, a magnetometer, and a thermal radiometer. These samples will be measured by a high resolved mass spectrometer (HRMS) to investigate isotopic ratios of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, as well as organic species.

  16. The flyby of Rosetta at asteroid Šteins - mission and science operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accomazzo, Andrea; Wirth, Kristin R.; Lodiot, Sylvain; Küppers, Michael; Schwehm, Gerhard

    2010-07-01

    The international Rosetta mission, a cornerstone mission of the european space agency scientific Programme, was launched on 2nd March 2004 on its 10 years journey towards a rendezvous with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko ( Gardini et al., 1999). During its interplanetary flight towards its target Rosetta crosses the asteroid belt twice with the opportunity to observe at close quarters two asteroids: (2867)-Šteins in 2008 and (21)-Lutetia in 2010. The spacecraft design was such that these opportunities could be fully exploited to deliver valuable data to the scientific community. The mission trajectory was controlled such that Rosetta would fly next to asteroid Šteins on the 5th of September 2008 with a relative speed of 8.6 km/s at a minimum distance of 800 km. Mission operations have been carefully planned to achieve the best possible flyby scenario and scientific outcome. The flyby scenario, the optical navigation campaign, and the planning of the scientific observations had to be adapted by the Mission and the Science Operations Centres to the demanding requirements expressed by the scientific community. The flyby was conducted as planned with a large number of successful observations.

  17. Interplanetary Trajectory Design for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission Alternate Approach Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Raymond Gabriel; Qu, Min; Vavrina, Matthew A.; Englander, Jacob A.; Jones, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents mission performance analysis methods and results for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission (ARRM) option to capture a free standing boulder on the surface of a 100 m or larger NEA. It details the optimization and design of heliocentric low-thrust trajectories to asteroid targets for the ARRM solar electric propulsion spacecraft. Extensive searches were conducted to determine asteroid targets with large pick-up mass potential and potential observation opportunities. Interplanetary trajectory approximations were developed in method based tools for Itokawa, Bennu, 1999 JU3, and 2008 EV5 and were validated by end-to-end integrated trajectories.

  18. NEOWISE REACTIVATION MISSION YEAR TWO: ASTEROID DIAMETERS AND ALBEDOS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugent, C. R.; Cutri, R. M. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E. A.; Masiero, J.; Sonnett, S. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Wright, E. L., E-mail: cnugent@ipac.caltech.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2016-09-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission continues to detect, track, and characterize minor planets. We present diameters and albedos calculated from observations taken during the second year since the spacecraft was reactivated in late 2013. These include 207 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and 8885 other asteroids. Of the NEAs, 84% NEAs did not have previously measured diameters and albedos by the NEOWISE mission. Comparison of sizes and albedos calculated from NEOWISE measurements with those measured by occultations, spacecraft, and radar-derived shapes shows accuracy consistent with previous NEOWISE publications. Diameters and albedos fall within ±∼20% and ±∼40%, 1-sigma, respectively, of those measured by these alternate techniques. NEOWISE continues to preferentially discover near-Earth objects which are large (>100 m), and have low albedos.

  19. MASCOT—The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout Onboard the Hayabusa2 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Tra-Mi; Baturkin, Volodymyr; Grimm, Christian; Grundmann, Jan Thimo; Hobbie, Catherin; Ksenik, Eugen; Lange, Caroline; Sasaki, Kaname; Schlotterer, Markus; Talapina, Maria; Termtanasombat, Nawarat; Wejmo, Elisabet; Witte, Lars; Wrasmann, Michael; Wübbels, Guido; Rößler, Johannes; Ziach, Christian; Findlay, Ross; Biele, Jens; Krause, Christian; Ulamec, Stephan; Lange, Michael; Mierheim, Olaf; Lichtenheldt, Roy; Maier, Maximilian; Reill, Josef; Sedlmayr, Hans-Jürgen; Bousquet, Pierre; Bellion, Anthony; Bompis, Olivier; Cenac-Morthe, Celine; Deleuze, Muriel; Fredon, Stephane; Jurado, Eric; Canalias, Elisabet; Jaumann, Ralf; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Glassmeier, Karl Heinz; Hercik, David; Grott, Matthias; Celotti, Luca; Cordero, Federico; Hendrikse, Jeffrey; Okada, Tatsuaki

    2017-07-01

    On December 3rd, 2014, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) launched successfully the Hayabusa2 (HY2) spacecraft to its journey to Near Earth asteroid (162173) Ryugu. Aboard this spacecraft is a compact landing package, MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid surface SCOuT), which was developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in collaboration with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Similar to the famous predecessor mission Hayabusa, Hayabusa2, will also study an asteroid and return samples to Earth. This time, however, the target is a C-type asteroid which is considered to be more primitive than (25143) Itokawa and provide insight into an even earlier stage of our Solar System.

  20. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Three: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Kramer, E.; Nugent, C.; Cutri, R. M.; Wright, E. L.; Bauer, J. M.; Grav, T.; Sonnett, S.

    2017-01-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) reactivation mission has completed its third year of surveying the sky in the thermal infrared for near-Earth asteroids and comets. NEOWISE collects simultaneous observations at 3.4 and 4.6  μ m of solar system objects passing through its field of regard. These data allow for the determination of total thermal emission from bodies in the inner solar system, and thus the sizes of these objects. In this paper, we present thermal model fits of asteroid diameters for 170 NEOs and 6110 Main Belt asteroids (MBAs) detected during the third year of the survey, as well as the associated optical geometric albedos. We compare our results with previous thermal model results from NEOWISE for overlapping sample sets, as well as diameters determined through other independent methods, and find that our diameter measurements for NEOs agree to within 26% (1 σ ) of previously measured values. Diameters for the MBAs are within 17% (1 σ ). This brings the total number of unique near-Earth objects characterized by the NEOWISE survey to 541, surpassing the number observed during the fully cryogenic mission in 2010.

  1. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Three: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Kramer, E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 183-301, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Nugent, C.; Cutri, R. M. [California Institute of Technology, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, 1200 California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Wright, E. L. [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Bauer, J. M. [University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Grav, T.; Sonnett, S., E-mail: Joseph.Masiero@jpl.nasa.gov [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E Fort Lowell Road #106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2017-10-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) reactivation mission has completed its third year of surveying the sky in the thermal infrared for near-Earth asteroids and comets. NEOWISE collects simultaneous observations at 3.4 and 4.6  μ m of solar system objects passing through its field of regard. These data allow for the determination of total thermal emission from bodies in the inner solar system, and thus the sizes of these objects. In this paper, we present thermal model fits of asteroid diameters for 170 NEOs and 6110 Main Belt asteroids (MBAs) detected during the third year of the survey, as well as the associated optical geometric albedos. We compare our results with previous thermal model results from NEOWISE for overlapping sample sets, as well as diameters determined through other independent methods, and find that our diameter measurements for NEOs agree to within 26% (1 σ ) of previously measured values. Diameters for the MBAs are within 17% (1 σ ). This brings the total number of unique near-Earth objects characterized by the NEOWISE survey to 541, surpassing the number observed during the fully cryogenic mission in 2010.

  2. Rendezvous and Docking Strategy for Crewed Segment of the Asteroid Redirect Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, Heather D.; Cryan, Scott P.; D'Souza, Christopher; Dannemiller, David P.; Brazzel, Jack P.; Condon, Gerald L.; Othon, William L.; Williams, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    This paper will describe the overall rendezvous, proximity operations and docking (RPOD) strategy in support of the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), as part of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The focus of the paper is on the crewed mission phase of ARM, starting with the establishment of Orion in the Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO) and ending with docking to the Asteroid Redirect Vechicle (ARV). The paper will detail the sequence of maneuvers required to execute the rendezvous and proximity operations mission phases along with the on-board navigation strategies, including the final approach phase. The trajectories to be considered will include target vehicles in a DRO. The paper will also discuss the sensor requirements for rendezvous and docking and the various trade studies associated with the final sensor selection. Building on the sensor requirements and trade studies, the paper will include a candidate sensor concept of operations, which will drive the selection of the sensor suite; concurrently, it will be driven by higher level requirements on the system, such as crew timeline constraints and vehicle consummables. This paper will address how many of the seemingly competing requirements will have to be addressed to create a complete system and system design. The objective is to determine a sensor suite and trajectories that enable Orion to successfully rendezvous and dock with a target vehicle in trans lunar space. Finally, the paper will report on the status of a NASA action to look for synergy within RPOD, across the crewed and robotic asteroid missions.

  3. Momentum Management for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, Andrew; Diedrich, Benjamin L.; Orphee, Juan; Stiltner, Brandon; Becker, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    The Momentum Management (MM) system is described for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout) cubesat solar sail mission. Unlike many solar sail mission proposals that used solar torque as the primary or only attitude control system, NEA Scout uses small reaction wheels (RW) and a reaction control system (RCS) with cold gas thrusters, as described in the abstract "Solar Sail Attitude Control System for Near Earth Asteroid Scout Cubesat Mission." The reaction wheels allow fine pointing and higher rates with low mass actuators to meet the science, communication, and trajectory guidance requirements. The MM system keeps the speed of the wheels within their operating margins using a combination of solar torque and the RCS.

  4. Measurement requirements for a Near-Earth Asteroid impact mitigation demonstration mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolters, Stephen D.; Ball, Andrew J.; Wells, Nigel; Saunders, Christopher; McBride, Neil

    2011-10-01

    A concept for an Impact Mitigation Preparation Mission, called Don Quijote, is to send two spacecrafts to a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA): an Orbiter and an Impactor. The Impactor collides with the asteroid while the Orbiter measures the resulting change in the asteroid's orbit, by means of a Radio Science Experiment (RSE) carried out before and after the impact. Three parallel Phase A studies on Don Quijote were carried out for the European Space Agency: the research presented here reflects the outcomes of the study by QinetiQ. We discuss the mission objectives with regard to the prioritisation of payload instruments, with emphasis on the interpretation of the impact. The Radio Science Experiment is described and it is examined how solar radiation pressure may increase the uncertainty in measuring the orbit of the target asteroid. It is determined that to measure the change in orbit accurately a thermal IR spectrometer is mandatory, to measure the Yarkovsky effect. The advantages of having a laser altimeter are discussed. The advantages of a dedicated wide-angle impact camera are discussed and the field-of-view is initially sized through a simple model of the impact.

  5. Basic targeting strategies for rendezvous and flyby missions to the near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perozzi, Ettore; Rossi, Alessandro; Valsecchi, Giovanni B.

    2001-01-01

    Missions to asteroids and comets are becoming increasingly feasible both from a technical and a financial point of view. In particular, those directed towards the Near-Earth Asteroids have proven suitable for a low-cost approach, thus attracting the major space agencies as well as private companies. The choice of a suitable target involves both scientific relevance and mission design considerations, being often a difficult task to accomplish due to the limited energy budget at disposal. The aim of this paper is to provide an approach to basic trajectory design which allows to account for both aspects of the problem, taking into account scientific and technical information. A global characterization of the Near-Earth Asteroids population carried out on the basis of their dynamics, physical properties and flight dynamics considerations, allows to identify a group of candidates which satisfy both, the scientific and engineering requirements. The feasibility of rendezvous and flyby missions towards them is then discussed and the possibility of repeated encounters with the same object is investigated, as an intermediate scenario. Within this framework, the capability of present and near future launch and propulsion systems for interplanetary missions is also addressed.

  6. OSIRIS-REx Touch-and-Go (TAG) Mission Design for Asteroid Sample Collection

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Alexander; Sutter, Brian; Linn, Timothy; Bierhaus, Beau; Berry, Kevin; Mink, Ron

    2014-01-01

    The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is a NASA New Frontiers mission launching in September 2016 to rendezvous with the near-Earth asteroid Bennu in October 2018. After several months of proximity operations to characterize the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx flies a Touch-And-Go (TAG) trajectory to the asteroid's surface to collect at least 60 g of pristine regolith sample for Earth return. This paper provides mission and flight system overviews, with more details on the TAG mission design and key events that occur to safely and successfully collect the sample. An overview of the navigation performed relative to a chosen sample site, along with the maneuvers to reach the desired site is described. Safety monitoring during descent is performed with onboard sensors providing an option to abort, troubleshoot, and try again if necessary. Sample collection occurs using a collection device at the end of an articulating robotic arm during a brief five second contact period, while a constant force spring mechanism in the arm assists to rebound the spacecraft away from the surface. Finally, the sample is measured quantitatively utilizing the law of conservation of angular momentum, along with qualitative data from imagery of the sampling device. Upon sample mass verification, the arm places the sample into the Stardust-heritage Sample Return Capsule (SRC) for return to Earth in September 2023.

  7. An ISU study of asteroid mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, J. D.

    During the 1990 summer session of the International Space University, 59 graduate students from 16 countries carried out a design project on using the resources of near-earth asteroids. The results of the project, whose full report is now available from ISU, are summarized. The student team included people in these fields: architecture, business and management, engineering, life sciences, physical sciences, policy and law, resources and manufacturing, and satellite applications. They designed a project for transporting equipment and personnel to a near-earth asteroid, setting up a mining base there, and hauling products back for use in cislunar space. In addition, they outlined the needed precursor steps, beginning with expansion of present ground-based programs for finding and characterizing near-earth asteroids and continuing with automated flight missions to candidate bodies. (To limit the summer project's scope the actual design of these flight-mission precursors was excluded.) The main conclusions were that asteroid mining may provide an important complement to the future use of lunar resources, with the potential to provide large amounts of water and carbonaceous materials for use off earth. However, the recovery of such materials from presently known asteroids did not show an economic gain under the study assumptions; therefore, asteroid mining cannot yet be considered a prospective business.

  8. Trajectory design for a lunar mapping and near-Earth-asteroid flyby mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, David W.; Farquhar, Robert W.

    1993-01-01

    In August, 1994, the unusual asteroid (1620) Geographos will pass very close to the Earth. This provides one of the best opportunities for a low-cost asteroid flyby mission that can be achieved with the help of a gravity assist from the Moon during the years 1994 and 1995. A Geographos flyby mission, including a lunar orbiting phase, was recommended to the Startegic Defense Initiative (SDI) Office when they were searching for ideas for a deep-space mission to test small imaging systems and other lightweight technologies. The goals for this mission, called Clementine, were defined to consist of a comprehensive lunar mapping phase before leaving the Earth-Moon system to encounter Geographos. This paper describes how the authors calculated a trajectory that met the mission goals within a reasonable total Delta-V budget. The paper also describes some refinements of the initially computed trajectory and alternative trajectories were investigated. The paper concludes with a list of trajectories to fly by other near-Earth asteroids during the two years following the Geographos opportunity. Some of these could be used if the Geographos schedule can not be met. If the 140 deg phase angle of the Geographos encounter turns out to be too risky, a flyby of (2120) Tantalus in January, 1995, has a much more favorable approach illumination. Tantalus apparently can be reached from the same lunar orbit needed to get to Geographos. However, both the flyby speed and distance from the Earth are much larger for Tantalus than for Geographos.

  9. Near Earth Asteroid Scout: NASA's Solar Sail Mission to a NEA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Lockett, Tiffany

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing a solar sail propulsion system for use on the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout reconnaissance mission and laying the groundwork for their use in future deep space science and exploration missions. Solar sails use sunlight to propel vehicles through space by reflecting solar photons from a large, mirror-like sail made of a lightweight, highly reflective material. This continuous photon pressure provides propellantless thrust, allowing for very high Delta V maneuvers on long-duration, deep space exploration. Since reflected light produces thrust, solar sails require no onboard propellant. The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission, funded by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Program and managed by NASA MSFC, will use the sail as primary propulsion allowing it to survey and image Asteroid 1991VG and, potentially, other NEA's of interest for possible future human exploration. NEA Scout uses a 6U cubesat (to be provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory), an 86 m(exp. 2) solar sail and will weigh less than 12 kilograms. NEA Scout will be launched on the first flight of the Space Launch System in 2018. The solar sail for NEA Scout will be based on the technology developed and flown by the NASA NanoSail-D and The Planetary Society's Lightsail-A. Four approximately 7 m stainless steel booms wrapped on two spools (two overlapping booms per spool) will be motor deployed and pull the sail from its stowed volume. The sail material is an aluminized polyimide approximately 2.5 microns thick. As the technology matures, solar sails will increasingly be used to enable science and exploration missions that are currently impossible or prohibitively expensive using traditional chemical and electric propulsion systems. This paper will summarize the status of the NEA Scout mission and solar sail technology in general.

  10. Design and validation of a GNC system for missions to asteroids: the AIM scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellacani, A.; Kicman, P.; Suatoni, M.; Casasco, M.; Gil, J.; Carnelli, I.

    2017-12-01

    Deep space missions, and in particular missions to asteroids, impose a certain level of autonomy that depends on the mission objectives. If the mission requires the spacecraft to perform close approaches to the target body (the extreme case being a landing scenario), the autonomy level must be increased to guarantee the fast and reactive response which is required in both nominal and contingency operations. The GNC system must be designed in accordance with the required level of autonomy. The GNC system designed and tested in the frame of ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) system studies (Phase A/B1 and Consolidation Phase) is an example of an autonomous GNC system that meets the challenging objectives of AIM. The paper reports the design of such GNC system and its validation through a DDVV plan that includes Model-in-the-Loop and Hardware-in-the-Loop testing. Main focus is the translational navigation, which is able to provide online the relative state estimation with respect to the target body using exclusively cameras as relative navigation sensors. The relative navigation outputs are meant to be used for nominal spacecraft trajectory corrections as well as to estimate the collision risk with the asteroid and, if needed, to command the execution of a collision avoidance manoeuvre to guarantee spacecraft safety

  11. Project RAMA: Reconstructing Asteroids Into Mechanical Automata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Jason; Fagin, Max; Snyder, Michael; Joyce, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Many interesting ideas have been conceived for building space-based infrastructure in cislunar space. From O'Neill's space colonies, to solar power satellite farms, and even prospecting retrieved near earth asteroids. In all the scenarios, one thing remained fixed - the need for space resources at the outpost. To satisfy this need, O'Neill suggested an electromagnetic railgun to deliver resources from the lunar surface, while NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission called for a solar electric tug to deliver asteroid materials from interplanetary space. At Made In Space, we propose an entirely new concept. One which is scalable, cost effective, and ensures that the abundant material wealth of the inner solar system becomes readily available to humankind in a nearly automated fashion. We propose the RAMA architecture, which turns asteroids into self-contained spacecraft capable of moving themselves back to cislunar space. The RAMA architecture is just as capable of transporting conventional-sized asteroids on the 10-meter length scale as transporting asteroids 100 meters or larger, making it the most versatile asteroid retrieval architecture in terms of retrieved-mass capability. This report describes the results of the Phase I study funded by the NASA NIAC program for Made In Space to establish the concept feasibility of using space manufacturing to convert asteroids into autonomous, mechanical spacecraft. Project RAMA, Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata, is designed to leverage the future advances of additive manufacturing (AM), in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and in-situ manufacturing (ISM) to realize enormous efficiencies in repeated asteroid redirect missions. A team of engineers at Made In Space performed the study work with consultation from the asteroid mining industry, academia, and NASA. Previous studies for asteroid retrieval have been constrained to studying only asteroids that are both large enough to be discovered, and small enough to be

  12. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Galvez, A.; Carnelli, I.; Michel, P.; Rivkin, A.; Reed, C.

    2012-12-01

    To protect the Earth from a hazardous asteroid impact, various mitigation methods have been proposed, including deflection of the asteroid by a spacecraft impact. AIDA, consisting of two mission elements, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and the Asteroid Impact Monitoring (AIM) mission, is a demonstration of asteroid deflection. To date, there has been no such demonstration, and there is major uncertainty in the result of a spacecraft impact onto an asteroid, that is, the amount of deflection produced by a given momentum input from the impact. This uncertainty is in part due to unknown physical properties of the asteroid surface, such as porosity and strength, and in part due to poorly understood impact physics such that the momentum carried off by ejecta is highly uncertain. A first mission to demonstrate asteroid deflection would not only be a major step towards gaining the capability to mitigate an asteroid hazard, but in addition it would return unique information on an asteroid's strength, other surface properties, and internal structure. This information return would be highly relevant to future human exploration of asteroids. We report initial results of the AIDA joint mission concept study undertaken by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and ESA with support from NASA centers including Goddard, Johnson and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For AIDA, the DART spacecraft impactor study is coordinated with an ESA study of the AIM mission, which would rendezvous with the same asteroid to measure effects of the impact. Unlike the previous Don Quijote mission study performed by ESA in 2005-2007, DART envisions an impactor spacecraft to intercept the secondary member of a binary near-Earth asteroid. DART includes ground-based observations to measure the deflection independently of the rendezvous spacecraft observations from AIM, which also measures deflection and provides detailed characterization of the target asteroid. The joint mission AIDA

  13. Exploring with PAM: Prospecting ANTS Missions for Solar System Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a large (1000 member) swarm of nano to picoclass (10 to 1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft, are being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept. ANTS, based on a hierarchical insect social order, use an evolvable, self-similar, hierarchical neural system in which individual spacecraft represent the highest level nodes. ANTS uses swarm intelligence attained through collective, cooperative interactions of the nodes at all levels of the system. At the highest levels this can take the form of cooperative, collective behavior among the individual spacecraft in a very large constellation. The ANTS neural architecture is designed for totally autonomous operation of complex systems including spacecraft constellations. The ANTS (Autonomous Nano Technology Swarm) concept has a number of possible applications. A version of ANTS designed for surveying and determining the resource potential of the asteroid belt, called PAM (Prospecting ANTS Mission), is examined here.

  14. Moon Search Algorithms for NASA's Dawn Mission to Asteroid Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memarsadeghi, Nargess; Mcfadden, Lucy A.; Skillman, David R.; McLean, Brian; Mutchler, Max; Carsenty, Uri; Palmer, Eric E.

    2012-01-01

    A moon or natural satellite is a celestial body that orbits a planetary body such as a planet, dwarf planet, or an asteroid. Scientists seek understanding the origin and evolution of our solar system by studying moons of these bodies. Additionally, searches for satellites of planetary bodies can be important to protect the safety of a spacecraft as it approaches or orbits a planetary body. If a satellite of a celestial body is found, the mass of that body can also be calculated once its orbit is determined. Ensuring the Dawn spacecraft's safety on its mission to the asteroid Vesta primarily motivated the work of Dawn's Satellite Working Group (SWG) in summer of 2011. Dawn mission scientists and engineers utilized various computational tools and techniques for Vesta's satellite search. The objectives of this paper are to 1) introduce the natural satellite search problem, 2) present the computational challenges, approaches, and tools used when addressing this problem, and 3) describe applications of various image processing and computational algorithms for performing satellite searches to the electronic imaging and computer science community. Furthermore, we hope that this communication would enable Dawn mission scientists to improve their satellite search algorithms and tools and be better prepared for performing the same investigation in 2015, when the spacecraft is scheduled to approach and orbit the dwarf planet Ceres.

  15. Logistics Needs for Potential Deep Space Mission Scenarios Post Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Pedro, Jr.; Shultz, Eric; Mattfeld, Bryan; Stromgren, Chel; Goodliff, Kandyce

    2015-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is currently being explored as the next step towards deep space human exploration, with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars. NASA is currently investigating a number of potential human exploration missions, which will progressively increase the distance and duration that humans spend away from Earth. Missions include extended human exploration in cis-lunar space which, as conceived, would involve durations of around 60 days, and human missions to Mars, which are anticipated to be as long as 1000 days. The amount of logistics required to keep the crew alive and healthy for these missions is significant. It is therefore important that the design and planning for these missions include accurate estimates of logistics requirements. This paper provides a description of a process and calculations used to estimate mass and volume requirements for crew logistics, including consumables, such as food, personal items, gasses, and liquids. Determination of logistics requirements is based on crew size, mission duration, and the degree of closure of the environmental control life support system (ECLSS). Details are provided on the consumption rates for different types of logistics and how those rates were established. Results for potential mission scenarios are presented, including a breakdown of mass and volume drivers. Opportunities for mass and volume reduction are identified, along with potential threats that could possibly increase requirements.

  16. MASCOT2, a Lander to Characterize the Target of an Asteroid Kinetic Impactor Deflection Test (AIM) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biele, J.; Ulamec, S.; Krause, C.; Cozzoni, B.; Lange, C.; Grundmann, J. T.; Grimm, C.; Ho, T.-M.; Herique, A.; Plettemeier, D.; Grott, M.; Auster, H.-U.; Hercik, D.; Carnelli, I.; Galvez, A.; Philippe, C.; Küppers, M.; Grieger, B.; Gil Fernandez, J.; Grygorczuk, J.

    2017-09-01

    In the course of the AIDA/AIM mission studies [1,2] a lander, MASCOT2, has been studied to be deployed on the moon of the binary Near-Earth Asteroid system, (65803) Didymos. The AIDA technology demonstration mission, composed of a kinetic impactor, DART, and an observing spacecraft, AIM, has been designed to deliver vital data to determine the momentum transfer efficiency of the kinetic impact and key physical properties of the target asteroid. This will enable derivation of the impact response of the object as a function of its physical properties, a crucial quantitative point besides the qualitative proof that the asteroid has been deflected at all. A landed asset on the target asteroid greatly supports analyzing its dynamical state, mass, geophysical properties, surface and subsurface structure. The lander's main instrument is a bistatic, low frequency radar (LFR) [3a,b] to sound the interior structure of the asteroid. It is supported by a camera (MasCAM) [4], a radiometer (MARA)[5], an accelerometer (DACC [9]), and, optionally regarding the science case, also a magnetometer (MasMAG)[6].

  17. Mitigation-relevant science with Don Quijote - a European-led mission to a near-Earth asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, A. W.; Galvez, A.; Benz, W.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Green, S. F.; Michel, P.; Valsecchi, G.; Paetzold, M.; Haeusler, B.; Carnelli, I.

    The Don Quijote concept includes a rendezvous spacecraft and an impactor vehicle The main aim of the mission is to carry out an experiment to demonstrate the modification of a near-Earth asteroid s orbit in a controlled way as a first step in establishing mitigation measures against an eventual hazardous object In particular the spacecraft would study the physical properties of the target asteroid and the effects of a kinetic impact on its dynamical state It is also expected that some spacecraft resources will be available for more general solar-system science investigations The Don Quijote mission is currently at the phase-A stage during which a number of European consortia of industrial and scientific partners will study its technical feasibility and potential scientific return The basic mission concept current scientific issues and the possibilities for international participation in the mission will be discussed

  18. Asteroids astronomical and geological bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Burbine, Thomas H

    2016-01-01

    Asteroid science is a fundamental topic in planetary science and is key to furthering our understanding of planetary formation and the evolution of the Solar System. Ground-based observations and missions have provided a wealth of new data in recent years, and forthcoming missions promise further exciting results. This accessible book presents a comprehensive introduction to asteroid science, summarising the astronomical and geological characteristics of asteroids. The interdisciplinary nature of asteroid science is reflected in the broad range of topics covered, including asteroid and meteorite classification, chemical and physical properties of asteroids, observational techniques, cratering, and the discovery of asteroids and how they are named. Other chapters discuss past, present and future space missions and the threat that these bodies pose for Earth. Based on an upper-level course on asteroids and meteorites taught by the author, this book is ideal for students, researchers and professional scientists ...

  19. Preliminary design of an asteroid hopping mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheppa, Michael D.

    In 2010, NASA announced that its new vision is to support private space launch operations. It is anticipated that this new direction will create the need for new and innovative ideas that push the current boundaries of space exploration and contain the promise of substantial gain, both in research and capital. The purpose of the study is to plan and estimate the feasibility of a mission to visit a number of near Earth asteroids (NEAs). The mission would take place before the end of the 21st century, and would only use commercially available technology. Throughout the mission design process, while holding astronaut safety paramount, it was the goal to maximize the return while keeping the cost to a minimum. A mission of the nature would appeal to the private space industry because it could be easily adapted and set into motion. The mission design was divided into three main parts; mission timeline, vehicle design and power sources, with emphasis on nuclear and solar electric power, were investigated. The timeline and associated trajectories were initially selected using a numerical estimation and then optimized using Satellite Tool Kit (STK) 9.s's Design Explorer Optimizer [1]. Next, the spacecraft was design using commercially available parts that would support the mission requirements. The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) was and instrumental piece in maximizing the number of NEAs visited. Once the spacecraft was designed, acceptable power supply options were investigated. The VASIMR VX-200 requires 200 kilowatts of power to maintain thrust. This creates the need for a substantial power supply that consists of either a nuclear reactor of massive solar arrays. STK 9.1's Design Explorer Optimizer was able to create a mission time line that allowed for the exploration of seven NEAs in under two years, while keeping the total mission DeltaV under 71 kilometers per second. Based on these initial findings, it is determined that a mission of this

  20. Trajectory design for a rendezvous mission to Earth's Trojan asteroid 2010 TK7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Hanlun; Xu, Bo; Zhang, Lei

    2017-12-01

    In this paper a rendezvous mission to the Earth's Trojan asteroid 2010 TK7 is proposed, and preliminary transfer trajectories are designed. Due to the high inclination (∼ 20.9°) of the target asteroid relative to the ecliptic plane, direct transfers usually require large amounts of fuel consumption, which is beyond the capacity of current technology. As gravity assist technique could effectively change the inclination of spacecraft's trajectory, it is adopted to reduce the launch energy and rendezvous velocity maneuver. In practical computation, impulsive and low-thrust, gravity-assisted trajectories are considered. Among all the trajectories computed, the low-thrust gravity-assisted trajectory with Venus-Earth-Venus (V-E-V) swingby sequence performs the best in terms of propellant mass. For a spacecraft with initial mass of 800 kg , propellant mass of the best trajectory is 36.74 kg . Numerical results indicate that both the impulsive and low-thrust, gravity-assisted trajectories corresponding to V-E-V sequence could satisfy mission constraints, and can be applied to practical rendezvous mission.

  1. Touch And Go Camera System (TAGCAMS) for the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, B. J.; Ravine, M. A.; Caplinger, M.; Schaffner, J. A.; Ladewig, J. V.; Olds, R. D.; Norman, C. D.; Huish, D.; Hughes, M.; Anderson, S. K.; Lorenz, D. A.; May, A.; Jackman, C. D.; Nelson, D.; Moreau, M.; Kubitschek, D.; Getzandanner, K.; Gordon, K. E.; Eberhardt, A.; Lauretta, D. S.

    2018-02-01

    NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission spacecraft includes the Touch And Go Camera System (TAGCAMS) three camera-head instrument. The purpose of TAGCAMS is to provide imagery during the mission to facilitate navigation to the target asteroid, confirm acquisition of the asteroid sample, and document asteroid sample stowage. The cameras were designed and constructed by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) based on requirements developed by Lockheed Martin and NASA. All three of the cameras are mounted to the spacecraft nadir deck and provide images in the visible part of the spectrum, 400-700 nm. Two of the TAGCAMS cameras, NavCam 1 and NavCam 2, serve as fully redundant navigation cameras to support optical navigation and natural feature tracking. Their boresights are aligned in the nadir direction with small angular offsets for operational convenience. The third TAGCAMS camera, StowCam, provides imagery to assist with and confirm proper stowage of the asteroid sample. Its boresight is pointed at the OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule located on the spacecraft deck. All three cameras have at their heart a 2592 × 1944 pixel complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) detector array that provides up to 12-bit pixel depth. All cameras also share the same lens design and a camera field of view of roughly 44° × 32° with a pixel scale of 0.28 mrad/pixel. The StowCam lens is focused to image features on the spacecraft deck, while both NavCam lens focus positions are optimized for imaging at infinity. A brief description of the TAGCAMS instrument and how it is used to support critical OSIRIS-REx operations is provided.

  2. Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission Space Suit and EVA System Architecture Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowie, Jonathan T.; Blanco, Raul A.; Watson, Richard D.; Kelly, Cody; Buffington, Jesse; Sipila, Stephanie A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper discusses the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM) space suit and Extravehicular Activity (EVA) architecture trade study and the current state of the work to mature the requirements and products to the mission concept review level. The mission requirements and the resulting concept of operations will be discussed. A historical context will be presented as to present the similarities and differences from previous NASA missions. That will set the stage for the trade study where all options for both pressure garment and life support were considered. The rationale for the architecture decisions will then be presented. Since the trade study did identity risks, the subsequent tests and analyses that mitigated the risks will be discussed. Lastly, the current state of the effort will be provided.

  3. Technology Development of Automated Rendezvous and Docking/Capture Sensors and Docking Mechanism for the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, Heather; Strube, Matthew; Zipay, John J.; Cryan, Scott

    2016-01-01

    This paper will describe the technology development efforts NASA has underway for Automated Rendezvous and Docking/Capture (AR&D/C) sensors and a docking mechanism and the challenges involved. The paper will additionally address how these technologies will be extended to other missions requiring AR&D/C whether robotic or manned. NASA needs AR&D/C sensors for both the robotic and crewed segments of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). NASA recently conducted a commonality assessment of the concept of operations for the robotic Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV) and the crewed mission segment using the Orion spacecraft. The commonality assessment also considered several future exploration and science missions requiring an AR&D/C capability. Missions considered were asteroid sample return, satellite servicing, and planetary entry, descent, and landing. This assessment determined that a common sensor suite consisting of one or more visible wavelength cameras, a three-dimensional LIDAR along with long-wavelength infrared cameras for robustness and situational awareness could be used on each mission to eliminate the cost of multiple sensor developments and qualifications. By choosing sensor parameters at build-time instead of at design-time and, without having to requalify flight hardware, a specific mission can design overlapping bearing, range, relative attitude, and position measurement availability to suit their mission requirements with minimal non-recurring engineering costs. The resulting common sensor specification provides the union of all performance requirements for each mission and represents an improvement over the current systems used for AR&D/C today. These sensor specifications are tightly coupled to the docking system capabilities and requirements for final docking conditions. The paper will describe NASA's efforts to develop a standard docking system for use across NASA human spaceflight missions to multiple destinations. It will describe the current

  4. Boulder Capture System Design Options for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission Alternate Approach Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belbin, Scott P.; Merrill, Raymond G.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a boulder acquisition and asteroid surface interaction electromechanical concept developed for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission (ARRM) option to capture a free standing boulder on the surface of a 100 m or larger Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). It details the down select process and ranking of potential boulder capture methods, the evolution of a simple yet elegant articulating spaceframe, and ongoing risk reduction and concept refinement efforts. The capture system configuration leverages the spaceframe, heritage manipulators, and a new microspine technology to enable the ARRM boulder capture. While at the NEA it enables attenuation of terminal descent velocity, ascent to escape velocity, boulder collection and restraint. After departure from the NEA it enables, robotic inspection, sample caching, and crew Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA).

  5. Asteroid exploration and utilization: The Hawking explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Alan; Date, Medha; Duarte, Manny; Erian, Neil; Gafka, George; Kappler, Peter; Patano, Scott; Perez, Martin; Ponce, Edgar; Radovich, Brian

    1991-01-01

    The Earth is nearing depletion of its natural resources at a time when human beings are rapidly expanding the frontiers of space. The resources which may exist on asteroids could have enormous potential for aiding and enhancing human space exploration as well as life on Earth. With the possibly limitless opportunities that exist, it is clear that asteroids are the next step for human existence in space. This report comprises the efforts of NEW WORLDS, Inc. to develop a comprehensive design for an asteroid exploration/sample return mission. This mission is a precursor to proof-of-concept missions that will investigate the validity of mining and materials processing on an asteroid. Project STONER (Systematic Transfer of Near Earth Resources) is based on two utilization scenarios: (1) moving an asteroid to an advantageous location for use by Earth; and (2) mining an asteroids and transporting raw materials back to Earth. The asteroid explorer/sample return mission is designed in the context of both scenarios and is the first phase of a long range plane for humans to utilize asteroid resources. The report concentrates specifically on the selection of the most promising asteroids for exploration and the development of an exploration scenario. Future utilization as well as subsystem requirements of an asteroid sample return probe are also addressed.

  6. Solar Sail Attitude Control System for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid Scout Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orphee, Juan; Diedrich, Ben; Stiltner, Brandon; Becker, Chris; Heaton, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    An Attitude Control System (ACS) has been developed for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission. The NEA Scout spacecraft is a 6U cubesat with an eighty-six square meter solar sail for primary propulsion that will launch as a secondary payload on the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) and rendezvous with a target asteroid after a two year journey, and will conduct science imagery. The spacecraft ACS consists of three major actuating subsystems: a Reaction Wheel (RW) control system, a Reaction Control System (RCS), and an Active Mass Translator (AMT) system. The reaction wheels allow fine pointing and higher rates with low mass actuators to meet the science, communication, and trajectory guidance requirements. The Momentum Management System (MMS) keeps the speed of the wheels within their operating margins using a combination of solar torque and the RCS. The AMT is used to adjust the sign and magnitude of the solar torque to manage pitch and yaw momentum. The RCS is used for initial de-tumble, performing a Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM), and performing momentum management about the roll axis. The NEA Scout ACS is able to meet all mission requirements including attitude hold, slews, pointing for optical navigation and pointing for science with margin and including flexible body effects. Here we discuss the challenges and solutions of meeting NEA Scout mission requirements for the ACS design, and present a novel implementation of managing the spacecraft Center of Mass (CM) to trim the solar sail disturbance torque. The ACS we have developed has an applicability to a range of potential missions and does so in a much smaller volume than is traditional for deep space missions beyond Earth.

  7. Ground-based characterization of Hayabusa2 mission target asteroid 162173 Ryugu: constraining mineralogical composition in preparation for spacecraft operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Corre, Lucille; Sanchez, Juan A.; Reddy, Vishnu; Takir, Driss; Cloutis, Edward A.; Thirouin, Audrey; Becker, Kris J.; Li, Jian-Yang; Sugita, Seiji; Tatsumi, Eri

    2018-03-01

    Asteroids that are targets of spacecraft missions are interesting because they present us with an opportunity to validate ground-based spectral observations. One such object is near-Earth asteroid (NEA) (162173) Ryugu, which is the target of the Japanese Space Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa2 sample return mission. We observed Ryugu using the 3-m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, on 2016 July 13 to constrain the object's surface composition, meteorite analogues, and link to other asteroids in the main belt and NEA populations. We also modelled its photometric properties using archival data. Using the Lommel-Seeliger model we computed the predicted flux for Ryugu at a wide range of viewing geometries as well as albedo quantities such as geometric albedo, phase integral, and spherical Bond albedo. Our computed albedo quantities are consistent with results from Ishiguro et al. Our spectral analysis has found a near-perfect match between our spectrum of Ryugu and those of NEA (85275) 1994 LY and Mars-crossing asteroid (316720) 1998 BE7, suggesting that their surface regoliths have similar composition. We compared Ryugu's spectrum with that of main belt asteroid (302) Clarissa, the largest asteroid in the Clarissa asteroid family, suggested as a possible source of Ryugu by Campins et al. We found that the spectrum of Clarissa shows significant differences with our spectrum of Ryugu, but it is similar to the spectrum obtained by Moskovitz et al. The best possible meteorite analogues for our spectrum of Ryugu are two CM2 carbonaceous chondrites, Mighei and ALH83100.

  8. Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) Aboard the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, R. A.; Chodas, M.; Bayley, L.; Allen, B.; Hong, J.; Biswas, P.; McMenamin, C.; Stout, K.; Bokhour, E.; Bralower, H.; Carte, D.; Chen, S.; Jones, M.; Kissel, S.; Schmidt, F.; Smith, M.; Sondecker, G.; Lim, L. F.; Lauretta, D. S.; Grindlay, J. E.; Binzel, R. P.

    2018-02-01

    The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is the student collaboration experiment proposed and built by an MIT-Harvard team, launched aboard NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. REXIS complements the scientific investigations of other OSIRIS-REx instruments by determining the relative abundances of key elements present on the asteroid's surface by measuring the X-ray fluorescence spectrum (stimulated by the natural solar X-ray flux) over the range of energies 0.5 to 7 keV. REXIS consists of two components: a main imaging spectrometer with a coded aperture mask and a separate solar X-ray monitor to account for the Sun's variability. In addition to element abundance ratios (relative to Si) pinpointing the asteroid's most likely meteorite association, REXIS also maps elemental abundance variability across the asteroid's surface using the asteroid's rotation as well as the spacecraft's orbital motion. Image reconstruction at the highest resolution is facilitated by the coded aperture mask. Through this operation, REXIS will be the first application of X-ray coded aperture imaging to planetary surface mapping, making this student-built instrument a pathfinder toward future planetary exploration. To date, 60 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been involved with the REXIS project, with the hands-on experience translating to a dozen Master's and Ph.D. theses and other student publications.

  9. NEOCAM: Near Earth Object Chemical Analysis Mission: Bridging the Gulf between Telescopic Observations and the Chemical and Mineralogical Compositions of Asteroids or Diogenes A: Diagnostic Observation of the Geology of Near Earth Spectrally-Classified Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuth, Joseph A.

    2009-01-01

    Studies of meteorites have yielded a wealth of scientific information based on highly detailed chemical and isotopic studies possible only in sophisticated terrestrial laboratories. Telescopic studies have revealed an enormous (greater than 10(exp 5)) number of physical objects ranging in size from a few tens of meters to several hundred kilometers, orbiting not only in the traditional asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but also throughout the inner solar system. Many of the largest asteroids are classed into taxonomic groups based on their observed spectral properties and are designated as C, D. X, S or V types (as well as a wide range in sub-types). These objects are certainly the sources far the meteorites in our laboratories, but which asteroids are the sources for which meteorites? Spectral classes are nominally correlated to the chemical composition and physical characteristics of the asteroid itself based on studies of the spectral changes induced in meteorites due to exposure to a simulated space environment. While laboratory studies have produced some notable successes (e.g. the identification of the asteroid Vesta as the source of the H, E and D meteorite classes), it is unlikely that we have samples of each asteroidal spectral type in our meteorite collection. The correlation of spectral type and composition for many objects will therefore remain uncertain until we can return samples of specific asteroid types to Earth for analyses. The best candidates for sample return are asteroids that already come close to the Earth. Asteroids in orbit near 1 A.U. have been classified into three groups (Aten, Apollo & Amor) based on their orbital characteristics. These Near Earth Objects (NEOs) contain representatives of virtually all spectral types and sub-types of the asteroid population identified to date. Because of their close proximity to Earth, NEOs are prime targets for asteroid missions such as the NEAR-Shoemaker NASA Discovery Mission to Eros and the

  10. Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission: Kinetic impactor

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cheng, A.F.; Michel, R.; Jutzi, M.; Rivkin, A. S.; Stickle, A.; Barnouin, O.; Ernst, C.; Atchison, J.; Pravec, Petr; Richardson, D.C.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 121, February (2016), s. 25-37 ISSN 0032-0633 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : planetary defense * near- Earth asteroids * asteroid impact hazards Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.892, year: 2016

  11. Asteroid Composite Tape

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-07-01

    This is a composite tape showing 10 short segments primarily about asteroids. The segments have short introductory slides, which include brief descriptions about the shots. The segments are: (1) Radar movie of asteroid 1620 Geographos; (2) Animation of the trajectories of Toutatis and Earth (3) Animation of a landing on Toutatis; (4) Simulated encounter of an asteroid with Earth, includes a simulated impact trajectory; (5) An animated overview of the Manrover vehicle; (6) The Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project, includes a photograph of USAF Station in Hawaii, and animation of Earth approaching 4179 Toutatis and the asteroid Gaspara; (7) live video of the anchor tests of the Champoleon anchoring apparatus; (8) a second live video of the Champoleon anchor tests showing anchoring spikes, and collision rings; (9) An animated segment with narration about the Stardust mission with sound, which describes the mission to fly close to a comet, and capture cometary material for return to Earth; (10) live video of the drop test of a Stardust replica from a hot air balloon; this includes sound but is not narrated.

  12. Science case for the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM): A component of the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Michel, P.; Cheng, A.; Kueppers, M.; Pravec, Petr; Blum, J.; Delbó, M.; Green, S.; Rosenblatt, P.; Tsiganis, K.; Vincent, J.B.; Biele, J.; Ciarletti, V.; Herique, A.; Ulamec, S.; Carnelli, I.; Galvez, A.; Benner, L. A. M.; Naidu, S.P.; Barnouin, O.; Richardson, D.C.; Rivkin, A. S.; Scheirich, Peter; Moskovitz, N.; Thirouin, A.; Schwartz, S.R.; Campo Bagatin, A.; Yu, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 12 (2016), s. 2529-2547 ISSN 0273-1177 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-07193S Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : planetary defense * near- Earth asteroids * asteroid impact hazards Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.401, year: 2016

  13. On the cutting edge technology enabling the challenging missions to asteroids and comets, our primitive neighbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaguchi, J.

    2014-07-01

    The world's first sample-and-return mission from an object orbiting outside the sphere of influence of the Earth was successfully performed through Hayabusa in 2010, an engineering demonstration mission of JAXA. And it was followed by another technology demonstrator, Ikaros, the world's first solar-sail mission launched in 2010, the same year of the Hayabusa return. These two demonstrations represent the significance of the technology development that shall precede the real science missions that will follow. The space-exploration community focuses its attention on the use of asteroids and comets as one of the most immediate destinations. Humans will perform voyages to those objects sooner or later. And we will initiate a kind of research as scientific activity for those objects. The missions may include even sample-and-return missions to those bodies for assessing the chance of possible resource utilization in future. The first step for it is, needless to say, science. Combining the sample-and-return technology using the ultra-high-speed reentry for sample recovery with the new propulsion system using both electric and photon force will be the direct conclusion from Hayabusa and Ikaros. And key elements such as autonomy are also among the essential factors in making the sophisticated operation possible around asteroids and comets avoiding the communication difficulty. This presentation will comprehensively touch on what those technology skills are, and how they are applicable to the subsequent new missions, from the mission leader's point of view. They are probably real requisites for planning brand-new innovative challenges in the ACM community.

  14. Deep Interior Mission: Imaging the Interior of Near-Earth Asteroids Using Radio Reflection Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safaeinili, A.; Asphaug, E.; Belton, M.; Klaasen, K.; Ostro, S.; Plaut, J.; Yeomans, D.

    2004-12-01

    Near-Earth asteroids are important exploration targets since they provide clues to the evolution of the solar system. They are also of interest since they present a clear danger to Earth in the future. Our mission objective is to image the internal structure of two NEOs using radio reflection tomography (RRT), in order to explore the record of asteroid origin and impact evolution, and to test the fundamental hypothesis that these important members of the solar system are rubble piles rather than consolidated bodies. Our mission's RRT technique is analogous to doing a ``CAT scan" of the asteroid from orbit. Closely sampled radar echoes are processed to yield volumetric maps of mechanical and compositional boundaries, and measure interior material dielectric properties. The RRT instrument is a radar that operates at 5 and 15 MHz with two 30-m (tip-to-tip) dipole antennas that are used in a cross-dipole configuration. The radar transmitter and receiver electronics have heritage from JPL's MARSIS contribution to Mars Express, and the antenna is similar to systems used in IMAGE and LACE missions. The 5-MHz channel is designed to penetrate >1 km of basaltic rock, and 15-MHz penetrates a few hundred meters or more. In addition to RRT volumetric imaging, we use a redundant color cameras to explore the surface expressions of unit boundaries, in order to relate interior radar imaging to what is observable from spacecraft imaging and from Earth. The camera also yields stereo color imaging for geology and RRT-related compositional analysis. Gravity and high fidelity geodesy are used to explore how interior structure is expressed in shape, density, mass distribution and spin. Deep interior has two targets (S-type 1999 ND43 and V-type Nyx ) whose composition bracket the diversity of solar system materials that we are likely to encounter, and are richly complementary.

  15. Asteroid electrostatic instrumentation and modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aplin, K L; Bowles, N E; Urbak, E [Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Keane, D; Sawyer, E C, E-mail: k.aplin1@physics.ox.ac.uk [RAL Space, R25, Harwell Oxford, Didcot OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-23

    Asteroid surface material is expected to become photoelectrically charged, and is likely to be transported through electrostatic levitation. Understanding any movement of the surface material is relevant to proposed space missions to return samples to Earth for detailed isotopic analysis. Motivated by preparations for the Marco Polo sample return mission, we present electrostatic modelling for a real asteroid, Itokawa, for which detailed shape information is available, and verify that charging effects are likely to be significant at the terminator and at the edges of shadow regions for the Marco Polo baseline asteroid, 1999JU3. We also describe the Asteroid Charge Experiment electric field instrumentation intended for Marco Polo. Finally, we find that the differing asteroid and spacecraft potentials on landing could perturb sample collection for the short landing time of 20min that is currently planned.

  16. Asteroid team

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matson, D.L.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this task is to support asteroid research and the operation of an Asteroid Team within the Earth and Space Sciences Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Asteroid Team carries out original research on asteroids in order to discover, better characterize and define asteroid properties. This information is needed for the planning and design of NASA asteroid flyby and rendezvous missions. The asteroid Team also provides scientific and technical advice to NASA and JPL on asteroid related programs. Work on asteroid classification continued and the discovery of two Earth-approaching M asteroids was published. In the asteroid photometry program researchers obtained N or Q photometry for more than 50 asteroids, including the two M-earth-crossers. Compositional analysis of infrared spectra (0.8 to 2.6 micrometer) of asteroids is continuing. Over the next year the work on asteroid classification and composition will continue with the analysis of the 60 reduced infrared spectra which we now have at hand. The radiometry program will continue with the reduction of the N and Q bandpass data for the 57 asteroids in order to obtain albedos and diameters. This year the emphasis will shift to IRAS follow-up observations; which includes objects not observed by IRAS and objects with poor or peculiar IRAS data. As in previous year, we plan to give top priority to any opportunities for observing near-Earth asteroids and the support (through radiometric lightcurve observations from the IRTF) of any stellar occultations by asteroids for which occultation observation expeditions are fielded. Support of preparing of IRAS data for publication and of D. Matson for his participation in the NASA Planetary Astronomy Management and Operations Working Group will continue

  17. Asteroid team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, D. L.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this task is to support asteroid research and the operation of an Asteroid Team within the Earth and Space Sciences Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Asteroid Team carries out original research on asteroids in order to discover, better characterize and define asteroid properties. This information is needed for the planning and design of NASA asteroid flyby and rendezvous missions. The asteroid Team also provides scientific and technical advice to NASA and JPL on asteroid related programs. Work on asteroid classification continued and the discovery of two Earth-approaching M asteroids was published. In the asteroid photometry program researchers obtained N or Q photometry for more than 50 asteroids, including the two M-earth-crossers. Compositional analysis of infrared spectra (0.8 to 2.6 micrometer) of asteroids is continuing. Over the next year the work on asteroid classification and composition will continue with the analysis of the 60 reduced infrared spectra which we now have at hand. The radiometry program will continue with the reduction of the N and Q bandpass data for the 57 asteroids in order to obtain albedos and diameters. This year the emphasis will shift to IRAS follow-up observations; which includes objects not observed by IRAS and objects with poor or peculiar IRAS data. As in previous year, we plan to give top priority to any opportunities for observing near-Earth asteroids and the support (through radiometric lightcurve observations from the IRTF) of any stellar occultations by asteroids for which occultation observation expeditions are fielded. Support of preparing of IRAS data for publication and of D. Matson for his participation in the NASA Planetary Astronomy Management and Operations Working Group will continue.

  18. Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission Space Suit and EVA System Architecture Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowie, Jonathan; Buffington, Jesse; Hood, Drew; Kelly, Cody; Naids, Adam; Watson, Richard; Blanco, Raul; Sipila, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM) requires a Launch/Entry/Abort (LEA) suit capability and short duration Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) capability from the Orion spacecraft. For this mission, the pressure garment selected for both functions is the Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit (MACES) with EVA enhancements and the life support option that was selected is the Exploration Portable Life Support System (PLSS) currently under development for Advanced Exploration Systems (AES). The proposed architecture meets the ARCM constraints, but much more work is required to determine the details of the suit upgrades, the integration with the PLSS, and the tools and equipment necessary to accomplish the mission. This work has continued over the last year to better define the operations and hardware maturation of these systems. EVA simulations were completed in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) and interfacing options were prototyped and analyzed with testing planned for late 2014. This paper discusses the work done over the last year on the MACES enhancements, the use of tools while using the suit, and the integration of the PLSS with the MACES.

  19. Near Earth Asteroid redirect missions based on gravity assist maneuver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledkov, Anton; Shustov, Boris M.; Eismont, Natan; Boyarsky, Michael; Nazirov, Ravil; Fedyaev, Konstantin

    During last years several events attracted world community attention to the hazards of hitting the Earth by sky objects. One of these objects is Apophis asteroid what was expected with nonzero probability to hit the Earth in 2036. Luckily after more precise measurements this event is considered as practically improbable. But the other object has really reached the Earth, entered the atmosphere in the Chelyabinsk area and caused vast damages. After this the hazardous near Earth objects problem received practical confirmation of the necessity to find the methods of its resolution. The methods to prevent collision of the dangerous sky object with the Earth proposed up to now look not practical enough if one mentions such as gravitational tractor or changing the reflectivity of the asteroid surface. Even the method supposing the targeting of the spacecraft to the hazardous object in order to deflect it from initial trajectory by impact does not work because its low mass as compared with the mass of asteroid to be deflected. For example the mass of the Apophis is estimated to be about 40 million tons but the spacecraft which can be launched to intercept the asteroid using contemporary launchers has the mass not more than 5 tons. So the question arises where to find the heavier projectile which is possible to direct to the dangerous object? The answer proposed in our paper is very simple: to search it among small near Earth asteroids. As small ones we suppose those which have the cross section size not more than 12-15 meters and mass not exceeding 1500 -1700 tons. According to contemporary estimates the number of such asteroids is not less than 100000. The other question is how to redirect such asteroid to the dangerous one. In the paper the possibilities are studied to use for that purpose gravity assist maneuvers near Earth. It is shown that even among asteroids included in contemporary catalogue there are the ones which could be directed to the trajectory of the

  20. A SEARCH FOR ASTEROIDS, MOONS, AND RINGS ORBITING WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Howell, Steve B.; Kawaler, Steven D.

    2010-01-01

    Do white dwarfs host asteroid systems? Although several lines of argument suggest that white dwarfs may be orbited by large populations of asteroids, transits would provide the most direct evidence. We demonstrate that the Kepler mission has the capability to detect transits of white dwarfs by asteroids. Because white-dwarf asteroid systems, if they exist, are likely to contain many asteroids orbiting in a spatially extended distribution, discoveries of asteroid transits can be made by monitoring only a small number of white dwarfs, compatible with Kepler's primary mission, which is to monitor stars with potentially habitable planets. Possible future missions that survey 10 times as many stars with similar sensitivity and minute-cadence monitoring can establish the characteristics of asteroid systems around white dwarfs, such as the distribution of asteroid sizes and semimajor axes. Transits by planets would be more dramatic, but the probability that they will occur is lower. Ensembles of planetary moons and/or the presence of rings around planets can also produce transits detectable by Kepler. The presence of moons and rings can significantly increase the probability that Kepler will discover planets orbiting white dwarfs, even while monitoring only a small number of them.

  1. UV Spectroscopy of Metallic Asteroid (16) Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, N. J.; Becker, T. M.; Retherford, K. D.; Roth, L.; Feaga, L. M.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2017-09-01

    Asteroid (16) Psyche is the largest M-type asteroid, and the planned destination of the NASA Discovery mission Psyche and the proposed ESA M5 mission Heavy Metal. Psyche is considered to be the exposed core of a differentiated asteroid, whose mantle has been stripped by collisions; but other histories have been proposed. We observed Psyche with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, to obtain a full ultraviolet (UV) spectrum of both of Psyche's hemispheres. We seek to test three possible scenarios for Psyche's origin: Is Psyche the exposed core of a differentiated asteroid? Is it an asteroid with high olivine content that has been space-weathered? Or did Psyche accrete as-is in a highly-reducing environment early in the history of the solar system? We will present the UV spectra and their implications for Psyche's history.

  2. Spacecraft exploration of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veverka, J.; Langevin, Y.; Farquhar, R.; Fulchignoni, M.

    1989-01-01

    After two decades of spacecraft exploration, we still await the first direct investigation of an asteroid. This paper describes how a growing international interest in the solar system's more primitive bodies should remedy this. Plans are under way in Europe for a dedicated asteroid mission (Vesta) which will include multiple flybys with in situ penetrator studies. Possible targets include 4 Vesta, 8 Flora and 46 Hestia; launch its scheduled for 1994 or 1996. In the United States, NASA plans include flybys of asteroids en route to outer solar system targets

  3. THE ORIGIN OF ASTEROID 162173 (1999 JU3)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campins, Humberto; De León, Julia; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Gayon-Markt, Julie; Delbo, Marco; Michel, Patrick; Licandro, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroid (162173) 1999 JU 3 (henceforth JU 3 ) is a potentially hazardous asteroid and the target of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa-2 sample return mission. JU 3 is also a backup target for two other sample return missions: NASA's OSIRIS-REx and the European Space Agency's Marco Polo-R. We use dynamical information to identify an inner-belt, low-inclination origin through the ν 6 resonance, more specifically, the region with 2.15 AU 3 is 0.07 ± 0.01, and this inner-belt region contains four well-defined low-albedo asteroid families (Clarissa, Erigone, Polana, and Sulamitis), plus a recently identified background population of low-albedo asteroids outside these families. Only two of these five groups, the background and the Polana family, deliver JU 3 -sized asteroids to the ν 6 resonance, and the background delivers significantly more JU 3 -sized asteroids. The available spectral evidence is also diagnostic; the visible and near-infrared spectra of JU 3 indicate it is a C-type asteroid, which is compatible with members of the background, but not with the Polana family because it contains primarily B-type asteroids. Hence, this background population of low-albedo asteroids is the most likely source of JU 3

  4. The DLR AsteroidFinder for NEOs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mottola, Stefano; Kuehrt, Ekkehard; Michaelis, Harald; Hoffmann, Harald; Spietz, Peter; Jansen, Frank; Thimo Grundmann, Jan; Hahn, Gerhard; Montenegro, Sergio; Findlay, Ross; Boerner, Anko; Messina, Gabriele; Behnke, Thomas; Tschentscher, Matthias; Scheibe, Karsten; Mertens, Volker; Heidecke, Ansgar

    Potential Earth-impacting asteroids that spend most of their time interior to Earth's orbit are extremely difficult to be observed from the ground and remain largely undetected. Firstly, they are mostly located at small solar elongations, where the sky brightness and their faintness due to the large phase angle prevents their discovery. Secondly, these objects tend to have very long synodic orbital periods, which makes observation opportunities rare and impact warning times short. Because of these limitations, even the advent of next generation ground-based asteroid surveys is not likely to radically improve the situation (Veres et al. Icarus 203, p472, 2009). On the other hand, a small satellite with a suitable design can observe close to the Sun and detect these objects efficiently against a dark sky background. For this reason, DLR, the German Aerospace Center, has selected AsteroidFinder as the first experiment to be launched under its new compact satellite national program. The primary goal of the mission is to detect and characterize Near Earth Objects (NEOs), with a particular focus on the population of objects completely contained within Earth's orbit (IEOs or Inner Earth Objects). Current dynamical models predict the existence of more than 1000 such objects down to a size of 100m, of which, due to the abovementioned observation difficulties, only 10 have been discovered to date. Benefitting from the vantage point of a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), AsteroidFinder makes use of a small optical telescope to scan those regions of the sky that are close to the Sun, and therefore beyond the reach of ground based observatories. By estimating the population, the size and the orbital distribution of IEOs, AsteroidFinder will contribute to our knowledge of the inner Solar System, and to the assessment of the impact hazard for the Earth. A secondary goal of the mission is to demonstrate techniques that enable the space-based detection of space debris in the cm size range

  5. Radar Observations of Asteroid 101955 Bennu and the OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, M. C.; Benner, L.; Giorgini, J. D.; Howell, E. S.; Kerr, R.; Lauretta, D. S.; Magri, C.; Margot, J. L.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    On September 24, 2023, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will return a sample of asteroid (101955) Bennu to the Earth. We chose the target of this mission in part because of the work we did over more than a decade using the Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars to observe this asteroid. We observed Bennu (then known as 1999 RQ36) at Arecibo and Goldstone in 1999 and 2005, and at Arecibo in 2011. Radar imaging from the first two observing epochs provided a shape and size for Bennu, which greatly simplified mission planning. We know that the spacecraft will encounter a roundish asteroid 500 m in diameter with a distinct equatorial ridge [Nolan et al., 2013]. Bennu does not have the dramatic concavities seen in Itokawa and comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Hayabusa and Rosetta mission targets, respectively, which would have been obvious in radar imaging. Further radar ranging in 2011 provided a detection of the Yarkovsky effect, allowing us to constrain Bennu's mass and bulk density from radar measurement of non-gravitational forces acting on its orbit [Chesley et al., 2014]. The 2011 observations were particularly challenging, occurring during a management transition at the Arecibo Observatory, and would not have been possible without significant extra cooperation between the old and new managing organizations. As a result, we can predict Bennu's position to within a few km over the next 100 years, until its close encounter with the Earth in 2135. We know its shape to within ± 10 m (1σ) on the long and intermediate axes and ± 52 m on the polar diameter, and its pole orientation to within 5 degrees. The bulk density is 1260 ± 70 kg/m3 and the rotation is retrograde with a 4.297 ± 0.002 h period The OSIRIS-REx team is using these constraints to preplan the initial stages of proximity operations and dramatically reduce risk. The Figure shows the model and Arecibo radar images from 1999 (left), 2005 (center), and 2011 (right). Bennu is the faint dot near the center of

  6. Trojan Asteroid Lightcurves: Probing Internal Structure and the Origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, E. L.

    2017-12-01

    Studies of the small bodies of the solar system reveal important clues about the condensation and formation of planetesimal bodies, and ultimately planets in planetary systems. Dynamics of small bodies have been utilized to model giant planet migration within our solar system, colors have been used to explore compositional gradients within the protoplanetary disk, & studies of the size-frequency distribution of main belt asteroids may reveal compositional dependences on planetesimal strength limiting models of planetary growth from collisional aggregration. Studies of the optical lightcurves of asteroids also yield important information on shape and potential binarity of asteroidal bodies. The K2 mission has allowed for the unprecedented collection of Trojan asteroid lightcurves on a 30 minute cadence for baselines of 10 days, in both the L4 and L5 Trojan clouds. Preliminary results from the K2 mission suggest that Trojan asteroids have bulk densities of 1 g/cc and a binary fraction ≤ 33 percent (Ryan et al., 2017, Astronomical Journal, 153, 116), however Trojan lightcurve data is actively being collected via the continued K2 mission. We will present updated results of bulk density and binary fraction of the Trojan asteroids and compare these results to other small body populations, including Hilda asteroids, transNeptunian objects and comet nuclei to test dynamical models of the origins of these populations.

  7. 2015 Barcelona Asteroid Day

    CERN Document Server

    Gritsevich, Maria; Palme, Herbert

    2017-01-01

    This volume is a compilation of the research presented at the International Asteroid Day workshop which was celebrated at Barcelona on June 30th, 2015. The proceedings discuss the beginning of a new era in the study and exploration of the solar system’s minor bodies. International Asteroid Day commemorates the Tunguska event of June 30th, 1908. The workshop’s goal was to promote the importance of dealing proactively with impact hazards from space. Multidisciplinary experts contributed to this discussion by describing the nature of comets and asteroids along with their offspring, meteoroids. New missions to return material samples of asteroids back to Earth such as Osiris-REx and Hayabusa 2, as well as projects like AIM and DART which will test impact deflection techniques for Potentially Hazardous Asteroids encounters were also covered. The proceedings include both an outreach level to popularize impact hazards and a scientific character which covers the latest knowledge on these topics, as well as offeri...

  8. Ground operations and logistics in the context of the International Asteroid Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    The role of Ground Operations and Logistics, in the context of the International Asteroid Mission (IAM), is to define the mission of Ground Operations; to identify the components of a manned space infrastructure; to discuss the functions and responsibilities of these components; to provide cost estimates for delivery of the spacecraft to LEO from Earth; to identify significant ground operations and logistics issues. The purpose of this dissertation is to bring a degree of reality to the project. 'One cannot dissociate development and set up of a manned infrastructure from its operational phase since it is this last one which is the most costly due to transportation costs which plague space station use' (Eymar, 1990). While this reference is to space stations, the construction and assembly of the proposed crew vehicle and cargo vehicles will face similar cost difficulties, and logistics complexities. The uniqueness of long duration space flight is complicated further by the lack of experience with human habitated, and non-refurbishable life support systems. These problems are addressed.

  9. The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission: Discovery, Tracking, and Characterization of Asteroids, Comets, and Artificial Satellites with a Microsatellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, A. R.; Carroll, K. A.; Balam, D. D.; Cardinal, R. D.; Matthews, J. M.; Kuschnig, R.; Walker, G. A. H.; Brown, P. G.; Tedesco, E. F.; Worden, S. P.

    2001-01-01

    The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission, a microsatellite dedicated to observing near-Earth (NEO) and interior-to-the-Earth (IEO)asteroids and comets plus artificial satellites, is currently being studied under contract to the Canadian Space Agency. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. International CJMT-1 Workshop on Asteroidal Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Wing-Huen

    2014-03-01

    An international workshop on asteroidal science was held between October 16 and 17, 2012, at the Macau University of Science and Technology gathering together experts on asteroidal study in China, Japan, Macao and Taiwan. For this reason, we have called it CJMT-1 Workshop. Though small in sizes, the asteroids orbiting mainly between the orbit of Mars and of Jupiter have important influence on the evolution of the planetary bodies. Topics ranging from killer asteroids to space resources are frequently mentioned in news reports with prominence similar to the search for water on Mars. This also means that the study of asteroids is very useful in exciting the imagination and interest in science of the general public. Several Asian countries have therefore developed long-term programs integrating ground-based observations and space exploration with Japan being the most advanced and ambitious as demonstrated by the very successful Hayabusa mission to asteroid 25143 Itokawa. In this volume we will find descriptions of the mission planning of Hayabusa II to the C-type near-Earth asteroid, 1999 JU3. Not to be outdone, China's Chang-E 2 spacecraft was re-routed to a flyby encounter with asteroid 4179 Toutatis in December 2012. It is planned that in the next CJMT workshop, we will have the opportunity to learn more about the in-depth data analysis of the Toutatis observations and the progress reports on the Hayabusa II mission which launch date is set to be July 2014. Last but not least, the presentations on the ground-based facilities as described in this volume will pave the way for coordinated observations of asteroidal families and Trojan asteroids - across Asia from Taiwan to Uzbekistan. Such international projects will serve as an important symbol of good will and peaceful cooperation among the key members of this group. Finally, I want to thank the Space Science Institute, Macao University of Science and Technology, for generous support, and its staff members

  11. Anchoring a lander on an asteroid using foam stabilization, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has proposed several missions to land a craft on an asteroid and potentially to return samples from it. While large asteroids in the asteroid belt can exhibit a...

  12. Guided asteroid deflection by kinetic impact: Mapping keyholes to an asteroid's surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, S.; Farnocchia, D.

    2014-07-01

    range from around 1 for a porous, compressible body producing negligible ejecta, to 2 when the ejecta momentum matches the spacecraft momentum, and as high as 5--10 for rocky bodies that produce large, high-velocity ejecta fragments. If the impactor hits the centerpoint of a spherical asteroid the momentum of the escaping ejecta directly adds to the momentum of the impacting asteroid, but if the impact is oblique then the ejecta and spacecraft momenta are added to the asteroid in vector sum. This suggests the possibility that for a given intercept trajectory the asteroid deflection could include guidance by targeting an oblique impact that could steer the asteroid Δ V to a more optimal direction that is different from the relative velocity direction of the spacecraft. An oblique impact decreases the net Δ V magnitude, and yet could significantly increase the net deflection at the time of the threatening Earth encounter. We use asteroid (101955) Bennu, which is the target of the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and which has a series of potential Earth impacts in the years from 2175--2196, as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the oblique impact. These future potential impacts will occur if the asteroid passes through one of a series of keyholes when the asteroid passes the Earth at roughly the lunar distance from the Earth in 2135. To study the Bennu deflection problem we simulate a hypervelocity spacecraft impact on Bennu in March 2021, after the OSIRIS-REx mission is complete. In our example, the spacecraft arrives from approximately the sunward direction, and targeting ahead or behind the center of the asteroid allows non-negligible transverse accelerations for modest values of β. A given impact location on the asteroid surface yields a given Δ V vector, and our approach starts by mapping the net Δ V components on the surface for an assumed value of β. Knowing the mapping from impact location to Δ V and also the mapping from Δ V to the

  13. MAIN-BELT ASTEROIDS IN THE K2 ENGINEERING FIELD OF VIEW

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szabó, R.; Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Pál, A.; Kiss, Cs. P.; Kiss, L. L.; Csák, B.; Illés, L.; Rácz, G.

    2015-01-01

    Unlike NASA’s original Kepler Discovery Mission, the renewed K2 Mission will target the plane of the Ecliptic, observing each field for approximately 75 days. This will bring new opportunities and challenges, in particular the presence of a large number of main-belt asteroids that will contaminate the photometry. The large pixel size makes K2 data susceptible to the effects of apparent minor planet encounters. Here, we investigate the effects of asteroid encounters on photometric precision using a subsample of the K2 engineering data taken in 2014 February. We show examples of asteroid contamination to facilitate their recognition and distinguish these events from other error sources. We conclude that main-belt asteroids will have considerable effects on K2 photometry of a large number of photometric targets during the Mission that will have to be taken into account. These results will be readily applicable for future space photometric missions applying large-format CCDs, such as TESS and PLATO

  14. MAIN-BELT ASTEROIDS IN THE K2 ENGINEERING FIELD OF VIEW

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szabó, R.; Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Pál, A.; Kiss, Cs. P.; Kiss, L. L. [Konkoly Observatory, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1121 Budapest, Konkoly Thege Miklós út 15-17 (Hungary); Csák, B. [Gothard-Lendület Research Team, H-9704 Szombathely, Szent Imre herceg út 112 (Hungary); Illés, L.; Rácz, G., E-mail: rszabo@konkoly.hu [Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, H-1117 Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A, Budapest (Hungary)

    2015-03-15

    Unlike NASA’s original Kepler Discovery Mission, the renewed K2 Mission will target the plane of the Ecliptic, observing each field for approximately 75 days. This will bring new opportunities and challenges, in particular the presence of a large number of main-belt asteroids that will contaminate the photometry. The large pixel size makes K2 data susceptible to the effects of apparent minor planet encounters. Here, we investigate the effects of asteroid encounters on photometric precision using a subsample of the K2 engineering data taken in 2014 February. We show examples of asteroid contamination to facilitate their recognition and distinguish these events from other error sources. We conclude that main-belt asteroids will have considerable effects on K2 photometry of a large number of photometric targets during the Mission that will have to be taken into account. These results will be readily applicable for future space photometric missions applying large-format CCDs, such as TESS and PLATO.

  15. Asteroids@Home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durech, Josef; Hanus, J.; Vanco, R.

    2012-10-01

    We present a new project called Asteroids@home (http://asteroidsathome.net/boinc). It is a volunteer-computing project that uses an open-source BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) software to distribute tasks to volunteers, who provide their computing resources. The project was created at the Astronomical Institute, Charles University in Prague, in cooperation with the Czech National Team. The scientific aim of the project is to solve a time-consuming inverse problem of shape reconstruction of asteroids from sparse-in-time photometry. The time-demanding nature of the problem comes from the fact that with sparse-in-time photometry the rotation period of an asteroid is not apriori known and a huge parameter space must be densely scanned for the best solution. The nature of the problem makes it an ideal task to be solved by distributed computing - the period parameter space can be divided into small bins that can be scanned separately and then joined together to give the globally best solution. In the framework of the the project, we process asteroid photometric data from surveys together with asteroid lightcurves and we derive asteroid shapes and spin states. The algorithm is based on the lightcurve inversion method developed by Kaasalainen et al. (Icarus 153, 37, 2001). The enormous potential of distributed computing will enable us to effectively process also the data from future surveys (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Gaia mission, etc.). We also plan to process data of a synthetic asteroid population to reveal biases of the method. In our presentation, we will describe the project, show the first results (new models of asteroids), and discuss the possibilities of its further development. This work has been supported by the grant GACR P209/10/0537 of the Czech Science Foundation and by the Research Program MSM0021620860 of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.

  16. LISA and asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinet, Jean-Yves

    2006-01-01

    LISA is a joint ESA-NASA mission aiming for cosmic gravitational wave detection and analysis. We address here the question of a special kind of signal caused by asteroid encounters. We present a short theory of the detection of such signals

  17. BILLIARDS: Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Matthew; Sloane, Joshua; Ortiz, Oliver; Barbee, Brent

    2015-01-01

    BILLIARDS Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector, and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System Proposed demonstration mission for Billiard-Ball concept Select asteroid pair with natural close approach to minimize cost and complexity Primary Objectives Rendezvous with a small (10m), near Earth (alpha) asteroid Maneuver the alpha asteroid to a collision with a 100m (beta) asteroid Produce a detectable deflection or disruption of the beta asteroid Secondary objectives Contribute knowledge of asteroid composition and characteristics Contribute knowledge of small-body formation Opportunity for international collaboration

  18. Asteroids IV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Bottke, William F.

    Asteroids are fascinating worlds. Considered the building blocks of our planets, many of the authors of this book have devoted their scientific careers to exploring them with the tools of our trade: ground- and spacebased observations, in situ space missions, and studies that run the gamut from theoretical modeling efforts to laboratory work. Like fossils for paleontologists, or DNA for geneticists, they allow us to construct a veritable time machine and provide us with tantalizing glimpses of the earliest nature of our solar system. By investigating them, we can probe what our home system was like before life or even the planets existed. The origin and evolution of life on our planet is also intertwined with asteroids in a different way. It is believed that impacts on the primordial Earth may have delivered the basic components for life, with biology favoring attributes that could more easily survive the aftermath of such energetic events. In this fashion, asteroids may have banished many probable avenues for life to relative obscurity. Similarly, they may have also prevented our biosphere from becoming more complex until more recent eras. The full tale of asteroid impacts on the history of our world, and how human life managed to emerge from myriad possibilities, has yet to be fully told. The hazard posed by asteroid impacts to our civilization is low but singular. The design of efficient mitigation strategies strongly relies on asteroid detection by our ground- and spacebased surveys as well as knowledge of their physical properties. A more positive motivation for asteroid discovery is that the proximity of some asteroids to Earth may allow future astronauts to harvest their water and rare mineral resources for use in exploration. A key goal of asteroid science is therefore to learn how humans and robotic probes can interact with asteroids (and extract their materials) in an efficient way. We expect that these adventures may be commonplace in the future

  19. Mine Planning for Asteroid Orebodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gertsch, L. S.; Gertsch, R. E.

    2000-01-01

    Given that an asteroid (or comet) has been determined to contain sufficient material of value to be potentially economic to exploit, a mining method must be selected and implemented. This paper discusses the engineering necessary to bring a mine online, and the opportunities and challenges inherent in asteroid mineral prospects. The very important step of orebody characterization is discussed elsewhere. The mining methods discussed here are based on enclosing the asteroid within a bag in some fashion, whether completely or partially. In general, asteroid mining methods based on bags will consist of the following steps. Not all will be required in every case, nor necessarily in this particular sequence. Some steps will be performed simultaneously. Their purpose is to extract the valuable material from the body of the asteroid in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible. In approximate order of initiation, if not of conclusion, the steps are: 1. Tether anchoring to the asteroid. 2. Asteroid motion control. 3. Body/fragment restraint system placement. 4. Operations platform construction. 5. Bag construction. 6. Auxiliary and support equipment placement. 7. Mining operations. 8. Processing operations. 9. Product transport to markets.

  20. Asteroids: up close and personal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chapman, Clark R. [Southwest Research Institute (United States)

    2001-06-01

    Think of our solar system. The Sun, the Moon and the nine planets come to mind first, followed by the moons of other planets and other small bodies like asteroids. In 1991, almost 30 years after planetary exploration began, an asteroid was visited by a passing spacecraft for the first time. Nearly another decade elapsed before the first dedicated asteroid mission went into orbit around Eros, a city-sized object some 34 km long. And earlier this year, the NEAR, Shoemaker spacecraft daringly descended to the surface of Eros and landed safely. Asteroids have been pushed to the tail-end of the itinerary of solar-system exploration because of their diminutive sizes. Indeed, the wealth of low-gravity phenomena associated with asteroids has captured the imagination of both researchers and the public alike. In the June issue of Physics World Clark R Chapman of the Southwest Research Institute, US, explains how the landing of a spacecraft on the asteroid Eros earlier this year has given space scientists the best view yet of small planetary bodies and has opened a new window on the solar system. (U.K.)

  1. Sample Curation in Support of the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, Kevin; Nakamura-Messenger, Keiko

    2017-01-01

    The OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission launched to asteroid Bennu Sept. 8, 2016. The spacecraft will arrive at Bennu in late 2019, orbit and map the asteroid, and perform a touch and go (TAG) sampling maneuver in July 2020. After sample is stowed and confirmed the spacecraft will return to Earth, and the sample return capsule (SRC) will land in Utah in September 2023. Samples will be recovered from Utah [2] and then transported and stored in a new sample cleanroom at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston [3]. The materials curated for the mission are described here. a) Materials Archive and Witness Plate Collection: The SRC and TAGSAM were built between March 2014 and Summer of 2015, and instruments (OTES,OVIRS, OLA, OCAMS, REXIS) were integrated from Summer 2015 until May 2016. A total of 395 items were received for the materials archive at NASA-JSC, with archiving finishing 30 days after launch (with the final archived items being related to launch operations)[4]. The materials fall into several general categories including metals (stainless steel, aluminum, titanium alloys, brass and BeCu alloy), epoxies, paints, polymers, lubricants, non-volatile-residue samples (NVR), sapphire, and various miscellaneous materials. All through the ATLO process (from March 2015 until late August 2016) contamination knowledge witness plates (Si wafer and Al foil) were deployed in the various cleanrooms in Denver and KSC to provide an additional record of particle counts and volatiles that is archived for current and future scientific studies. These plates were deployed in roughly monthly increments with each unit containing 4 Si wafers and 4 Al foils. We archived 128 individual witness plates (64 Si wafers and 64 Al foils); one of each witness plate (Si and Al) was analyzed immediately by the science team after archiving, while the remaining 3 of each are archived indefinitely. Information about each material archived is stored in an extensive database at NASA-JSC, and key

  2. The Nature of C Asteroid Regolith from Meteorite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M.; Mikouchi, T.; Hagiya, K.; Ohsumi, K.; Komatsu, M.; Jenniskens, P.; Le, L.; Yin, Q.-Z; Kebukawa, Y.; Fries, M.

    2013-01-01

    Regolith from C (and related) asteroid bodies are a focus of the current missions Dawn at Ceres, Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. An asteroid as large as Ceres is expected to be covered by a mature regolith, and as Hayabusa demonstrated, flat and therefore engineeringly-safe ponded deposits will probably be the sampling sites for both Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS REx. Here we examine what we have learned about the mineralogy of fine-grained asteroid regolith from recent meteorite studies and the examination of the samples harvested from asteroid Itokawa by Hayabusa.

  3. Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley K. Borowski; Leonard A. Dudzinski; Melissa L. McGuire

    2000-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human exploration missions because of its high specific impulse (Isp ∼ 850 to 1000 s) and attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio (∼ 3 to 10). Because only a minuscule amount of enriched 235 U fuel is consumed in an NRT during the primary propulsion maneuvers of a typical Mars mission, engines configured both for propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as 'bimodal' operation) provide the basis for a robust, power-rich stage with efficient propulsive capture capability at the moon and near-earth asteroids (NEAs), where aerobraking cannot be utilized. A family of modular bimodal NTR (BNTR) space transfer vehicles utilize a common core stage powered by three ∼15-klb f engines that produce 50 kW(electric) of total electrical power for crew life support, high data rate communications with Earth, and an active refrigeration system for long-term, zero-boiloff liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) storage. This paper describes details of BNTR engines and designs of vehicles using them for various missions

  4. Stability and evolution of orbits around the binary asteroid 175706 (1996 FG3): Implications for the MarcoPolo-R mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussmann, Hauke; Oberst, Jürgen; Wickhusen, Kai; Shi, Xian; Damme, Friedrich; Lüdicke, Fabian; Lupovka, Valery; Bauer, Sven

    2012-09-01

    In support of the MarcoPolo-R mission, we have carried out numerical simulations of spacecraft trajectories about the binary asteroid 175706 (1996 FG3) under the influence of solar radiation pressure. We study the effects of (1) the asteroid's mass, shape, and rotational parameters, (2) the secondary's mass, shape, and orbit parameters, (3) the spacecraft's mass, surface area, and reflectivity, and (4) the time of arrival, and therefore the relative position to the sun and planets. We have considered distance regimes between 5 and 20 km, the typical range for a detailed characterization of the asteroids - primary and secondary - with imaging systems, spectrometers and by laser altimetry. With solar radiation pressure and gravity forces of the small asteroid competing, orbits are found to be unstable, in general. However, limited orbital stability can be found in the so-called Self-Stabilized Terminator Orbits (SSTO), where initial orbits are circular, orbital planes are oriented approximately perpendicular to the solar radiation pressure, and where the orbital plane of the spacecraft is shifted slightly (between 0.2 and 1 km) from the asteroid in the direction away from the sun. Under the effect of radiation pressure, the vector perpendicular to the orbit plane is observed to follow the sun direction. Shape and rotation parameters of the asteroid as well as gravitational perturbations by the secondary (not to mention sun and planets) were found not to affect the results. Such stable orbits may be suited for long radio tracking runs, which will allow for studying the gravity field. As the effect of the solar radiation pressure depends on the spacecraft mass, shape, and albedo, good knowledge of the spacecraft model and persistent monitoring of the spacecraft orientation are required.

  5. OSIRIS-REx: Sample Return from Asteroid (101955) Bennu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, D. S.; Balram-Knutson, S. S.; Beshore, E.; Boynton, W. V.; Drouet d'Aubigny, C.; DellaGiustina, D. N.; Enos, H. L.; Golish, D. R.; Hergenrother, C. W.; Howell, E. S.; Bennett, C. A.; Morton, E. T.; Nolan, M. C.; Rizk, B.; Roper, H. L.; Bartels, A. E.; Bos, B. J.; Dworkin, J. P.; Highsmith, D. E.; Lorenz, D. A.; Lim, L. F.; Mink, R.; Moreau, M. C.; Nuth, J. A.; Reuter, D. C.; Simon, A. A.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Bryan, B. H.; Ballouz, R.; Barnouin, O. S.; Binzel, R. P.; Bottke, W. F.; Hamilton, V. E.; Walsh, K. J.; Chesley, S. R.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. E.; Connolly, H. C.; Crombie, M. K.; Daly, M. G.; Emery, J. P.; McCoy, T. J.; McMahon, J. W.; Scheeres, D. J.; Messenger, S.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Righter, K.; Sandford, S. A.

    2017-10-01

    In May of 2011, NASA selected the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security- Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission as the third mission in the New Frontiers program. The other two New Frontiers missions are New Horizons, which explored Pluto during a flyby in July 2015 and is on its way for a flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019, and Juno, an orbiting mission that is studying the origin, evolution, and internal structure of Jupiter. The spacecraft departed for near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu aboard an United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 evolved expendable launch vehicle at 7:05 p.m. EDT on September 8, 2016, on a seven-year journey to return samples from Bennu. The spacecraft is on an outbound-cruise trajectory that will result in a rendezvous with Bennu in November 2018. The science instruments on the spacecraft will survey Bennu to measure its physical, geological, and chemical properties, and the team will use these data to select a site on the surface to collect at least 60 g of asteroid regolith. The team will also analyze the remote-sensing data to perform a detailed study of the sample site for context, assess Bennu's resource potential, refine estimates of its impact probability with Earth, and provide ground-truth data for the extensive astronomical data set collected on this asteroid. The spacecraft will leave Bennu in 2021 and return the sample to the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) on September 24, 2023.

  6. AsteroidFinder - the space-borne telescope to search for NEO Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartl, M.; Mosebach, H.; Schubert, J.; Michaelis, H.; Mottola, S.; Kührt, E.; Schindler, K.

    2017-11-01

    This paper presents the mission profile as well as the optical configuration of the space-borne AsteroidFinder telescope. Its main objective is to retrieve asteroids with orbits interior to the earth's orbit. The instrument requires high sensitivity to detect asteroids with a limiting magnitude of equal or larger than 18.5mag (V-Band) and astrometric accuracy of 1arcsec (1σ). This requires a telescope aperture greater than 400cm2, high image stability, detector with high quantum efficiency (peak > 90%) and very low noise, which is only limited by zodiacal background. The telescope will observe the sky between 30° and 60° in solar elongation. The telescope optics is based on a Cook type TMA. An effective 2°×2° field of view (FOV) is achieved by a fast F/3.4 telescope with near diffraction-limited performance. The absence of centre obscuration or spiders in combination with an accessible intermediate field plane and exit pupil allow for efficient stray light mitigation. Design drivers for the telescope are the required point spread function (PSF) values, an extremely efficient stray light suppression (due to the magnitude requirement mentioned above), the detector performance, and the overall optical and mechanical stability for all orientations of the satellite. To accommodate the passive thermal stabilization scheme and the necessary structural stability, the materials selection for the telescope main structure and the mirrors are of vital importance. A focal plane with four EMCCD detectors is envisaged. The EMCCD technology features shorter integration times, which is in favor regarding the pointing performance of the satellite. The launch of the mission is foreseen for the year 2013 with a subsequent mission lifetime of at least 1 year.

  7. Human Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Current Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Larman, K. T.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010.

  8. In-Situ Sampling Analysis of a Jupiter Trojan Asteroid by High Resolution Mass Spectrometry in the Solar Power Sail Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebukawa, Y.; Aoki, J.; Ito, M.; Kawai, Y.; Okada, T.; Matsumoto, J.; Yano, H.; Yurimoto, H.; Terada, K.; Toyoda, M.; Yabuta, H.; Nakamura, R.; Cottin, H.; Grand, N.; Mori, O.

    2017-12-01

    The Solar Power Sail (SPS) mission is one of candidates for the upcoming strategic middle-class space exploration to demonstrate the first outer Solar System journey of Japan. The mission concept includes in-situ sampling analysis of the surface and subsurface (up to 1 m) materials of a Jupiter Trojan asteroid using high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). The candidates for the HRMS are multi-turn time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MULTUM) type and Cosmorbitrap type. We plan to analyze isotopic and elemental compositions of volatile materials from organic matter, hydrated minerals, and ice (if any), in order to understand origin and evolution of the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. It will provide insights into planet formation/migration theories, evolution and distribution of volatiles in the Solar System, and missing link between asteroids and comets on evolutional. The HRMS system allows to measure H, N, C, O isotopic compositions and elemental compositions of molecules prepared by various pre-MS procedures including stepwise heating up to 600ºC, gas chromatography (GC), and high-temperature pyrolysis with catalyst to decompose the samples into simple gaseous molecules (e.g., H2, CO, and N2) for isotopic ratio analysis. The required mass resolution should be at least 30,000 for analyzing isotopic ratios for simple gaseous molecules. For elemental compositions, mass accuracy of 10 ppm is required to determine elemental compositions for molecules with m/z up to 300 (as well as compound specific isotopic compositions for smaller molecules). Our planned analytical sequences consist of three runs for both surface and subsurface samples. In addition, `sniff mode' which simply introduces environmental gaseous molecules into a HRMS will be done by the system.

  9. Autonomous vision-based navigation for proximity operations around binary asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Fernandez, Jesus; Ortega-Hernando, Guillermo

    2018-06-01

    Future missions to small bodies demand higher level of autonomy in the Guidance, Navigation and Control system for higher scientific return and lower operational costs. Different navigation strategies have been assessed for ESA's asteroid impact mission (AIM). The main objective of AIM is the detailed characterization of binary asteroid Didymos. The trajectories for the proximity operations shall be intrinsically safe, i.e., no collision in presence of failures (e.g., spacecraft entering safe mode), perturbations (e.g., non-spherical gravity field), and errors (e.g., maneuver execution error). Hyperbolic arcs with sufficient hyperbolic excess velocity are designed to fulfil the safety, scientific, and operational requirements. The trajectory relative to the asteroid is determined using visual camera images. The ground-based trajectory prediction error at some points is comparable to the camera Field Of View (FOV). Therefore, some images do not contain the entire asteroid. Autonomous navigation can update the state of the spacecraft relative to the asteroid at higher frequency. The objective of the autonomous navigation is to improve the on-board knowledge compared to the ground prediction. The algorithms shall fit in off-the-shelf, space-qualified avionics. This note presents suitable image processing and relative-state filter algorithms for autonomous navigation in proximity operations around binary asteroids.

  10. Mission Analysis for the Don Quijote Phase-A Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cano, Juan L.; Sanchez, Mariano; Cornara, Stefania; Carnelli, Ian

    2007-01-01

    The Don Quijote Phase-A study is a definition study funded by ESA and devoted to the analysis of the possibilities to deflect a Near Earth Object (NEO) in the range of 300-800 m diameter. DEIMOS Space S.L. and EADS Astrium have teamed up within this study to form one of the three consortia that have analyzed these aspects for ESA. Target asteroids for the mission are 1989 ML, 2002 AT4 and Apophis. This paper presents the mission analysis activities within the consortium providing: low-thrust interplanetary rendezvous Orbiter trajectories to the target asteroids, ballistic interplanetary trajectories for the Impactor, Orbiter arrival description at the asteroids, Orbiter stable orbits characterization at the asteroid, deflection determination by means of a Radio Science Experiment (RSE) as well as the mission timelines and overall mission scenarios.

  11. Trajectory and physical properties of near-Earth asteroid 2009 BD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farnocchia, D.; Mommert, M.; Hora, J. L.; Chesley, S. R.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Trilling, D. E.; Mueller, M.; Harris, A. W.; Smith, H. A.; Fazio, G. G.; Knežević, Zoran; Lemaitre, Anne

    2014-01-01

    We analyze the trajectory of near-Earth asteroid 2009~BD, which is a candidate target of the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission. The small size of 2009 BD and its Earth-like orbit pose challenges to understanding the dynamical properties of 2009 BD. In particular, nongravitational perturbations, such as

  12. Lessons for Interstellar Travel from the Guidance and Control Design of the Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, Benjamin; Heaton, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission that will use a solar sail to travel to an asteroid where it will perform a slow flyby to acquire science imagery. A guidance and control system was developed to meet the science and trajectory requirements. The NEA Scout design process can be applied to an interstellar or precursor mission that uses a beam propelled sail. The scientific objectives are met by accurately targeting the destination trajectory position and velocity. The destination is targeted by understanding the force on the sail from the beam (or sunlight in the case of NEA Scout) over the duration of the thrust maneuver. The propulsive maneuver is maintained by accurate understanding of the torque on the sail, which is a function of sail shape, optical properties, and mass properties, all of which apply to NEA Scout and beam propelled sails. NEA Scout uses active control of the sail attitude while trimming the solar torque, which could be used on a beamed propulsion sail if necessary. The biggest difference is that NEA Scout can correct for uncertainties in sail thrust modeling, spacecraft orbit, and target orbit throughout the flight to the target, while beamed propulsion needs accurate operation for the short duration of the beamed propulsion maneuver, making accurate understanding of the sail thrust and orbits much more critical.

  13. Optimized Bucket Wheel Design for Asteroid Excavation

    OpenAIRE

    Nallapu, Ravi Teja; Thoesen, Andrew; Garvie, Laurence; Asphaug, Erik; Thangavelautham, Jekanthan

    2017-01-01

    Current spacecraft need to launch with all of their required fuel for travel. This limits the system performance, payload capacity, and mission flexibility. One compelling alternative is to perform In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) by extracting fuel from small bodies in local space such as asteroids or small satellites. Compared to the Moon or Mars, the microgravity on an asteroid demands a fraction of the energy for digging and accessing hydrated regolith just below the surface. Previous ...

  14. Linear Covariance Analysis For Proximity Operations Around Asteroid 2008 EV5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Cinnamon A.; Bhatt, Sagar; Woffinden, David; Strube, Matthew; D'Souza, Christopher; DeWeese, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The NASA initiative to collect an asteroid the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission (ARRM) is currently investigating the option of retrieving a boulder off an asteroid, demonstrating planetary defense with an enhanced gravity tractor technique and returning it to a lunar orbit. Techniques for accomplishing this are being investigated by the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSOO) and NASA GSFC in colloboration with JPL, NASA, JSC, LaRC, and Draper Laboratories Inc. Two critical phases of the mission are the descent to the boulder and the Enhanced Gravity Tractor-enhanced gravity tractor demonstration. A linear covariance analysis was done for these phases to assess the feasibility of these concepts with the proposed design of the sensor and actuaor suite of the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). The sensor suite for this analysis will include a wide field of view camera, Lidar, and a MMU. The proposed asteroid of interest is currently the C-type asteroid 2008 EV5, a carbonaceous chondrite that is of high interest to the scientific community. This paper will present an overview of the analysis discuss sensor and actuator models and address the feasibility of descending to the boulder within the requirements as the feasibility of maintaining the halo orbit in order to demonstrate the Enhanced Gravity Tractor-enhanced gravity tractory technique.

  15. The NEOTωIST mission (Near-Earth Object Transfer of angular momentum spin test)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drube, Line; Harris, Alan W.; Engel, Kilian; Falke, Albert; Johann, Ulrich; Eggl, Siegfried; Cano, Juan L.; Ávila, Javier Martín; Schwartz, Stephen R.; Michel, Patrick

    2016-10-01

    We present a concept for a kinetic impactor demonstration mission, which intends to change the spin rate of a previously-visited asteroid, in this case 25143 Itokawa. The mission would determine the efficiency of momentum transfer during an impact, and help mature the technology required for a kinetic impactor mission, both of which are important precursors for a future space mission to deflect an asteroid by collisional means in an emergency situation. Most demonstration mission concepts to date are based on changing an asteroid's heliocentric orbit and require a reconnaissance spacecraft to measure the very small orbital perturbation due to the impact. Our concept is a low-cost alternative, requiring only a single launch. Taking Itokawa as an example, an estimate of the order of magnitude of the change in the spin period, δP, with such a mission results in δP of 4 min (0.5%), which could be detectable by Earth-based observatories. Our preliminary study found that a mission concept in which an impactor produces a change in an asteroid's spin rate could provide valuable information for the assessment of the viability of the kinetic-impactor asteroid deflection concept. Furthermore, the data gained from the mission would be of great benefit for our understanding of the collisional evolution of asteroids and the physics behind crater and ejecta-cloud development.

  16. ASPECT CubeSat mission to a binary asteroid

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Tomáš; Näsilä, A.; Tikka, T.; Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Kestilä, A.; Kallio, E.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 88, Special volume (2016), s. 283-283 ISSN 0367-5211. [ Nordic Geological Winter Meeting /32./. 13.01.2016-15.01.2016, Helsinki] Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : CubeSat * asteroid * AIDA * reflectance spectra ASPECT Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://www.geologinenseura.fi/bulletin/Special_Volume_1_2016/BGSF-NGWM2016_Abstract_Volume.pdf

  17. Deep Space Gateway "Recycler" Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, L.; Fries, M.; Hamilton, J.; Landis, R.; John, K.; O'Hara, W.

    2018-02-01

    Use of the Deep Space Gateway provides a hub for a reusable planetary sample return vehicle for missions to gather star dust as well as samples from various parts of the solar system including main belt asteroids, near-Earth asteroids, and Mars moon.

  18. The Mothership Mission Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, S. M.; DiCorcia, J. D.; Bonin, G.; Gump, D.; Lewis, J. S.; Foulds, C.; Faber, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Mothership is considered to be a dedicated deep space carrier spacecraft. It is currently being developed by Deep Space Industries (DSI) as a mission concept that enables a broad participation in the scientific exploration of small bodies - the Mothership mission architecture. A Mothership shall deliver third-party nano-sats, experiments and instruments to Near Earth Asteroids (NEOs), comets or moons. The Mothership service includes delivery of nano-sats, communication to Earth and visuals of the asteroid surface and surrounding area. The Mothership is designed to carry about 10 nano-sats, based upon a variation of the Cubesat standard, with some flexibility on the specific geometry. The Deep Space Nano-Sat reference design is a 14.5 cm cube, which accommodates the same volume as a traditional 3U CubeSat. To reduce cost, Mothership is designed as a secondary payload aboard launches to GTO. DSI is offering slots for nano-sats to individual customers. This enables organizations with relatively low operating budgets to closely examine an asteroid with highly specialized sensors of their own choosing and carry out experiments in the proximity of or on the surface of an asteroid, while the nano-sats can be built or commissioned by a variety of smaller institutions, companies, or agencies. While the overall Mothership mission will have a financial volume somewhere between a European Space Agencies' (ESA) S- and M-class mission for instance, it can be funded through a number of small and individual funding sources and programs, hence avoiding the processes associated with traditional space exploration missions. DSI has been able to identify a significant interest in the planetary science and nano-satellite communities.

  19. Hayabusa2 Sampler: Collection of Asteroidal Surface Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Hirotaka; Okazaki, Ryuji; Tachibana, Shogo; Sakamoto, Kanako; Takano, Yoshinori; Okamoto, Chisato; Yano, Hajime; Miura, Yayoi; Abe, Masanao; Hasegawa, Sunao; Noguchi, Takaaki

    2017-07-01

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the asteroid exploration probe "Hayabusa2" in December 3rd, 2014, following the 1st Hayabusa mission. With technological and scientific improvements from the Hayabusa probe, we plan to visit the C-type asteroid 162137 Ryugu (1999 JU3), and to sample surface materials of the C-type asteroid that is likely to be different from the S-type asteroid Itokawa and contain more pristine materials, including organic matter and/or hydrated minerals, than S-type asteroids. We developed the Hayabusa2 sampler to collect a minimum of 100 mg of surface samples including several mm-sized particles at three surface locations without any severe terrestrial contamination. The basic configuration of the sampler design is mainly as same as the 1st Hayabusa (Yano et al. in Science, 312(5778):1350-1353, 2006), with several minor but important modifications based on lessons learned from the Hayabusa to fulfill the scientific requirements and to raise the scientific value of the returned samples.

  20. Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT) I: An On-orbit Centrifuge Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lightholder, Jack; Thoesen, Andrew; Adamson, Eric; Jakubowski, Jeremy; Nallapu, Ravi; Smallwood, Sarah; Raura, Laksh; Klesh, Andrew; Asphaug, Erik; Thangavelautham, Jekan

    2017-04-01

    Exploration of asteroids, comets and small moons (small bodies) can answer fundamental questions relating to the formation of the solar system, the availability of resources, and the nature of impact hazards. Near-earth asteroids and the small moons of Mars are potential targets of human exploration. But as illustrated by recent missions, small body surface exploration remains challenging, expensive, and fraught with risk. Despite their small size, they are among the most extreme planetary environments, with low and irregular gravity, loosely bound regolith, extreme temperature variation, and the presence of electrically charged dust. Here we describe the Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT-I), an on-orbit, 3U CubeSat centrifuge using a sandwich-sized bed of crushed meteorite fragments to replicate asteroid surface conditions. Demonstration of this CubeSat will provide a low-cost pathway to physical asteroid model validation, shed light on the origin and geophysics of asteroids, and constrain the design of future landers, rovers, resource extractors, and human missions. AOSAT-I will conduct scientific experiments within its payload chamber while operating in two distinct modes: (1) as a nonrotating microgravity laboratory to investigate primary accretion, and (2) as a rotating centrifuge producing artificial milligravity to simulate surface conditions on asteroids, comets and small moons. AOSAT-I takes advantage of low-cost, off-the-shelf components, modular design, and the rapid assembly and instrumentation of the CubeSat standard, to answer fundamental questions in planetary science and reduce cost and risk of future exploration.

  1. COMPASS Final Report: Near Earth Asteroids Rendezvous and Sample Earth Returns (NEARER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) team completed a design for a multi-asteroid (Nereus and 1996 FG3) sample return capable spacecraft for the NASA In-Space Propulsion Office. The objective of the study was to support technology development and assess the relative benefits of different electric propulsion systems on asteroid sample return design. The design uses a single, heritage Orion solar array (SA) (approx.6.5 kW at 1 AU) to power a single NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster ((NEXT) a spare NEXT is carried) to propel a lander to two near Earth asteroids. After landing and gathering science samples, the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) vehicle spirals back to Earth where it drops off the first sample s return capsule and performs an Earth flyby to assist the craft in rendezvousing with a second asteroid, which is then sampled. The second sample is returned in a similar fashion. The vehicle, dubbed Near Earth Asteroids Rendezvous and Sample Earth Returns (NEARER), easily fits in an Atlas 401 launcher and its cost estimates put the mission in the New Frontier s (NF's) class mission.

  2. Detailed Pictures of Multiple Asteroid Systems in the Main-Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchis, F.; Emery, J. P.; Enriquez, J. E.; Descamps, P.; Berthier, J.; Vachier, F.; Durech, J.

    2011-12-01

    Since their discovery less than 10 years ago, ~200 known multiple asteroid systems have been studied with a combination of observing techniques, including adaptive optics, lightcurve photometry, and mid-infrared spectrophotometry. Those observations show that ~15 large (D>100km) asteroids that are known to possess km-sized satellite(s) (22 Kalliope, 45 Eugenia, 87 Sylvia, 93 Minerva, 216 Kleopatra, ...) share common orbital characteristics, implying a common formation scenario: e.g. catastrophic disruption or ejection after an oblique impact. More than 70 smaller (10-15km) binary asteroid systems have been detected through anomalies in their lightcurves and are believed to have formed by fission due to the YORP effect. By comparison with meteorite analog densities, mid-IR data reveal that these systems have a significant porosity (larger than 30%) implying a rubble-pile interior. We will review these key results and discuss their implications for the interior of asteroids in the light of recent space mission results. Future explorations using new ground-based facilities and space mission concepts will be also discussed. This work is supported by the NSF grant AAG-0807468 and NASA grant NNX11AD62G

  3. Understanding NEOs: The Role of Characterization Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, David

    2007-10-01

    NEOs are important from multiple perspectives, including science, hazard mitigation, space resources, and as targets for human missions. Much can be learned from ground-based studies, especially with radar, but the unique value of in situ investigation has been shown by missions such as NEAR-Shoemaker and Hayabusa to asteroids Eros and Itokawa, and Deep Impact and Stardust to comets. The next mission targets are likely to be NEAs in the subkilometer size range. Because these smaller objects are much more numerous, they are the objects we most need to understand from a defense perspective, and they are also the most likely targets for early human missions. However, there are unique challenges in sending spacecraft to investigate sub-km asteroids. Reconnaissance flybys are of little use, orbiting requires active control, and landing on such a low-gravity surface is perhaps better described as docking. Yet we need to operate close to the target, and probably to land, to obtain crucial information about interior structure. This paper deals primarily with small landers like the Near Earth Asteroid Trailblazer Mission (NEAT) studied at Ames Research Center. The NEAT objectives are to provide global reconnaissance (shape, mass, density, dynamical state), in situ surface characterization, and long-term precision tracking. Alternative approaches use deep-penetrating radar and electromagnetic sounding to probe interior structure. A third class of missions is ballistic impactors such as the ESA Don Quijote, which test one of the technologies for deflecting small asteroids. If the targets are selected for their accessibility, such missions could be implemented with low-cost launchers such as Pegasus, Falcon, or Minotaur. Such missions will have high science return. But from the perspective of defense, we have not yet developed a consensus strategy for the role of such characterization missions.

  4. Calculating the momentum enhancement factor for asteroid deflection studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heberling, Tamra; Gisler, Galen; Plesko, Catherine; Weaver, Robert

    2017-01-01

    The possibility of kinetic-impact deflection of threatening near-Earth asteroids will be tested for the first time in the proposed AIDA (Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment) mission, involving NASAs DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test). The impact of the DART spacecraft onto the secondary of the binary asteroid 65803 Didymos at a speed of 5 to 7 km/s is expected to alter the mutual orbit by an observable amount. Furthermore, the velocity transferred to the secondary depends largely on the momentum enhancement factor, typically referred to as beta. Here, we use two hydrocodes developed at Los Alamos, RAGE and PAGOSA, to calculate an approximate value for beta in laboratory-scale benchmark experiments. Convergence studies comparing the two codes show the importance of mesh size in estimating this crucial parameter.

  5. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, A.; Cheng, A. F.; Stickle, A. M.; Richardson, D. C.; Barnouin, O. S.; Thomas, C.; Fahnestock, E.

    2017-12-01

    The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will be the first space experiment to demonstrate asteroid impact hazard mitigation by using a kinetic impactor. DART is currently in Preliminary Design Phase ("Phase B"), and is part of the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA), a joint ESA-NASA cooperative project. The AIDA target is the near-Earth binary asteroid 65803 Didymos, an S-class system that will make a close approach to Earth in fall 2022. The DART spacecraft is designed to impact the Didymos secondary at 6 km/s and demonstrate the ability to modify its trajectory through momentum transfer. The primary goals of AIDA are (1) perform a full-scale demonstration of the spacecraft kinetic impact technique for deflection of an asteroid; (2) measure the resulting asteroid deflection, by targeting the secondary member of a binary NEO and measuring the resulting changes of the binary orbit; and (3) study hyper-velocity collision effects on an asteroid, validating models for momentum transfer in asteroid impacts. The DART impact on the Didymos secondary will change the orbital period of the binary by several minutes, which can be measured by Earth-based optical and radar observations. The baseline DART mission launches in late 2020 to impact the Didymos secondary in 2022 near the time of its close pass of Earth, which enables an array of ground- and space-based observatories to participate in gathering data. The AIDA project will provide the first measurements of momentum transfer efficiency from hyper-velocity kinetic impact at full scale on an asteroid, where the impact conditions of the projectile are known, and physical properties and internal structures of the target asteroid are characterized or constrained. The DART kinetic impact is predicted to make a crater of 6 to 17 meters diameter, depending on target physical properties, but will also release a large volume of particulate ejecta that may be directly observable from Earth or even resolvable as a

  6. Strategic Implications of Human Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Bret G.

    2011-01-01

    The current United States Space Policy [1] as articulated by the White House and later confirmed by the Congress [2] calls for [t]he extension of the human presence from low-Earth orbit to other regions of space beyond low-Earth orbit will enable missions to the surface of the Moon and missions to deep space destinations such as near-Earth asteroids and Mars. Human exploration of the Moon and Mars has been the focus of numerous exhaustive studies and planning, but missions to Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) has, by comparison, garnered relatively little attention in terms of mission and systems planning. This paper examines the strategic implications of human exploration of NEAs and how they can fit into the overall exploration strategy. This paper specifically addresses how accessible NEAs are in terms of mission duration, technologies required, and overall architecture construct. Example mission architectures utilizing different propulsion technologies such as chemical, nuclear thermal, and solar electric propulsion were formulated to determine resulting figures of merit including number of NEAs accessible, time of flight, mission mass, number of departure windows, and length of the launch windows. These data, in conjunction with what we currently know about these potential exploration targets (or need to know in the future), provide key insights necessary for future mission and strategic planning.

  7. Mapping stable direct and retrograde orbits around the triple system of asteroids (45) Eugenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo, R. A. N.; Moraes, R. V.; Prado, A. F. B. A.; Winter, O. C.

    2017-12-01

    It is widely accepted that knowing the composition and the orbital evolution of asteroids might help us to understand the process of formation of the Solar system. It is also known that asteroids can represent a threat to our planet. Such an important role has made space missions to asteroids a very popular topic in current astrodynamics and astronomy studies. Taking into account the increasing interest in space missions to asteroids, especially to multiple systems, we present a study that aims to characterize the stable and unstable regions around the triple system of asteroids (45) Eugenia. The goal is to characterize the unstable and stable regions of this system and to make a comparison with the system 2001 SN263, which is the target of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) mission. A new concept was used for mapping orbits, by considering the disturbance received by the spacecraft from all perturbing forces individually. This method has also been applied to (45) Eugenia. We present the stable and unstable regions for particles with relative inclination between 0° and 180°. We found that (45) Eugenia presents larger stable regions for both prograde and retrograde cases. This is mainly because the satellites of this system are small when compared to the primary body, and because they are not close to each other. We also present a comparison between these two triple systems, and we discuss how these results can guide us in the planning of future missions.

  8. BAOBAB (Big And Outrageously Bold Asteroid Belt) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcfadden, L. A.; Thomas, C. A; Englander, J. A.; Ruesch, O.; Hosseini, S.; Goossens, S. J.; Mazarico, E. M.; Schmerr, N.

    2017-01-01

    One of the intriguing results of NASA's Dawn mission is the composition and structure of the Main Asteroid Belt's only known dwarf planet, Ceres [1]. It has a top layer of dehydrated clays and salts [2] and an icy-rocky mantle [3,4]. It is widely known that the asteroid belt failed to accrete as a planet by resonances between the Sun and Jupiter. About 20-30 asteroids >100 km diameter are probably differentiated protoplanets [5]. 1) how many more and which ones are fragments of protoplanets? 2) How many and which ones are primordial rubble piles left over from condensation of the solar nebula? 3) How would we go about gaining better and more complete characterization of the mass, interior structure and composition of the Main Belt asteroid population? 4) What is the relationship between asteroids and ocean worlds? Bulk parameters such as the mass, density, and porosity, are important to characterize the structure of any celestial body, and for asteroids in particular, they can shed light on the conditions in the early solar system. Asteroid density estimates exist but currently they are often based on assumed properties of taxonomic classes, or through astronomical survey data where interactions with asteroids are weak at best resulting in large measurement uncertainty. We only have direct density estimates from spacecraft encounters for a few asteroids at this time. Knowledge of the asteroids is significant not only to understand their role in solar system workings, but also to assess their potential as space resources, as impact hazards on Earth, or even as harboring life forms. And for the distant future, we want to know if the idea put forth in a contest sponsored by Physics Today, to surface the asteroids into highly reflecting, polished surfaces and use them as a massively segmented mirror for astrophysical exploration [6], is feasible.

  9. FIRST VLTI-MIDI DIRECT DETERMINATIONS OF ASTEROID SIZES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delbo, M.; Ligori, S.; Cellino, A.; Matter, A.; Berthier, J.

    2009-01-01

    We have obtained the first successful interferometric measurements of asteroid sizes and shapes by means of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer-Mid-Infrared Interferometric Instrument (VLTI-MIDI). The VLTI can spatially resolve asteroids in a range of sizes and heliocentric distances that are not accessible to other techniques such as adaptive optics and radar. We have observed, as a typical bench mark, the asteroid (951) Gaspra, visited in the past by the Galileo space probe, and we derive a size in good agreement with the ground truth coming from the in situ measurements by the Galileo mission. Moreover, we have also observed the asteroid (234) Barbara, known to exhibit unusual polarimetric properties, and we found evidence of a potential binary nature. In particular, our data are best fit by a system of two bodies of 37 and 21 km in diameter, separated by a center-to-center distance of ∼24 km (projected along the direction of the baseline at the epoch of our observations).

  10. Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission Space Suit and EVA System Architecture Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Raul A.; Bowie, Jonathan T.; Watson, Richard D.; Sipila, Stephanie A.

    2014-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM) requires a Launch/Entry/Abort (LEA) suit capability and short duration Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) capability for Orion. The EVAs will involve a two-person crew for approximately four hours. Currently, two EVAs are planned with one contingency EVA in reserve. Providing this EVA capability is very challenging due to system level constraints and a new and unknown environment. The goal of the EVA architecture for ARCM is one that builds upon previously developed technologies and lessons learned, and that accomplishes the ARCM mission while providing a stepping stone to future missions and destinations. The primary system level constraints are to 1) minimize system mass and volume and 2) minimize the interfacing impacts to the baseline Orion design. In order to minimize the interfacing impacts and to not perturb the baseline Orion schedule, the concept of adding "kits" to the baseline system is proposed. These kits consist of: an EVA kit (converts LEA suit to EVA suit), EVA Servicing and Recharge Kit (provides suit consumables), the EVA Tools, Translation Aids & Sample Container Kit (the tools and mobility aids to complete the tasks), the EVA Communications Kit (interface between the EVA radio and the MPCV), and the Cabin Repress Kit (represses the MPCV between EVAs). This paper will focus on the trade space, analysis, and testing regarding the space suit (pressure garment and life support system). Historical approaches and lessons learned from all past EVA operations were researched. Previous and current, successfully operated EVA hardware and high technology readiness level (TRL) hardware were evaluated, and a trade study was conducted for all possible pressure garment and life support options. Testing and analysis was conducted and a recommended EVA system architecture was proposed. Pressure garment options that were considered for this mission include the currently in-use ISS EVA Mobility Unit (EMU), all variations of

  11. Navigation of Chang'E-2 asteroid exploration mission and the minimum distance estimation during its fly-by of Toutatis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jianfeng; Liu, Yong; Hu, Songjie; Liu, Lei; Tang, Geshi; Huang, Yong; Li, Peijia

    2015-01-01

    China's space probe Chang'E-2 began its asteroid exploration mission on April 15, 2012 and had been in space for 243 days before its encounter with Toutatis. With no onboard navigation equipment available, the navigation of CE-2 during its fly-by of the asteroid relied totally on ground-based Unified S-Band (USB) and Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) tracking data. The orbit determination of Toutatis was achieved by using a combination of optical measurements and radar ranging. On November 30, 2012, CE-2 was targeted at a destination that was 15 km away from the asteroid as it performed its third trajectory correction maneuver. Later orbit determination analysis showed that a correction residual was still present, which necessitated another maneuver on December 12. During the two maneuvers, ground-based navigation faced a challenge in terms of the orbit determination accuracy. With the optimization of our strategy, an accuracy of better than 15 km was finally achieved for the post-maneuver orbit solution. On December 13, CE-2 successfully passed by Toutatis and conducted continuous photographing of Toutatis during the entire process. An analysis of the images that were taken from the solar panel monitoring camera and the satellite attitude information demonstrates that the closest distance obtained between CE-2 and Toutatis (Toutatis's surface) was 1.9 km, which is considerably better than the 30 km fly-by distance that we originally hoped based on the accuracies that we can obtain on the satellite and Toutatis' orbits.

  12. Network of Nano-Landers for In-Situ Characterization of Asteroid Impact Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Kalita, Himangshu; Asphaug, Erik; Schwartz, Stephen; Thangavelautham, Jekanthan

    2017-01-01

    Exploration of asteroids and comets can give insight into the origins of the solar system and can be instrumental in planetary defence and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). Asteroids, due to their low gravity are a challenging target for surface exploration. Current missions envision performing touch-and-go operations over an asteroid surface. In this work, we analyse the feasibility of sending scores of nano-landers, each 1 kg in mass and volume of 1U, or 1000 cm3. These landers would hop...

  13. Study of the Asteroid 2009 DL46

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto Quijano

    2017-06-01

    2009 DL46 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on 2009-February 28. This asteroid has a diameter of about 194 meters (119 to 268 meters) [1], and Brian Warner has obtained a rotation period of at least 10 hours [2]. The asteroid 2009 DL46 flew past Earth on May 24/2016 at a distance of about 6.2 lunar distances (0.0158293668567628 A.U) [3]. The NEOWISE mission had a great likelihood to observing this asteroid in early May. Radiotelescopes of Goldstone and Arecibo had planned to make observations of 2009 DL46. “Using the Goldstone facility, we had planned to make radar observations of 2009 DL46” said Landis, Rob R. (HQ-DG000). This asteroid is on list for possible human mission targets. From our Observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we captured several pictures, videos and astrometry data during several hours during three days. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and also appears at the web page of NEODyS [4]. The pictures and data of the asteroid were captured with the following equipment: CGE PRO 1400 CELESTRON (f/11 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope) and STL-1001 SBIG camera.. Astrometry was carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements. Summary and conclusions: We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity = 0.30731 +/- 0.00025, semi-major axis = 1.460279 +/- 0.000532 A.U, orbital inclination = 7.9503 +/- 0.0048 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 63.45053 +/- 0.00034 deg, argument of perihelion = 159.8804 +/- 0.0024 deg, mean motion = 0.558535 +/- 0.000305 deg/d, perihelion distance = 1.01151363 +/- 3.39e-6 A.U, aphelion distance = 1.90904 +/- 0.00106 A.U, absolute magnitude = 22.5. The parameters were calculated based on 83 observations. Dates: 2016 May: 18 to 21 with mean residual = 0.29 arcseconds. The asteroid has an orbital period of 1.76 years (644.53 days).[1] http://newton.dm.unipi.it/neodys/index.php?pc=1.1.9&n=2009DL46.[2] http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2009DL46/2009DL46_planning.html[3] http

  14. OSIRIS-REx Touch-And-Go (TAG) Mission Design and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kevin; Sutter, Brian; May, Alex; Williams, Ken; Barbee, Brent W.; Beckman, Mark; Williams, Bobby

    2013-01-01

    The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is a NASA New Frontiers mission launching in 2016 to rendezvous with the near-Earth asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 in late 2018. After several months in formation with and orbit about the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx will fly a Touch-And-Go (TAG) trajectory to the asteroid s surface to obtain a regolith sample. This paper describes the mission design of the TAG sequence and the propulsive maneuvers required to achieve the trajectory. This paper also shows preliminary results of orbit covariance analysis and Monte-Carlo analysis that demonstrate the ability to arrive at a targeted location on the surface of RQ36 within a 25 meter radius with 98.3% confidence.

  15. NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Trajectory Validation and Robutness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarli, Bruno V.; Ozimek, Martin T.; Atchison, Justin A.; Englander, Jacob A.; Barbee, Brent W.

    2017-01-01

    The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission will be the first to test the concept of a kinetic impactor. Several studies have been made on asteroid redirection and impact mitigation, however, to this date no mission tested the proposed concepts. An impact study on a representative body allows the measurement of the effects on the target's orbit and physical structure. With this goal, DART's objective is to verify the effectiveness of the kinetic impact concept for planetary defense. The spacecraft uses solar electric propulsion to escape Earth, fly by (138971) 2001 CB21 for impact rehearsal, and impact Didymos-B, the secondary body of the binary (65803) Didymos system. This work focuses on the heliocentric transfer design part of the mission with the validation of the baseline trajectory, performance comparison to other mission objectives, and assessment of the baseline robustness to missed thrust events. Results show a good performance of the selected trajectory for different mission objectives: latest possible escape date, maximum kinetic energy on impact, shortest possible time of flight, and use of an Earth swing-by. The baseline trajectory was shown to be robust to a missed thrust with 1% of fuel margin being enough to recover the mission for failures of more than 14 days.

  16. Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Sanders, G. B.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: In 2009 the Augustine Commission identified near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. NEA Space-Based Survey and Robotic Precursor Missions: The most suitable targets for human missions are NEAs in Earth-like orbits with long synodic periods. However, these mission candidates are often not observable from Earth until the timeframe of their most favorable human mission opportunities, which does not provide an appropriate amount of time for mission development. A space-based survey telescope could more efficiently find these targets in a timely, affordable manner. Such a system is not only able to discover new objects, but also track and characterize objects of interest for human space flight consideration. Those objects with characteristic signatures representative of volatile-rich or metallic materials will be considered as top candidates for further investigation due to their potential for resource utilization and scientific discovery. Once suitable candidates have been identified, precursor spacecraft are required to perform basic reconnaissance of a few NEAs under consideration for the human-led mission. Robotic spacecraft will assess targets for potential hazards that may pose a risk to the deep space transportation vehicle, its deployable assets, and the crew. Additionally, the information obtained about the NEA's basic physical characteristics will be crucial for planning operational activities, designing in-depth scientific/engineering investigations, and identifying sites on the NEA for sample collection. Human Exploration

  17. Robotic Reconnaissance Missions to Small Bodies and Their Potential Contributions to Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Rivkin, A. S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Robotic reconnaissance missions to small bodies will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near- Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. The science and technical data obtained from robotic precursor missions that investigate the surface and interior physical characteristics of an object will help identify the pertinent physical properties that will maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for both robotic assets and crew operating in close proximity to, or at the surface of, a small body. These data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations. Small Body Strategic Knowledge Gaps: For the past several years NASA has been interested in identifying the key SKGs related to future human destinations. These SKGs highlight the various unknowns and/or data gaps of targets that the science and engineering communities would like to have filled in prior to committing crews to explore the Solar System. An action team from the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) was formed specifically to identify the small body SKGs under the direction of the Human Exploration and Operations Missions Directorate (HEOMD), given NASA's recent interest in NEAs and the Martian moons as potential human destinations [1]. The action team

  18. Heavy Metal - Exploring a magnetised metallic asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlund, J.-E.; Andrews, D. J.

    2017-09-01

    We propose an ESA/M5 spacecraft mission to orbit and explore (16) Psyche - the largest M-class metallic asteroid in the main belt. Recent estimates of the shape, 279×232×189 km and mass, 2.7×1019 kg of (16) Psyche make it one of the largest and densest of asteroids, 4.5 g cm-3, and together with the high surface radar reflectivity and the spectral data measured from Earth it is consistent with a bulk composition rich in iron-nickel. (16) Psyche orbits the Sun with semi-major axis 2.9 AU, 3º inclination, and is as yet unexplored in-situ.

  19. Capturing near-Earth asteroids around Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasnain, Zaki; Lamb, Christopher A.; Ross, Shane D.

    2012-12-01

    numerically calculated trajectories, 23 asteroids are recommended for future consideration for capture missions, provided necessary technological developments are made.

  20. Spectral properties of eight near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, M.; Birlan, M.; Binzel, R.; Vernazza, P.; Barucci, A.; Nedelcu, D. A.; DeMeo, F.; Fulchignoni, M.

    2011-11-01

    Context. Near-Earth objects are among the most accessible bodies in the solar system in terms of the spacecraft propulsion requirements to reach them. The choice of targets and the planning of space missions are based on high quality ground-based science. Aims: The knowledge of the ensemble of physical parameters for these objects, including their composition, is a critical point in defining any mission scientific objectives. Determining the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is also possible from the ground by analyzing spectroscopy at both visible and infrared wavelengths. Methods: We present spectra of eight NEAs (1917, 8567, 16960, 164400, 188452, 2001 SG286, and 2010 TD54) obtained using the NASA telescope IRTF equipped with the spectro-imager SpeX. The observations were performed in the 0.8-2.5 μm spectral region using the low resolution mode of the spectrograph. We completed the taxonomic classification using the Bus-DeMeo taxonomy. We analyzed the spectra by comparing them to meteorite spectra from the Relab database using a χ2 approach. For the S-type asteroids of our sample, the band centers and BAR were calculated. We also attempted to interpret our data using a space-weathering model. Results: The taxonomic classification of five objects was reviewed and we assigned a corresponding type to the other three asteroids that were not classified before. We found that (1917) Cuyo, (8567) 1996 HW1, (16960) 1998 QS52, (188452) 2004 HE62, and 2010 TD54 are in the S-complex. We achieved a good matching of our S-type asteroids with the spectra of ordinary chondrites meteorites. The asteroid (5620) Jasonwheeler was found to have a NIR spectrum similar to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Thus, our results confirm its primitive properties obtained in several other spectral intervals. Appendices A and B are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  1. Asteroid body-fixed hovering using nonideal solar sails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeng, Xiang-Yuan; Jiang, Fang-Hua; Li, Jun-Feng

    2015-01-01

    The problem of body-fixed hovering over an asteroid using a compact form of nonideal solar sails with a controllable area is investigated. Nonlinear dynamic equations describing the hovering problem are constructed for a spherically symmetric asteroid. Numerical solutions of the feasible region for body-fixed hovering are obtained. Different sail models, including the cases of ideal, optical, parametric and solar photon thrust, on the feasible region is studied through numerical simulations. The influence of the asteroid spinning rate and the sail area-to-mass ratio on the feasible region is discussed. The required orientations for the sail and their corresponding variable lightness numbers are given for different hovering radii to identify the feasible region of the body-fixed hovering. An attractive scenario for a mission is introduced to take advantage of solar sail hovering. (paper)

  2. 78 FR 64253 - NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-28

    ... NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: 13-124] NASA Asteroid Initiative Idea.... SUMMARY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces that the agency will resume the NASA... INFORMATION CONTACT: Michele Gates, Senior Technical Advisor, NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission...

  3. A Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite (HED) Meteorite Compendium: Summarizing Samples of ASteroid 4 Vesta in Preparation for the Dawn Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garber, J. M.; Righter, K.

    2011-01-01

    The Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite (HED) suite of achondritic meteorites, thought to originate from asteroid 4 Vesta, has recently been summarized into a meteorite compendium. This compendium will serve as a guide for researchers interested in further analysis of HEDs, and we expect that interest in these samples will greatly increase with the planned arrival of the Dawn Mission at Vesta in August 2011. The focus of this abstract/poster is to (1) introduce and describe HED samples from both historical falls and Antarctic finds, and (2) provide information on unique HED samples available for study from the Antarctic Meteorite Collection at JSC, including the vesicular eucrite PCA91007, the olivine diogenite EETA79002, and the paired ALH polymict eucrites.

  4. Modeling and Simulation for Multi-Missions Space Exploration Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Max

    2011-01-01

    Asteroids and Near-Earth Objects [NEOs] are of great interest for future space missions. The Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle [MMSEV] is being considered for future Near Earth Object missions and requires detailed planning and study of its Guidance, Navigation, and Control [GNC]. A possible mission of the MMSEV to a NEO would be to navigate the spacecraft to a stationary orbit with respect to the rotating asteroid and proceed to anchor into the surface of the asteroid with robotic arms. The Dynamics and Real-Time Simulation [DARTS] laboratory develops reusable models and simulations for the design and analysis of missions. In this paper, the development of guidance and anchoring models are presented together with their role in achieving mission objectives and relationships to other parts of the simulation. One important aspect of guidance is in developing methods to represent the evolution of kinematic frames related to the tasks to be achieved by the spacecraft and its robot arms. In this paper, we compare various types of mathematical interpolation methods for position and quaternion frames. Subsequent work will be on analyzing the spacecraft guidance system with different movements of the arms. With the analyzed data, the guidance system can be adjusted to minimize the errors in performing precision maneuvers.

  5. Scientific Packages on Small Bodies, a Deployment Strategy for New Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardivel, Simon; Scheeres, D. J.; Michel, P.

    2013-10-01

    The exploration of asteroids is currently a topic of high priority for the space agencies. JAXA will launch its second asteroid explorer, aimed at 1999 JU3, in the second half of 2014. NASA has selected OSIRIS-REx to go to asteroid Bennu, and it will launch in 2016. ESA is currently performing the assessment study of the MarcoPolo-R space mission, in the framework of the M3 (medium) competition of its Cosmic Vision Program, whose objective is now 2008 EV5. In the continuity of these missions, landing for an extended period of time on the ground to perform measurements seems a logical next step to asteroid exploration. Yet, the surface behavior of an asteroid is not well known and landing the whole spacecraft on it could be hazardous, and pose other mission operations problems such as ensuring communication with Earth. Hence, we propose a new approach to asteroid surface exploration. Using a mothership spacecraft, we will present how multiple landers could be deployed to the surface of an asteroid using ballistic trajectories. Combining a detailed simulation of the bouncing and contact dynamics on the surface with numerical and mathematical analysis of the flight dynamics near an asteroid, we show how landing pods could be distributed at the surface of a body. The strategy has the advantages that the mothership always maintains a safe distance from the surface and the landers do not need any GNC (guidance, navigation and control system) or landing apparatus. Thus, it allows for simple operations and for the design of lightweight landers with minimum platform overhead and maximum payload. These pods could then be used as a single measurement apparatus (e.g. seismometers) or as independent and different instruments, using their widespread distribution to gain both global and local knowledge on the asteroid.

  6. 3D Imaging Cubesat Lidar for Asteroid and Planetary Sciences, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA is actively pursuing guidance and control light detection and ranging (lidar) systems for upcoming exploration missions including asteroid, comet, planet, and...

  7. VLWIR Sensors for Detecting and Tracking Near-Earth Asteroids, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — An important NASA mission is to detect, count and track near-earth asteroids for a variety of reasons including the hazards of collisions with our planet. Such...

  8. The Nature of C Asteroid Regolith Revealed from the Jbilet Winselwan CM Chondrite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, Michael; Mikouchi, Takashi; Hagiya, Kenji; Ohsumi, Kazumasa; Komatsu, Mutsumi; Chan, Queenie H. S.; Le, Loan; Kring, David; Cato, Michael; Fagan, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    C-class asteroids frequently exhibit reflectance spectra consistent with thermally metamorphosed carbonaceous chondrites, or a mixture of phyllosilicate-rich material along with regions where they are absent. One particularly important example appears to be asteroid 162173 Ryugu, the target of the Hayabusa 2 mission, although most spectra of Ryugu are featureless, suggesting a heterogeneous regolith. Here we explore an alternative cause of dehydration of regolith of C-class asteroids - impact shock melting. Impact shock melting has been proposed to ex-plain some mineralogical characteristics of CB chondrites, but has rarely been considered a major process for hydrous carbonaceous chondrites.

  9. Samples of Asteroid Surface Ponded Deposits in Chondritic Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M. E.; Lee, R.; Le, L.

    2004-01-01

    One of the many unexpected observations of asteroid 433 Eros by the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission was the many ponds of fine-grained materials [1-3]. The ponds have smooth surfaces, and define equipotential surfaces up to 10's of meters in diameter [4]. The ponds have a uniformly sub-cm grain size and appear to be cohesive or indurated to some degree, as revealed by slumping. The ponds appear to be concentrated within 30 degrees of the equator of Eros, where gravity is lowest. There is some insight into the mineralogy and composition of the ponds surfaces from NEAR spectroscopy [2,4,5,6]. Compared to the bulk asteroid, ponds: (1) are distinctly bluer (high 550/760 nm ratio), (2) have a deeper 1um mafic band, (3) have reflectance elevated by 5%.

  10. Investigating Trojan Asteroids at the L4/L5 Sun-Earth Lagrange Points

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, K. K.; Graham, L. D.; Abell, P. A.

    2015-01-01

    Investigations of Earth's Trojan asteroids will have benefits for science, exploration, and resource utilization. By sending a small spacecraft to the Sun-Earth L4 or L5 Lagrange points to investigate near-Earth objects, Earth's Trojan population can be better understood. This could lead to future missions for larger precursor spacecraft as well as human missions. The presence of objects in the Sun-Earth L4 and L5 Lagrange points has long been suspected, and in 2010 NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) detected a 300 m object. To investigate these Earth Trojan asteroid objects, it is both essential and feasible to send spacecraft to these regions. By exploring a wide field area, a small spacecraft equipped with an IR camera could hunt for Trojan asteroids and other Earth co-orbiting objects at the L4 or L5 Lagrange points in the near-term. By surveying the region, a zeroth-order approximation of the number of objects could be obtained with some rough constraints on their diameters, which may lead to the identification of potential candidates for further study. This would serve as a precursor for additional future robotic and human exploration targets. Depending on the inclination of these potential objects, they could be used as proving areas for future missions in the sense that the delta-V's to get to these targets are relatively low as compared to other rendezvous missions. They can serve as platforms for extended operations in deep space while interacting with a natural object in microgravity. Theoretically, such low inclination Earth Trojan asteroids exist. By sending a spacecraft to L4 or L5, these likely and potentially accessible targets could be identified.

  11. Distant retrograde orbits and the asteroid hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perozzi, Ettore; Ceccaroni, Marta; Valsecchi, Giovanni B.; Rossi, Alessandro

    2017-08-01

    Distant Retrograde Orbits (DROs) gained a novel wave of fame in space mission design because of their numerous advantages within the framework of the US plans for bringing a large asteroid sample in the vicinity of the Earth as the next target for human exploration. DROs are stable solutions of the three-body problem that can be used whenever an object, whether of natural or artificial nature, is required to remain in the neighborhood of a celestial body without being gravitationally captured by it. As such, they represent an alternative option to Halo orbits around the collinear Lagrangian points L1 and L2. Also known under other names ( e.g., quasi-satellite orbits, cis-lunar orbits, family- f orbits) these orbital configurations found interesting applications in several mission profiles, like that of a spacecraft orbiting around the small irregularly shaped satellite of Mars Phobos or the large Jovian moon Europa. In this paper a basic explanation of the DRO dynamics is presented in order to clarify some geometrical properties that characterize them. Their accessibility is then discussed from the point of view of mission analysis under different assumptions. Finally, their relevance within the framework of the present asteroid hazard protection programs is shown, stressing the significant increase in warning time they would provide in the prediction of impactors coming from the direction of the Sun.

  12. ANTS/PAM: Future Exploration of the Asteroid Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Rilee, M. L.; Cheung, C. Y.

    2004-05-01

    The Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) is applied to the Prospecting Asteroid Mission (PAM) concept, as part of a NASA RASC study. The ANTS architecture is inspired by success of social insect colonies, based on the division of labor within the colonies: 1) within their specialties, individual specialists generally outperform general-ists, and 2) with sufficiently efficient social interaction and coordination, the group of specialists generally outper-forms the group of generalists. ANTS as applied to PAM involves a thousand individual specialist `sciencecraft', one subswarm per target, in an environment where detection and tracking of irregular, infrequent targets is a major chal-lenge. Workers, carry and operate eight to nine different scientific instruments, including spectrometers, ranging and radio science devices, imagers. The remaining specialists, Messenger/Rulers, provide communication and coordina-tion. The non-expendable propulsion system is based on autonomously deployable and configurable solar sails, a system suitable to a low gravity environment. The design of the neural basis function requires a minimum of 4 or 5 specialists for collective decision making. Allowing for ten instrument specialist teams and compensating for antici-pated high attrition, we calculate an initial minimum of 100 per subswarm should allow characterization of hundreds of asteroids. The difficulty in observing irregular, rapidly moving, poorly illuminated objects is largely overcome by the ANT sciencecraft capability to optimize conditions for each instrument. Components are composed of carbon nanotubules reversibly deployable from NEMS nodes, allowing 100 times decrease in packaging volume. 1000 smart 10 centimeter, 1 kg cubic boxes create a 1000 kg 1 meter cube.

  13. Nanoindenting the Chelyabinsk Meteorite to Learn about Impact Deflection Effects in asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moyano-Cambero, Carles E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Martínez-Jiménez, Marina; Lloro, Ivan [Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), Meteorites, Minor Bodies and Planetary Sciences Group, Campus UAB Bellaterra, c/Can Magrans s/n, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona) (Spain); Pellicer, Eva [Departament de Física, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Williams, Iwan P. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary, University of London, 317 Mile End Road, E1 4NS London (United Kingdom); Blum, Jürgen [Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, D-38106 Braunschweig (Germany); Michel, Patrick [Lagrange Laboratory, University of Nice, CNRS, Côte d’Azur Observatory (France); Küppers, Michael [European Space Agency, European Space Astronomy Centre, P.O. Box 78, Villanueva de la Cañada E-28691 (Spain); Sort, Jordi, E-mail: moyano@ice.csic.es, E-mail: trigo@ice.csic.es [Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA) and Departament de Física, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2017-02-01

    The Chelyabinsk meteorite is a highly shocked, low porosity, ordinary chondrite, probably similar to S- or Q-type asteroids. Therefore, nanoindentation experiments on this meteorite allow us to obtain key data to understand the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids. Tests at different length scales provide information about the local mechanical properties of the minerals forming this meteorite: reduced Young’s modulus, hardness, elastic recovery, and fracture toughness. Those tests are also useful to understand the potential to deflect threatening asteroids using a kinetic projectile. We found that the differences in mechanical properties between regions of the meteorite, which increase or reduce the efficiency of impacts, are not a result of compositional differences. A low mean particle size, attributed to repetitive shock, can increase hardness, while low porosity promotes a higher momentum multiplication. Momentum multiplication is the ratio between the change in momentum of a target due to an impact, and the momentum of the projectile, and therefore, higher values imply more efficient impacts. In the Chelyabinsk meteorite, the properties of the light-colored lithology materials facilitate obtaining higher momentum multiplication values, compared to the other regions described for this meteorite. Also, we found a low value of fracture toughness in the shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk, which would promote the ejection of material after an impact and therefore increase the momentum multiplication. These results are relevant to the growing interest in missions to test asteroid deflection, such as the recent collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, known as the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission.

  14. Nanoindenting the Chelyabinsk Meteorite to Learn about Impact Deflection Effects in asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moyano-Cambero, Carles E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Martínez-Jiménez, Marina; Lloro, Ivan; Pellicer, Eva; Williams, Iwan P.; Blum, Jürgen; Michel, Patrick; Küppers, Michael; Sort, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    The Chelyabinsk meteorite is a highly shocked, low porosity, ordinary chondrite, probably similar to S- or Q-type asteroids. Therefore, nanoindentation experiments on this meteorite allow us to obtain key data to understand the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids. Tests at different length scales provide information about the local mechanical properties of the minerals forming this meteorite: reduced Young’s modulus, hardness, elastic recovery, and fracture toughness. Those tests are also useful to understand the potential to deflect threatening asteroids using a kinetic projectile. We found that the differences in mechanical properties between regions of the meteorite, which increase or reduce the efficiency of impacts, are not a result of compositional differences. A low mean particle size, attributed to repetitive shock, can increase hardness, while low porosity promotes a higher momentum multiplication. Momentum multiplication is the ratio between the change in momentum of a target due to an impact, and the momentum of the projectile, and therefore, higher values imply more efficient impacts. In the Chelyabinsk meteorite, the properties of the light-colored lithology materials facilitate obtaining higher momentum multiplication values, compared to the other regions described for this meteorite. Also, we found a low value of fracture toughness in the shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk, which would promote the ejection of material after an impact and therefore increase the momentum multiplication. These results are relevant to the growing interest in missions to test asteroid deflection, such as the recent collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, known as the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission.

  15. Human Health and Performance Considerations for Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Susan L.; Kundrot, Craig; Charles, John B.

    2011-01-01

    This poster paper reviews the Astronaut health and performance issues for a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) mission. Risks and other considerations are grouped into four categories and they are characterized for criticality.

  16. Identification, Calculation Of The Three Dimensional Orbit, And Flux Of Asteroid 2007 TD14

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Vincent; Martin, E.; Millan, J.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years the rate of discovery of asteroids has improved dramatically and has far outstripped efforts to physically characterize them. In this work, we took part in the International Astronomical Search Campaign and confirmed the discovery of asteroid 2007 TD14. We then calculated the two and three dimensional orbit of the asteroid around the sun, given its six elements of orbit. Once the heliocentric and geocentric distances are known, and the visual magnitude of the asteroid obtained through photometry, its diameter can be calculated assuming a suitable value for the albedo. The diameter was 0.718 km and the albedo was 0.039. Using the Standard Thermal Model we calculated the temperature distribution on the surface of the asteroid and the flux of the asteroid in the thermal infrared (1.095 mJy at 22 microns on March 19, 2010). To the best of our knowledge there have been no previous reports of the diameter and flux of the asteroid. Our ultimate goal is to compare our flux values with newly released data from NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Mission and thus obtain better estimates of the asteroid diameter and albedo.

  17. Lifetime of a spacecraft around a synchronous system of asteroids using a dipole model

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Leonardo Barbosa Torres; de Almeida Prado, Antonio F. Bertachini; Sanchez, Diogo Merguizo

    2017-11-01

    Space missions allow us to expand our knowledge about the origin of the solar system. It is believed that asteroids and comets preserve the physical characteristics from the time that the solar system was created. For this reason, there was an increase of missions to asteroids in the past few years. To send spacecraft to asteroids or comets is challenging, since these objects have their own characteristics in several aspects, such as size, shape, physical properties, etc., which are often only discovered after the approach and even after the landing of the spacecraft. These missions must be developed with sufficient flexibility to adjust to these parameters, which are better determined only when the spacecraft reaches the system. Therefore, conducting a dynamic investigation of a spacecraft around a multiple asteroid system offers an extremely rich environment. Extracting accurate information through analytical approaches is quite challenging and requires a significant number of restrictive assumptions. For this reason, a numerical approach to the dynamics of a spacecraft in the vicinity of a binary asteroid system is offered in this paper. In the present work, the equations of the Restricted Synchronous Four-Body Problem (RSFBP) are used to model a binary asteroid system. The main objective of this work is to construct grids of initial conditions, which relates semi-major axis and eccentricity, in order to quantify the lifetime of a spacecraft when released close to the less massive body of the binary system (modeled as a rotating mass dipole). We performed an analysis of the lifetime of the spacecraft considering several mass ratios of a binary system of asteroids and investigating the behavior of a spacecraft in the vicinity of this system. We analyze direct and retrograde orbits. This study investigated orbits that survive for at least 500 orbital periods of the system (which is approximately one year), then not colliding or escaping from the system during this

  18. Investigating the Source of Water and/or Hydroxyl on Asteroid (16) Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takir, D.; Reddy, V.; Sanchez, J. A.; Shepard, M. K.; Emery, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Asteroid (16) Psyche will be visited by the Psyche mission, which was selected by NASA and will be launched in 2022 as the 14th Discovery mission. Psyche is thought to be one of the most massive exposed metallic core in the asteroid belt. The high radar albedos, thermal inertia, and density of Psyche revealed that this asteroid is composed of almost entirely of Fe-Ni metal. Psyche is also characterized by moderately red spectra and the presence of weak features (attributed to silicates) in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) region (0.3-2.5 µm). Recent NIR observations also showed rotational spectral variations indicating a possible change in the metal/silicate ratio on the surface of this asteroid. Additionally, we observed Psyche in the 3-µm spectral region using the long-wavelength cross-dispersed (LXD: 1.9-4.2 µm) mode of the SpeX spectrograph/imager at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Our observations revealed that Psyche exhibits a 3-µm feature, more likely attributed to water- and/or hydroxyl molecules. While the source of water and/or hydroxyl on Psyche remains unclear, we proposed a few possible mechanisms for their formation: (1) the water/hydroxyl-rich materials detected on Psyche might have been delivered to its surface by carbonaceous impactors (like on Vesta), (2) Psyche may not be entirely exposed metallic, instead, its surface has a core-mantle boundary of a differentiated body that was disrupted by impacts (e.g., Pallasite-like), or (3) the water/hydroxyl-rich materials detected on Psyche is produced by Solar wind implantation (like on the Moon). In this talk we will discuss these three possible mechanisms and hypotheses and how they can be tested prior to the launch of the Psyche spacecraft using predictive laboratory measurements and modeling, and during the spacecraft encounter with the asteroid using the mission main instruments that will include the multispectral imagers, the gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer, and the dual

  19. Investigating the Geological History of Asteroid 101955 Bennu Through Remote Sensing and Returned Sample Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, S.; Connolly, H. C., Jr.; Lauretta, D. S.; Bottke, W. F.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA New Frontiers Mission OSRIS-REx will return surface regolith samples from near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu in September 2023. This target is classified as a B-type asteroid and is spectrally similar to CI and CM chondrite meteorites [1]. The returned samples are thus expected to contain primitive ancient Solar System materials that formed in planetary, nebular, interstellar, and circumstellar environments. Laboratory studies of primitive astromaterials have yielded detailed constraints on the origins, properties, and evolutionary histories of a wide range of Solar System bodies. Yet, the parent bodies of meteorites and cosmic dust are generally unknown, genetic and evolutionary relationships among asteroids and comets are unsettled, and links between laboratory and remote observations remain tenuous. The OSIRIS-REx mission will offer the opportunity to coordinate detailed laboratory analyses of asteroidal materials with known and well characterized geological context from which the samples originated. A primary goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission will be to provide detailed constraints on the origin and geological and dynamical history of Bennu through coordinated analytical studies of the returned samples. These microanalytical studies will be placed in geological context through an extensive orbital remote sensing campaign that will characterize the global geological features and chemical diversity of Bennu. The first views of the asteroid surface and of the returned samples will undoubtedly bring remarkable surprises. However, a wealth of laboratory studies of meteorites and spacecraft encounters with primitive bodies provides a useful framework to formulate priority scientific questions and effective analytical approaches well before the samples are returned. Here we summarize our approach to unraveling the geological history of Bennu through returned sample analyses.

  20. The OVIRS Visible/IR Spectrometer on the OSIRIS-Rex Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, D. C.; Simon-Miller, A. A.

    2012-01-01

    The OSIRIS-REx (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer) Mission is a planetary science mission to study, and return a sample from, the carbonaceous asteroid 1999 RQ-36. The third mission selected under NASA's New Frontiers Program, it is scheduled to be launched in 2016. It is led by PI Dante Lauretta at the University of Arizona and managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The spacecraft and the asteroid sampling mechanism, TAGSAM (Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) will be provided by Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Instrumentation for studying the asteroid include: OCAMS (the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite), OLA (the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter, a scanning LIDAR), OTES (The OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer, a 4-50 micron point spectrometer) and OVIRS (the OSIRIS-REx Visible and IR Spectrometer, a 0.4 to 4.3 micron point spectrometer). The payload also includes REXIS (the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer) a student provided experiment. This paper presents a description of the OVIRS instrument.

  1. FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC Spacecraft Constellation System, Mission Results, and Prospect for Follow-On Mission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen-Joe Fong

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC spacecraft constellation consisting of six LEO satellites is the world's first operational GPS Radio Occultation (RO mission. The mission is jointly developed by Taiwan¡¦s National Space Organization (NSPO and the United States¡¦UCAR in collaboration with NSF, USAF, NOAA, NASA, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the US Naval Research Laboratory. The FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC satellites were successfully launched from Vandenberg US AFB in California at 0140 UTC 15 April 2006 into the same orbit plane of the designated 516 km altitude. The mission goal is to deploy the six satellites into six orbit planes at 800 km altitude with a 30-degree separation for evenly distributed global coverage. All six FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC satellites are currently maintaining a satisfactory good state-of-health. Five out of six satellites have reached their final mission orbit of 800 km as of November 2007. The data as received by FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC satellites constellation have been processed in near real time into 2500 good ionospheric profiles and 1800 good atmospheric profiles per day. These have outnumbered the worldwide radiosondes (~900 mostly over land launched from the ground per day. The processed atmospheric RO data have been assimilated into the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP models for real-time weather prediction and typhoon/hurricane forecasting by many major weather centers in the world. This paper describes the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC satellite constellation system performance and the mission results that span the period from April 2006 to October 2007; and reviews the prospect of a future follow-on mission.

  2. Robotic Missions to Small Bodies and Their Potential Contributions to Human Exploration and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Robotic missions to small bodies will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration and planetary defense. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. The science and technical data obtained from robotic precursor missions that investigate the surface and interior physical characteristics of an object will help identify the pertinent physical properties that will maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for both robotic assets and crew operating in close proximity to, or at the surface of, a small body. These data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations. These data can also be applied for gaining an understanding of pertinent small body physical characteristics that would also be beneficial for formulating future impact mitigation procedures. Small Body Strategic Knowledge Gaps: For the past several years NASA has been interested in identifying the key SKGs related to future human destinations. These SKGs highlight the various unknowns and/or data gaps of targets that the science and engineering communities would like to have filled in prior to committing crews to explore the Solar System. An action team from the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) was formed specifically to identify the small body SKGs under the

  3. Robotic planetary mission benefits from nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelley, J.H.; Yen, C.L.

    1992-01-01

    Several interesting planetary missions are either enabled or significantly enhanced by nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) in the 50 to 100 kW power range. These missions include a Pluto Orbiter/Probe with an 11-year flight time and several years of operational life in orbit versus a ballistic very fast (13 km/s) flyby which would take longer to get to Pluto and would have a very short time to observe the planet. (A ballistic orbiter would take about 40 years to get to Pluto.) Other missions include a Neptune Orbiter/Probe, a Jupiter Grand Tour orbiting each of the major moons in order, a Uranus Orbiter/Probe, a Multiple Mainbelt Asteroid Rendezvous orbiting six selected asteroids, and a Comet Nucleus Sample Return. This paper discusses potential missions and compares the nuclear electric propulsion option to the conventional ballistic approach on a parametric basis

  4. Visible/Near-Infrared Spectral Properties of MUSES C Target Asteroid 25143 Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, K. S.; Vilas, F.; Kelley, M. S.; Abell, P. A.

    2004-01-01

    The Japanese MUSES C mission launched the Hayabusa spacecraft last May 15, 2003, to encounter and study the near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa. The spacecraft will obtain visible images through broadband filters similar to the ECAS filters, and near-infrared spectra from 0.85 - 2.1 microns. In preparation for this encounter, opportunities to study the asteroid with Earth-based telescopes have been fully leveraged. Visible and near-infrared spectral observations were made of asteroid 25143 Itokawa during several nights of March, 2001, around the last apparition. We report here on the results of extensive spectral observations made to address the questions of compositional variations across the surface of the asteroid (as determined by the rotational period and shape model); variations in phase angle (Sun-Itokawa-Earth angle) on spectral characteristics; and predictions of Itokawa observations by Hayabusa based on the spectral resolution and responsivity of the NIRS and AMICA instruments.

  5. Three dimensional modelling for the target asteroid of HAYABUSA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demura, H.; Kobayashi, S.; Asada, N.; Hashimoto, T.; Saito, J.

    Hayabusa program is the first sample return mission of Japan. This was launched at May 9 2003, and will arrive at the target asteroid 25143 Itokawa on June 2005. The spacecraft has three optical navigation cameras, which are two wide angle ones and a telescopic one. The telescope with a filter wheel was named AMICA (Asteroid Multiband Imaging CAmera). We are going to model a shape of the target asteroid by this telescope; expected resolution: 1m/pixel at 10 km in distanc, field of view: 5.7 squared degrees, MPP-type CCD with 1024 x 1000 pixels. Because size of the Hayabusa is about 1x1x1 m, our goal is shape modeling with about 1m in precision on the basis of a camera system with scanning by rotation of the asteroid. This image-based modeling requires sequential images via AMICA and a history of distance between the asteroid and Hayabusa provided by a Laser Range Finder. We established a system of hierarchically recursive search with sub-pixel matching of Ground Control Points, which are picked up with Susan Operator. The matched dataset is restored with a restriction of epipolar geometry, and the obtained a group of three dimensional points are converted to a polygon model with Delaunay Triangulation. The current status of our development for the shape modeling is displayed.

  6. Asteroid/meteorite streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, J.

    The independent discovery of the same three streams (named alpha, beta, and gamma) among 139 Earth approaching asteroids and among 89 meteorite producing fireballs presents the possibility of matching specific meteorites to specific asteroids, or at least to asteroids in the same stream and, therefore, presumably of the same composition. Although perhaps of limited practical value, the three meteorites with known orbits are all ordinary chondrites. To identify, in general, the taxonomic type of the parent asteroid, however, would be of great scientific interest since these most abundant meteorite types cannot be unambiguously spectrally matched to an asteroid type. The H5 Pribram meteorite and asteroid 4486 (unclassified) are not part of a stream, but travel in fairly similar orbits. The LL5 Innisfree meteorite is orbitally similar to asteroid 1989DA (unclassified), and both are members of a fourth stream (delta) defined by five meteorite-dropping fireballs and this one asteroid. The H5 Lost City meteorite is orbitally similar to 1980AA (S type), which is a member of stream gamma defined by four asteroids and four fireballs. Another asteroid in this stream is classified as an S type, another is QU, and the fourth is unclassified. This stream suggests that ordinary chondrites should be associated with S (and/or Q) asteroids. Two of the known four V type asteroids belong to another stream, beta, defined by five asteroids and four meteorite-dropping (but unrecovered) fireballs, making it the most probable source of the eucrites. The final stream, alpha, defined by five asteroids and three fireballs is of unknown composition since no meteorites have been recovered and only one asteroid has an ambiguous classification of QRS. If this stream, or any other as yet undiscovered ones, were found to be composed of a more practical material (e.g., water or metalrich), then recovery of the associated meteorites would provide an opportunity for in-hand analysis of a potential

  7. ASTROMETRIC MASSES OF 26 ASTEROIDS AND OBSERVATIONS ON ASTEROID POROSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.; Matson, Robert D.

    2011-01-01

    As an application of our recent observational error model, we present the astrometric masses of 26 main-belt asteroids. We also present an integrated ephemeris of 300 large asteroids, which was used in the mass determination algorithm to model significant perturbations from the rest of the main belt. After combining our mass estimates with those of other authors, we study the bulk porosities of over 50 main-belt asteroids and observe that asteroids as large as 300 km in diameter may be loose aggregates. This finding may place specific constraints on models of main-belt collisional evolution. Additionally, we observe that C-group asteroids tend to have significantly higher macroporosity than S-group asteroids.

  8. The assessment of GRASP as a prospective ESA gamma ray astronomy mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bignami, G.; Villa, G.; Dean, A.J.

    1987-01-01

    The GRASP mission - Gamma-Ray Astronomy with Spectroscopy and Positioning was originally proposed as a prospective European astronomy mission by the representatives of a wide European community. The project was selected by ESA for a detailed assessment study which was duly completed in December 1986. The telescope has been designed as a high quality spectral imager (E/ΔE∼1000, Δθ∼6') which operates over a wide spectral range (15 keV to >∼100 MeV) with a (3σ) sensitivity of typically 10 m Crab or better over the entire operational range within an observation period of 10 5 s. Two principal mission scenarios were considered

  9. Main-belt Asteroids in the K2 Uranus Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnár, L.; Pál, A.; Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, R.; Vinkó, J.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Kiss, Cs.; Hanyecz, O.; Marton, G.; Kiss, L. L.

    2018-02-01

    We present the K2 light curves of a large sample of untargeted main-belt asteroids (MBAs) detected with the Kepler Space Telescope. The asteroids were observed within the Uranus superstamp, a relatively large, continuous field with a low stellar background designed to cover the planet Uranus and its moons during Campaign 8 of the K2 mission. The superstamp offered the possibility of obtaining precise, uninterrupted light curves of a large number of MBAs and thus determining unambiguous rotation rates for them. We obtained photometry for 608 MBAs, and were able to determine or estimate rotation rates for 90 targets, of which 86 had no known values before. In an additional 16 targets we detected incomplete cycles and/or eclipse-like events. We found the median rotation rate to be significantly longer than that of the ground-based observations, indicating that the latter are biased toward shorter rotation rates. Our study highlights the need and benefits of further continuous photometry of asteroids.

  10. Automated Design of Propellant-Optimal, End-to-End, Low-Thrust Trajectories for Trojan Asteroid Tours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Jeffrey; Howell, Kathleen; Wilson, Roby

    2013-01-01

    The Sun-Jupiter Trojan asteroids are celestial bodies of great scientific interest as well as potential resources offering water and other mineral resources for longterm human exploration of the solar system. Previous investigations under this project have addressed the automated design of tours within the asteroid swarm. This investigation expands the current automation scheme by incorporating options for a complete trajectory design approach to the Trojan asteroids. Computational aspects of the design procedure are automated such that end-to-end trajectories are generated with a minimum of human interaction after key elements and constraints associated with a proposed mission concept are specified.

  11. The Main Asteroid Belt: The Crossroads of the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    Orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, main belt asteroids are leftover planetary building blocks that never accreted enough material to become planets. They are therefore keys to understanding how the Solar System formed and evolved. They may also provide clues to the origin of life, as similar bodies may have delivered organics and water to the early Earth.Strong associations between asteroids and meteorites emerged thanks to multi-technique observations, modeling, in situ and sample return analyses. Spacecraft images revolutionized our knowledge of these small worlds. Asteroids are stunning in their diversity in terms of physical properties. Their gravity varies by more orders of magnitude than its variation among the terrestrial planets, including the Moon. Each rendezvous with an asteroid thus turned our geological understanding on its head as each asteroid is affected in different ways by a variety of processes such as landslides, faulting, and impact cratering. Composition also varies, from ice-rich to lunar-like to chondritic.Nearly every asteroid we see today, whether of primitive or evolved compositions, is the product of a complex history involving accretion and one or more episodes of catastrophic disruption that sometimes resulted in families of smaller asteroids that have distinct and indicative petrogenic relationships. These families provide the best data to study the impact disruption process at scales far larger than those accessible in laboratory. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of early asteroids grew large enough to thermally differentiate. Their traces are scattered pieces of their metal-rich cores and, more rarely, their mantles and crusts.Asteroids represent stages on the rocky road to planet formation. They have great stories to tell about the formation and evolution of our Solar System as well as other planetary systems: asteroid belts seem common around Sun-like stars. We will review our current knowledge on their properties, their link to

  12. Deep Interior: The first comprehensive geophysical investigation of an asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.; Belton, M.; Klaasen, K.; McFadden, L.; Ostro, S.; Safaeinili, A.; Scheeres, D.; Sunshine, J.; Yeomans, D.

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) come closer to Earth than any other celestial body, and their compositions are represented on Earth by thousands of well-studied meteorites. Yet we understand neither their origin, evolution, nor their geophysical behavior. These secrets are locked up in their unexplored interiors. Goal 1 of the NASA Strategic Plan emphasizes the requirement to catalogue and understand NEOs down to 1 km diameter. Goal 4 urges us to understand natural processes at work in the low gravity environment. Goal 5 expresses the need to explore the solar system and to learn how planets originated and evolved. In response to the NASA Strategic Plan we are proposing a NASA Discovery mission whose primary science objective is to greatly advance the realization of these Goals by conducting the first investigation of the global geophysics of an asteroid. Radio reflection data from 5 km orbit about a 1 km NEO will provide a tomographic 3D image of electromagnetic properties. Mechanical properties will be examined in the simplest possible way, using explosions to initiate seismic cratering events and to expose diverse interior units for spectroscopic analysis. Deep Interior is the lowest-risk, lowest cost path towards attaining the required characterization of NEOs. It breaks new ground for future missions to asteroids and comets and facilitates the design of reliable NEO technologies. Our science goals are as follows, and the techniques (radio science, imaging, IR spectroscopy, active surface science) will be described at this meeting: Asteroid Interiors. Radio, gravity, and seismology experiments give a complete first picture of an asteroid's deep interior, resolving inclusions, voids and unit boundaries at ˜ 30 m scales, and determining global and regional mechanical properties. Surface Geophysics. Blast experiments explore the structure and mechanics of the upper meters, demonstrate microgravity cratering, trigger natural geomorphic events, and expose subsurface

  13. Poor Man's Asteroid Sample Return Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, R. R.; Graham, L. D.

    2018-02-01

    A cislunar platform at a Near-Rectilinear [Halo] Orbit in the vicinity of the Moon could provide an opportunity for a small NEA sample return mission at relatively low cost. There are a couple potential small ( 1m) object target dynamical groups.

  14. Advances in Astromaterials Curation: Supporting Future Sample Return Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, C. A.; Zeigler, R. A.; Fries, M. D..; Righter, K.; Allton, J. H.; Zolensky, M. E.; Calaway, M. J.; Bell, M. S.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Astromaterials, curated at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, are the most extensive, best-documented, and leastcontaminated extraterrestrial samples that are provided to the worldwide research community. These samples include lunar samples from the Apollo missions, meteorites collected over nearly 40 years of expeditions to Antarctica (providing samples of dozens of asteroid bodies, the Moon, and Mars), Genesis solar wind samples, cosmic dust collected by NASA's high altitude airplanes, Comet Wild 2 and interstellar dust samples from the Stardust mission, and asteroid samples from JAXA's Hayabusa mission. A full account of NASA's curation efforts for these collections is provided by Allen, et al [1]. On average, we annually allocate about 1500 individual samples from NASA's astromaterials collections to hundreds of researchers from around the world, including graduate students and post-doctoral scientists; our allocation rate has roughly doubled over the past 10 years. The curation protocols developed for the lunar samples returned from the Apollo missions remain relevant and are adapted to new and future missions. Several lessons from the Apollo missions, including the need for early involvement of curation scientists in mission planning [1], have been applied to all subsequent sample return campaigns. From the 2013 National Academy of Sciences report [2]: "Curation is the critical interface between sample return missions and laboratory research. Proper curation has maintained the scientific integrity and utility of the Apollo, Antarctic meteorite, and cosmic dust collections for decades. Each of these collections continues to yield important new science. In the past decade, new state-of-the-art curatorial facilities for the Genesis and Stardust missions were key to the scientific breakthroughs provided by these missions." The results speak for themselves: research on NASA's astromaterials result in hundreds of papers annually, yield fundamental

  15. Incoming asteroid! what could we do about it?

    CERN Document Server

    Lunan, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    Lately there have been more and more news stories on objects from space – such as asteroids, comets, and meteors – whizzing past Earth. One even exploded in the atmosphere over a Russian city in 2012, causing real damage and injuries. Impacts are not uncommon in our Solar System, even on Earth, and people are beginning to realize that we must prepare for such an event here on Earth.   What if we knew there was going to be an impact in 10 years’ time? What could we do? It’s not so far in the future that we can ignore the threat, and not so soon that nothing could be done. The author and his colleagues set out to explore how they could turn aside a rock asteroid, one kilometer in diameter, within this 10-year timescale.   Having set themselves this challenge, they identified the steps that might be taken, using technologies that are currently under development or proposed. They considered an unmanned mission, a follow-up manned mission, and a range of final options, along with ways to reduce the worst...

  16. PHYSICAL PARAMETERS OF ASTEROIDS ESTIMATED FROM THE WISE 3-BAND DATA AND NEOWISE POST-CRYOGENIC SURVEY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Cutri, R. M. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); McMillan, R. S. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Nugent, C. R. [Department of Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Box 951567, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Tholen, D. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Walker, R. [Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, Monterey, CA 93933 (United States); Wright, E. L., E-mail: amainzer@jpl.nasa.gov [Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547 (United States)

    2012-11-20

    Enhancements to the science data processing pipeline of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, collectively known as NEOWISE, resulted in the detection of >158,000 minor planets in four infrared wavelengths during the fully cryogenic portion of the mission. Following the depletion of its cryogen, NASA's Planetary Science Directorate funded a four-month extension to complete the survey of the inner edge of the Main Asteroid Belt and to detect and discover near-Earth objects (NEOs). This extended survey phase, known as the NEOWISE Post-Cryogenic Survey, resulted in the detection of {approx}6500 large Main Belt asteroids and 86 NEOs in its 3.4 and 4.6 {mu}m channels. During the Post-Cryogenic Survey, NEOWISE discovered and detected a number of asteroids co-orbital with the Earth and Mars, including the first known Earth Trojan. We present preliminary thermal fits for these and other NEOs detected during the 3-Band Cryogenic and Post-Cryogenic Surveys.

  17. Asteroid size distributions for the main belt and for asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazantzev, A.; Kazantzeva, L.

    2017-12-01

    The asteroid-size distribution for he Eos family was constructed. The WISE database containing the albedo p and the size D of over 80,000 asteroids was used. The b parameter of the power-law dependence has a minimum at some average values of the asteroid size of the family. A similar dependence b(D) exists for the whole asteroid belt. An assumption on the possible similarity of the formation mechanisms of the asteroid belt as a whole and separate families is made.

  18. The U.S. Rosetta Project at Its First Science Target: Asteroid (2867) Steins, 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, C.; Sweetnam, D.; Gulkis, S.; Weissman, P.; Holmes, D.; Parker, J.; Burch, J.; Goldstein, R.; Mokashi, P.; Fuselier, S.; hide

    2010-01-01

    On September 5, 2008, the International Rosetta Mission encountered its first formal science target of the mission, asteroid (2867) Steins. We report preliminary results from the U.S. experiments. NASA's contribution to the Rosetta mission consists of an ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer, a microwave spectrometer, a plasma instrument, and a portion of the electronics package for a mass spectrometer. The UV spectrometer (Alice) was used to obtain the first far-ultraviolet (FUV) spectrum of an asteroid. A ten-minute integration, surrounding the time of closest approach, averaging over a variety of geometries, showed very good signal from 850 Angstroms to 2000 Angstroms in the FUV. The microwave instrument (MIRO) obtained a high signal to noise measurement at both observing frequencies, enabling key thermal parameters to be derived. The plasma instrument (IES) obtained a brief measurement of the solar wind, and the Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer (DFMS) of the ROSINA instrument obtained a signal just at closest approach. Laboratory work with analogue materials was begun.

  19. NASA's Discovery Mission to (16) Psyche: Visiting a Metal World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Bell, J. F., III

    2017-09-01

    The Psyche mission is one of NASA's most recent Discovery mission selections. It is designed to explore the large metallic Main Belt asteroid (16) Psyche and test the hypothesis that it is the exposed core of an ancient differentiated planetesimal.

  20. Characterization of the Surface Properties of MUSES-C/Hayabusa Spacecraft Target Asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Domingue, D. L.; Vilas, F.; Abe, M.; Farnham, T. L.; Jarvis, K. S.; Lowry, S. C.; Ohba, Y.; Weissman, P. R.; French, L. M.

    2004-01-01

    Several spacecraft missions have recently targeted asteroids to study their morphologies and physical properties (e.g. Galileo, NEAR Shoemaker), and more are planned. MUSES-C is a Japanese mission designed to rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid (NEA). The MUSES-C spacecraft, Hayabusa, was launched successfully in May 2003. It will rendezvous with its target asteroid in 2005, and return samples to the Earth in 2007. Its target, 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36), made a close approach to the Earth in 2001. We collected an extensive ground-based database of broadband photometry obtained during this time, which maximized the phase angle coverage, to characterize this target in preparation for the mission. Our project was designed to capitalize on the broadband UBVRI photometric observations taken with a series of telescopes, instrumentation, and observers. Photometry and spectrophotometry of Itokawa were acquired at Lowell, McDonald, Steward, Palomar, Table Mountain and Kiso Observatories. The photometric data sets were combined to calculate Hapke model parameters of the surface material of Itokawa, and examine the solar-corrected broadband color characteristics of the asteroid. Broadband photometry of an object can be used to: (1) determine its colors and thereby contribute to the understanding of its surface composition and taxonomic class, and (2) infer global physical surface properties of the target body. We present both colors from UBVRI observations of the MUSES-C target Itokawa, and physical properties derived by applying a Hapke model to the broadband BVRI photometry.

  1. Deep Interior: Radio Reflection Tomographic Imaging of Earth-Crossing Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.; Belton, M.; Safaeinili, A.; Klaasen, K.; Ostro, S.; Yeomans, D.; Plaut, J.

    2004-12-01

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) present an important scientific question and an intriguing space hazard. They are scrutinized by a number of large, dedicated groundbased telescopes, and their diverse compositions are represented by thousands of well-studied meteorites. A successful program of NEO spacecraft exploration has begun, and we are proposing Deep Interior as the next logical step. Our mission objective is to image the deep interior structure of two NEOs using radio reflection tomography (RRT), in order to explore the record of asteroid origin and impact evolution, and to test the fundamental hypothesis that these important members of the solar system are rubble piles rather than consolidated bodies. Asteroid Interiors. Our mission's RRT technique is like a CAT scan from orbit. Closely sampled radar echoes yield volumetric maps of mechanical and compositional boundaries, and measure interior material dielectric properties. Exteriors. We use color imaging to explore the surface expressions of unit boundaries, in order to relate interior radar imaging to what is observable from spacecraft imaging and from Earth. Gravity and high fidelity geodesy are used to explore how interior structure is expressed in shape, density, mass distribution and spin. Diversity. We first visit a common, primitive, S-type asteroid. We next visit an asteroid that was perhaps blasted from the surface of a differentiated asteroid. We attain an up-close and inside look at two taxonomic archetypes spanning an important range of NEO mass and spin rate. Scientific focus is achieved by keeping our payload simple: Radar. A 30-m (tip-to-tip) cross-dipole antenna system operates at 5 and 15-MHz, with electronics heritage from JPL's MARSIS contribution to Mars Express, and antenna heritage from IMAGE and LACE. The 5-MHz channel is designed to penetrate >1 km of basaltic rock, and 15-MHz penetrates a few 100 m or more. They bracket the diversity of solar system materials that we are likely to

  2. Laboratory Studies of Cometary Materials - Continuity Between Asteroid and Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Scott; Walker, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Laboratory analysis of cometary samples have been enabled by collection of cometary dust in the stratosphere by high altitude aircraft and by the direct sampling of the comet Wild-2 coma by the NASA Stardust spacecraft. Cometary materials are composed of a complex assemblage of highly primitive, unprocessed interstellar and primordial solar system materials as well as a variety of high temperature phases that must have condensed in the inner regions of the protoplanetary disk. These findings support and contradict conclusions of comet properties based solely on astronomical observations. These sample return missions have instead shown that there is a continuity of properties between comets and asteroids, where both types of materials show evidence for primitive and processed materials. Furthermore, these findings underscore the importance and value of direct sample return. There will be great value in comparing the findings of the Stardust cometary coma sample return mission with those of future asteroid surface sample returns OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa II as well as future comet nucleus sample returns.

  3. The Ion Propulsion System for the Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Daniel A.; Santiago, Walter; Kamhawi, Hani; Polk, James E.; Snyder, John Steven; Hofer, Richard R.; Parker, J. Morgan

    2015-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission is a candidate Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission whose main objectives are to develop and demonstrate a high-power solar electric propulsion capability for the Agency and return an asteroidal mass for rendezvous and characterization in a companion human-crewed mission. The ion propulsion system must be capable of operating over an 8-year time period and processing up to 10,000 kg of xenon propellant. This high-power solar electric propulsion capability, or an extensible derivative of it, has been identified as a critical part of an affordable, beyond-low-Earth-orbit, manned-exploration architecture. Under the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate the critical electric propulsion and solar array technologies are being developed. The ion propulsion system being co-developed by the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle is based on the NASA-developed 12.5 kW Hall Effect Rocket with Magnetic Shielding (HERMeS0 thruster and power processing technologies. This paper presents the conceptual design for the ion propulsion system, the status of the NASA in-house thruster and power processing activity, and an update on flight hardware.

  4. Cohesion of Mm- to Cm-Sized Asteroid Simulant Grains: An Experimental Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisset, Julie; Colwell, Joshua E.; Dove, Adrienne; Jarmak, Stephanie; Anderson, Seamus

    2017-10-01

    The regolith covering the surfaces of asteroids and planetary satellites is very different from terrestrial soil particles and subject to environmental conditions very different from what is found on Earth. The loose, unconsolidated granular material has angular-shaped grains and a broad size distribution. On small and airless bodies (Earth surface gravity, the cohesion behavior of the regolith grains will dictate the asteroid’s surface morphology and its response to impact or spacecraft contact.Previous laboratory experiments on low-velocity impacts into regolith simulant with grain sizes landing missions to small bodies such as asteroids or Martian moons.

  5. Classification of IRAS asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, E.F.; Matson, D.L.; Veeder, G.J.

    1989-01-01

    Albedos and spectral reflectances are essential for classifying asteroids. For example, classes E, M and P are indistinguishable without albedo data. Colorometric data are available for about 1000 asteroids but, prior to IRAS, albedo data was available for only about 200. IRAS broke this bottleneck by providing albedo data on nearly 2000 asteroids. Hence, excepting absolute magnitudes, the albedo and size are now the most common asteroid physical parameters known. In this chapter the authors present the results of analyses of IRAS-derived asteroid albedos, discuss their application to asteroid classification, and mention several studies which might be done to exploit further this data set

  6. Calculation methods for estimating the prospects of a space experiment by means of impact by asteroid Apophis on the Moon surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrik, A. V.; Kazantsev, A. M.

    2018-01-01

    The problem of principal change of asteroid 99952 (Apophis) orbit is formulated. Aim of this change is the termination of asteroid motion in Solar system. Instead of the passive rescue tactics from asteroid threat, an option is proposed for using the asteroid for setting up a large-scale space experiment on the impact interaction of the asteroid with the Moon. The scientific and methodical apparatus for calculating the possibility of realization, searching and justification the scientific uses of this space experiment is considered.

  7. MIT Project Apophis: Surface Evaulation & Tomography (SET) Mission Study for the April 2029 Earth Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, R. P.; Earle, A. M.; Vanatta, M.; Miller, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    Nature is providing a once-per-thousand year opportunity to study the geophysical outcome induced on an unprecedentedly large (350 meter) asteroid making an extremely close passage by the Earth (inside the distance of geosynchronous satellites) on Friday April 13, 2029. The aircraft carrier-sized (estimated 20 million metric ton) asteroid is named Apophis. While many previous spacecraft missions have studied asteroids, none has ever had the opportunity to study "live" the outcome of planetary tidal forces on their shapes, spin states, surface geology, and internal structure. Beyond the science interest directly observing this planetary process, the Apophis encounter provides an invaluable opportunity to gain knowledge for any eventuality of a known asteroid found to be on a certain impact trajectory. MIT's Project Apophis [1] is our response to nature's generous opportunity by developing a detailed mission concept for sending a spacecraft to orbit Apophis with the objectives of surveying its surface and interior structure before, during, and after its 2029 near-Earth encounter. The Surface Evaluation & Tomography (SET) mission concept we present is designed toward accomplishing three key science objectives: (1) bulk physical characterization, (2) internal structure, and (3) long-term orbit tracking. For its first mission objective, SET will study Apophis' bulk properties, including: shape, size, mass, volume, bulk density, surface geology, and composition, rotation rate, and spin state. The second mission objective is to characterize Apophis' internal structure before and after the encounter to determine its strength and cohesion - including tidally induced changes. Finally, the third objective studies the process of thermal re-radiation and consequential Yarkovsky drift, whose results will improve orbit predictions for Apophis as well as other potentially hazardous asteroids. [1] https://eapsweb.mit.edu/mit-project-apophis

  8. Size, Albedo, and Taxonomy of the Don Quijote Space Mission Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alan; Mueller, Michael; Fitzsimmons, Alan

    2006-03-01

    Rendezvous and lander missions are a very effective but very expensive way of investigating Solar-System bodies. The planning, optimization and success of space missions depends crucially on prior remotely-sensed knowledge of target bodies. Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), which are mainly fragments of main-belt asteroids, are seen as important goals for investigation by space missions, mainly due to the role their forebears played in planet formation and the evolution of the Solar System, but also for the pragmatic reason that these objects can collide with the Earth with potentially devastating consequences. The European Space Agency is currently planning the Don Quijote mission to a NEA, which includes a rendezvous (and perhaps a lander) spacecraft and an impactor vehicle. The aim is to study the physical properties of the target asteroid and the effects of the impact on its dynamical state, as a first step in considering realistic mitigation measures against an eventual hazardous NEA. Two potential targets have been selected for the mission, the preferred one being (10302) 1989 ML, which is energetically easier to reach and is possibly a scientifically interesting primitive asteroid. However, due to the ambiguity of available spectral data, it is currently not possible to confidently determine the taxonomic type and mineralogy of this object. Crucially, the albedo is uncertain by a factor of 10, which leads to large uncertainties in the size and mass and hence the planned near-surface operations of Don Quijote. Thermal-infrared observations are urgently required for accurate size and albedo determination. These observations, which can only be carried out by Spitzer and would require only a modest amount of observing time, would enable an accurate diameter to be derived for the first time and the resulting albedo would remove the taxonomic ambiguity. The proposed Spitzer observations are critical for effective mission planning and would greatly increase our

  9. Solar Wind Plasma Interaction with Asteroid 16 Psyche: Implication for Formation Theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatemi, Shahab; Poppe, Andrew R.

    2018-01-01

    The asteroid 16 Psyche is a primitive metal-rich asteroid that has not yet been visited by spacecraft. Based on remote observations, Psyche is most likely composed of iron and nickel metal; however, the history of its formation and solidification is still unknown. If Psyche is a remnant core of a differentiated planetesimal exposed by collisions, it opens a unique window toward understanding the cores of the terrestrial bodies, including the Earth and Mercury. If not, it is perhaps a reaccreted rubble pile that has never melted. In the former case, Psyche may have a remanent, dipolar magnetic field; in the latter case, Psyche may have no intrinsic field, but nevertheless would be a conductive object in the solar wind. We use Advanced Modeling Infrastructure in Space Simulation (AMITIS), a three-dimensional GPU-based hybrid model of plasma that self-consistently couples the interior electromagnetic response of Psyche (i.e., magnetic diffusion) to its ambient plasma environment in order to quantify the different interactions under these two cases. The model results provide estimates for the electromagnetic environment of Psyche, showing that the magnetized case and the conductive case present very different signatures in the solar wind. These results have implications for an accurate interpretation of magnetic field observations by NASA's Discovery mission (Psyche mission) to the asteroid 16 Psyche.

  10. Asteroid rotation rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.; Farinella, P.

    1989-01-01

    Within the last decade the data base of asteroid rotation parameters (rotation rates and lightcurve amplitudes) has become sufficiently large to identify some definite rends and properties which can help us to interpret asteroid collisional evolution. Many significant correlations are found between rotation parameters and diameter, with distinct changes occurring near 125 km. The size range, which is also the diameter above which self-gravity may become important, perhaps represents a division between surviving primordial asteroids and collisional fragments. A Maxwellian is able to fit the observed rotation rate distributions of asteroids with D>125 km, implying that their rotation rates may be determined by collisional evolution. Asteroids with D<125 km show an excess of slow rotators and their non-Maxwellian distributions suggests that their rotation rates are more strongly influenced by other processes, such as the distribution resulting from their formation in catastrophic disruption events. Other correlations observed in the data set include different mean rotation rates for C, S and M type asteroids implying that their surface spectra are indicative of bulk properties

  11. Asteroid taxonomy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    The spectral reflectivity of asteroid surfaces over the wavelength range of 0.3 to 1.1 μm can be used to classify these objects onto several broad groups with similar spectral characteristics. The three most recently developed taxonomies group the asteroids into 9, 11 or 14 different classes, depending on the technique used to perform the analysis. The distribution of the taxonomic classes shows that darker and redder objects become more dominant at larger heliocentric distances, while the rare asteroid types are found more frequently among the small objects of the planet-crossing population

  12. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) for OSIRIS-REx: Identifying Regional Elemental Enrichment on Asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Hong, Jaesub; Binzel, Richard P.; Masterson, Rebecca; Inamdar, Niraj K.; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew W.; Bautz, Marshall W.; Kissel, Steven E.; Villasenor, Joel; Oprescu, Miruna; Induni, Nicholas

    2013-01-01

    The OSIRIS-REx Mission was selected under the NASA New Frontiers program and is scheduled for launch in September of 2016 for a rendezvous with, and collection of a sample from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2019. 101955 Bennu (previously 1999 RQ36) is an Apollo (near-Earth) asteroid originally discovered by the LINEAR project in 1999 which has since been classified as a potentially hazardous near-Earth object. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) was proposed jointly by MIT an...

  13. Asteroid clusters similar to asteroid pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, P.; Fatka, P.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Scheeres, D. J.; Kušnirák, P.; Hornoch, K.; Galád, A.; Vraštil, J.; Pray, D. P.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Inasaridze, R. Ya.; Ayvazian, V. R.; Kvaratskhelia, O. I.; Zhuzhunadze, V. T.; Husárik, M.; Cooney, W. R.; Gross, J.; Terrell, D.; Világi, J.; Kornoš, L.; Gajdoš, Š.; Burkhonov, O.; Ehgamberdiev, Sh. A.; Donchev, Z.; Borisov, G.; Bonev, T.; Rumyantsev, V. V.; Molotov, I. E.

    2018-04-01

    We studied the membership, size ratio and rotational properties of 13 asteroid clusters consisting of between 3 and 19 known members that are on similar heliocentric orbits. By backward integrations of their orbits, we confirmed their cluster membership and estimated times elapsed since separation of the secondaries (the smaller cluster members) from the primary (i.e., cluster age) that are between 105 and a few 106 years. We ran photometric observations for all the cluster primaries and a sample of secondaries and we derived their accurate absolute magnitudes and rotation periods. We found that 11 of the 13 clusters follow the same trend of primary rotation period vs mass ratio as asteroid pairs that was revealed by Pravec et al. (2010). We generalized the model of the post-fission system for asteroid pairs by Pravec et al. (2010) to a system of N components formed by rotational fission and we found excellent agreement between the data for the 11 asteroid clusters and the prediction from the theory of their formation by rotational fission. The two exceptions are the high-mass ratio (q > 0.7) clusters of (18777) Hobson and (22280) Mandragora for which a different formation mechanism is needed. Two candidate mechanisms for formation of more than one secondary by rotational fission were published: the secondary fission process proposed by Jacobson and Scheeres (2011) and a cratering collision event onto a nearly critically rotating primary proposed by Vokrouhlický et al. (2017). It will have to be revealed from future studies which of the clusters were formed by one or the other process. To that point, we found certain further interesting properties and features of the asteroid clusters that place constraints on the theories of their formation, among them the most intriguing being the possibility of a cascade disruption for some of the clusters.

  14. Hybrid Guidance Control for a Hypervelocity Small Size Asteroid Interceptor Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebenay, Melak M.; Lyzhoft, Joshua R.; Barbee, Brent W.

    2017-01-01

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and/or asteroids that have orbits in proximity with Earth's own orbit. NEOs have collided with the Earth in the past, which can be seen at such places as Chicxulub crater, Barringer crater, and Manson crater, and will continue in the future with potentially significant and devastating results. Fortunately such NEO collisions with Earth are infrequent, but can happen at any time. Therefore it is necessary to develop and validate techniques as well as technologies necessary to prevent them. One approach to mitigate future NEO impacts is the concept of high-speed interceptor. This concept is to alter the NEO's trajectory via momentum exchange by using kinetic impactors as well as nuclear penetration devices. The interceptor has to hit a target NEO at relative velocity which imparts a sufficient change in NEO velocity. NASA's Deep Impact mission has demonstrated this scenario by intercepting Comet Temple 1, 5 km in diameter, with an impact relative speed of approximately 10 km/s. This paper focuses on the development of hybrid guidance navigation and control (GNC) algorithms for precision hypervelocity intercept of small sized NEOs. The spacecraft's hypervelocity and the NEO's small size are critical challenges for a successful mission as the NEO will not fill the field of view until a few seconds before intercept. The investigation needs to consider the error sources modeled in the navigation simulation such as spacecraft initial state uncertainties in position and velocity. Furthermore, the paper presents three selected spacecraft guidance algorithms for asteroid intercept and rendezvous missions. The selected algorithms are classical Proportional Navigation (PN) based guidance that use a first order difference to compute the derivatives, Three Plane Proportional Navigation (TPPN), and the Kinematic Impulse (KI). A manipulated Bennu orbit that has been changed to impact Earth will be used as a demonstrative example to compare the

  15. Benefits of Power and Propulsion Technology for a Piloted Electric Vehicle to an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Oleson, Steven R.; Pencil, Eric J.; Piszczor, Michael F.; Mason, Lee S.; Bury, Kristen M.; Manzella, David H.; Kerslake, Thomas W.; Hojinicki, Jeffrey S.; Brophy, John P.

    2012-01-01

    NASA s goal for human spaceflight is to expand permanent human presence beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). NASA is identifying potential missions and technologies needed to achieve this goal. Mission options include crewed destinations to LEO and the International Space Station; high Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit; cis-lunar space, lunar orbit, and the surface of the Moon; near-Earth objects; and the moons of Mars, Mars orbit, and the surface of Mars. NASA generated a series of design reference missions to drive out required functions and capabilities for these destinations, focusing first on a piloted mission to a near-Earth asteroid. One conclusion from this exercise was that a solar electric propulsion stage could reduce mission cost by reducing the required number of heavy lift launches and could increase mission reliability by providing a robust architecture for the long-duration crewed mission. Similarly, solar electric vehicles were identified as critical for missions to Mars, including orbiting Mars, landing on its surface, and visiting its moons. This paper describes the parameterized assessment of power and propulsion technologies for a piloted solar electric vehicle to a near-Earth asteroid. The objective of the assessment was to determine technology drivers to advance the state of the art of electric propulsion systems for human exploration. Sensitivity analyses on the performance characteristics of the propulsion and power systems were done to determine potential system-level impacts of improved technology. Starting with a "reasonable vehicle configuration" bounded by an assumed launch date, we introduced technology improvements to determine the system-level benefits (if any) that those technologies might provide. The results of this assessment are discussed and recommendations for future work are described.

  16. Geographos asteroid flyby and autonomous navigation study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ng, L.C.; Pines, D.J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Patz, B.J.; Perron, D.C. [Coleman Research Corp., Orlando, FL (United States)

    1993-02-22

    Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE), also known as Clementine, is a collection of science experiments conducted in near-earth with the goal of demonstrating Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO) developed technologies. The 785 lb (fully fueled) spacecraft will be launched into low Earth orbit in February 1994 together with a Star 37 solid kick motor and interstage. After orbit circulation using Clementine`s 110 lb Delta-V thruster, the Star 37 will execute a trans-lunar injection burn that will send the spacecraft toward lunar obit. The 110-lb will then be used in a sequence of burns to insert Clementine into a trimmed, polar orbit around the moon. After a two month moon mapping mission, Clementine will execute burns to leave lunar orbit, sling-shot around Earth, and flyby the moon on a 9.4 million km journey toward the asteroid Geographos. After about three months in transit, Clementine will attempt a flyby with a closest point of approach of 100 km from the asteroid on August 31, 1994. During its approach to Geographos, Clementine will be tracked by the Deep Space Network (DSN) and receive guidance updates. The last update and correction burn will occur about one day out of the flyby. Multiple experiments will be performed at key events during the mission that utilize Clementine`s SDIO-derived resources, including its Star Trackers, UV/Vis camera, infrared sensors (NWIR and LWIR), and high resolution laser radar (HIRes/LIDAR). In addition to the evaluation of SDIO algorithms and sensors, high resolution imagery will be obtained while the spacecraft is in Earth orbit, lunar obit and during the Geographos flyby. This paper describes the results of a study on the precision guidance, navigation, and intercept strategy for the flyby mission.

  17. Unmanned Solar Electric Resource Prospector, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed innovation is a spacecraft that could be used for lunar or asteroid prospecting missions. The mission plan would involve sending the spacecraft to an...

  18. Applications of granular-dynamics numerical simulations to asteroid surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, D. C.; Michel, P.; Schwartz, S. R.; Yu, Y.; Ballouz, R.-L.; Matsumura, S.

    2014-07-01

    Spacecraft images and indirect observations including thermal inertia measurements indicate most small bodies have surface regolith. Evidence of granular flow is also apparent in the images. This material motion occurs in very low gravity, therefore in a totally different gravitational environment than on the Earth. Upcoming sample-return missions to small bodies, and possible future manned missions, will involve interaction with the surface regolith, so it is important to develop tools to predict the surface response. We have added new capabilities to the N-body gravity tree code pkdgrav [1,2] that permit the simulation of granular dynamics, including multi-contact physics and friction forces, using the soft-sphere discrete-element method [3]. The numerical approach has been validated through comparison with laboratory experiments (e.g., [3,4]). (1) We carried out impacts into granular materials using different projectile shapes under Earth's gravity [5] and compared the results to laboratory experiments [6] in support of JAXA's Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample-return mission. We tested different projectile shapes and confirmed that the 90-degree cone was the most efficient at excavating mass when impacting 5-mm-diameter glass beads. Results are sensitive to the normal coefficient of restitution and the coefficient of static friction. Preliminary experiments in micro-gravity for similar impact conditions show both the amount of ejected mass and the timescale of the impact process increase, as expected. (2) It has been found (e.g., [7,8]) that ''fresh'' (unreddened) Q-class asteroids have a high probability of recent planetary encounters (˜1 Myr; also see [9]), suggesting that surface refreshening may have occurred due to tidal effects. As an application of the potential effect of tidal interactions, we carried out simulations of Apophis' predicted 2029 encounter with the Earth to see whether regolith motion might occur, using a range of plausible material parameters

  19. VNIR Reflectance and MIR Emissivity Spectra of Ordinary Chondrite Meteorites Under Simulated Asteroid Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemma, M.; Shirley, K.; Glotch, T. D.; Ebel, D. S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Recent missions have revealed much about the nature of many Near-Earth asteroids, including the NEAR-Shoemaker target 433 Eros and Hayabusa target 25142 Itokawa. Both asteroids appear to have mineralogy consistent with ordinary chondrite meteorites. Laboratory spectral analysis of well-constrained meteorite samples can be employed as a reference tool to characterize and constrain data from current and future asteroid studies. A sample set of ordinary chondrite meteorites was chosen from the collection at the American Museum of Natural History. Six meteorites, spanning groups H, L, and LL, were prepared at four different size fractions (25-63 μm, 63-90 μm, 90-125 μm, 125-250 μm) in an attempt to mimic regolith known to exist on asteroids such as 433 Eros and 25142 Itokawa. At the Center for Planetary Exploration at Stony Brook University, spectra of the ordinary chondrite material were measured under simulated asteroid surface conditions ( 10-6 mbar, 150 K chamber temperature, low intensity illumination). The samples were used in two experiments: one measuring visible and near-infrared (VNIR) reflectance spectra at a series of temperatures, and the other measuring mid-infrared (MIR) emissivity spectra. The emissivity measurements require accurate simulation of the thermal environment within asteroid regolith, achieved by inducing a thermal gradient within the sample that results in a surface brightness temperature around 323 K (similar to the surface of 25142 Itokawa). Mid-IR emissivity spectra were collected for each sample at a surface temperature of 323 K, and reflectance spectra were collected in increments of 10 K, over the range 283 K to 373 K. Preliminary VNIR spectra show spreads similar to those seen in Hinrichs and Lucey (2002). Preliminary MIR emissivity spectra suggest that under asteroid surface conditions, the position of the Christiansen feature shifts to shorter wavelengths and emissivity is lower in the Reststrahlen bands when compared to

  20. Sensitivity of Asteroid Impact Risk to Uncertainty in Asteroid Properties and Entry Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Lorien; Mathias, Donovan; Dotson, Jessie L.; NASA Asteroid Threat Assessment Project

    2017-10-01

    A central challenge in assessing the threat posed by asteroids striking Earth is the large amount of uncertainty inherent throughout all aspects of the problem. Many asteroid properties are not well characterized and can range widely from strong, dense, monolithic irons to loosely bound, highly porous rubble piles. Even for an object of known properties, the specific entry velocity, angle, and impact location can swing the potential consequence from no damage to causing millions of casualties. Due to the extreme rarity of large asteroid strikes, there are also large uncertainties in how different types of asteroids will interact with the atmosphere during entry, how readily they may break up or ablate, and how much surface damage will be caused by the resulting airbursts or impacts.In this work, we use our Probabilistic Asteroid Impact Risk (PAIR) model to investigate the sensitivity of asteroid impact damage to uncertainties in key asteroid properties, entry parameters, or modeling assumptions. The PAIR model combines physics-based analytic models of asteroid entry and damage in a probabilistic Monte Carlo framework to assess the risk posed by a wide range of potential impacts. The model samples from uncertainty distributions of asteroid properties and entry parameters to generate millions of specific impact cases, and models the atmospheric entry and damage for each case, including blast overpressure, thermal radiation, tsunami inundation, and global effects. To assess the risk sensitivity, we alternately fix and vary the different input parameters and compare the effect on the resulting range of damage produced. The goal of these studies is to help guide future efforts in asteroid characterization and model refinement by determining which properties most significantly affect the potential risk.

  1. Physical studies of asteroids. XXXII. Rotation periods and UBVRI-colours for selected asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piironen, J.; Lagerkvist, C.-I.; Erikson, A.; Oja, T.; Magnusson, P.; Festin, L.; Nathues, A.; Gaul, M.; Velichko, F.

    1998-03-01

    We present lightcurves of selected asteroids. Most of the asteroids were included to obtain refined spin periods. Enhanced periods were determined for 11 Parthenope, 306 Unitas and 372 Palma. We confirmed the spin periods of 8 Flora, 13 Egeria, 71 Niobe, 233 Asterope, 291 Alice, 409 Aspasia, 435 Ella and 512 Taurinensis. We determined also BV-colours for most of the included asteroids and UBVRI-colours for a total of 22 asteroids.

  2. High Accuracy Ground-based near-Earth-asteroid Astrometry using Synthetic Tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, Chengxing; Shao, Michael; Saini, Navtej; Sandhu, Jagmit; Werne, Thomas; Choi, Philip; Ely, Todd A.; Jacobs, Chirstopher S.; Lazio, Joseph; Martin-Mur, Tomas J.; Owen, William M.; Preston, Robert; Turyshev, Slava; Michell, Adam; Nazli, Kutay; Cui, Isaac; Monchama, Rachel

    2018-01-01

    Accurate astrometry is crucial for determining the orbits of near-Earth-asteroids (NEAs). Further, the future of deep space high data rate communications is likely to be optical communications, such as the Deep Space Optical Communications package that is part of the baseline payload for the planned Psyche Discovery mission to the Psyche asteroid. We have recently upgraded our instrument on the Pomona College 1 m telescope, at JPL's Table Mountain Facility, for conducting synthetic tracking by taking many short exposure images. These images can be then combined in post-processing to track both asteroid and reference stars to yield accurate astrometry. Utilizing the precision of the current and future Gaia data releases, the JPL-Pomona College effort is now demonstrating precision astrometry on NEAs, which is likely to be of considerable value for cataloging NEAs. Further, treating NEAs as proxies of future spacecraft that carry optical communication lasers, our results serve as a measure of the astrometric accuracy that could be achieved for future plane-of-sky optical navigation.

  3. Asteroid rotation. IV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, A.W.; Young, J.W.

    1983-01-01

    The results from the year 1979 of an ongoing program of asteroid photometry at Table Mountain Observatory are presented. The results for 53 asteroids are summarized in a table, showing the number, name, opposition date, taxonomic class, diameter, absolute magnitude, mean absolute magnitude at zero phase angle and values of the absolute magnitude and linear phase coefficient derived from it, the rotation period in hours, peak-to-peak amplitude of variation, difference between mean and maximum brightness, and reliability index. Another table presents data on aspect and comparison stars, including brightness and distance data. Reliable rotation periods are reported for 22 asteroids for which no previous values are known. For seven asteroids, periods are reported which are revisions of previously reported values

  4. Rotationally resolved colors of the targets of NASA's Lucy mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Joshua; Mottola, Stefano; Brown, Mike; Noll, Keith; Binzel, Richard

    2018-05-01

    We propose rotationally resolved photometry at 3.6 and 4.5 um of 5 Trojan asteroids and one Main Belt asteroid - the targets of NASA's Lucy mission. The proposed Spitzer observations are designed to meet a combination of science goals and mission support objectives. Science goals 1) Search for signatures of volatiles and/or organics on the surfaces. a. This goal includes resolving a discrepancy between previous WISE and Spitzer measurements of Trojans 2) Provide new constraints on the cause of rotational spectral heterogeneity detected on 3548 Eurybates at shorter wavelengths a. Determine whether the heterogeneity (Fig 1) extends to the 3-5 um region 3) Assess the possibility for spectral heterogeneity on the other targets a. This goal will help test the hypothesis of Wong and Brown (2015) that the near-surface interiors of Trojans differ from their surfaces 4) Thermal data at 4.5 um for the Main Belt target Donaldjohanson will refine estimates of size, albedo, and provide the first estimate of thermal inertia Mission support objectives 1) Assess scientifically optimal encounter times (viewing geometries) for the fly-bys a. Characterizing rotational spectral units now will enable the team to choose the most scientifically valuable part of the asteroid to view 2) Gather data to optimize observing parameters for Lucy instruments a. Measuring brightness in the 3 - 5 um region and resolving the discrepancy between WISE and Spitzer will enable better planning of the Lucy spectral observations in this wavelength range 3) The size, albedo, and thermal inertia of Donaldjohanson are fundamental data for planning the encounter with that Main Belt asteroid

  5. Solar Torque Management for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout CubeSat Using Center of Mass Position Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orphee, Juan; Heaton, Andrew; Diedrich, Ben; Stiltner, Brandon C.

    2018-01-01

    A novel mechanism, the Active Mass Translator (AMT), has been developed for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission to autonomously manage the spacecraft momentum. The NEA Scout CubeSat will launch as a secondary payload onboard Exploration Mission 1 of the Space Launch System. To accomplish its mission, the CubeSat will be propelled by an 86 square-meter solar sail during its two-year journey to reach asteroid 1991VG. NEA Scout's primary attitude control system uses reaction wheels for holding attitude and performing slew maneuvers, while a cold gas reaction control system performs the initial detumble and early trajectory correction maneuvers. The AMT control system requirements, feedback architecture, and control performance will be presented. The AMT reduces the amount of reaction control propellant needed for momentum management and allows for smaller capacity reaction wheels suitable for the limited 6U spacecraft volume. The reduced spacecraft mass allows higher in-space solar sail acceleration, thus reducing time-of-flight. The reduced time-of-flight opens the range of possible missions, which is limited by the lifetime of typical non-radiation tolerant CubeSat avionics exposed to the deep-space environment.

  6. Asteroid family dynamics in the inner main belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykhuis, Melissa Joy

    The inner main asteroid belt is an important source of near-Earth objects and terrestrial planet impactors; however, the dynamics and history of this region are challenging to understand, due to its high population density and the presence of multiple orbital resonances. This dissertation explores the properties of two of the most populous inner main belt family groups --- the Flora family and the Nysa-Polana complex --- investigating their memberships, ages, spin properties, collision dynamics, and range in orbital and reflectance parameters. Though diffuse, the family associated with asteroid (8) Flora dominates the inner main belt in terms of the extent of its members in orbital parameter space, resulting in its significant overlap with multiple neighboring families. This dissertation introduces a new method for membership determination (the core sample method) which enables the distinction of the Flora family from the background, permitting its further analysis. The Flora family is shown to have a signature in plots of semimajor axis vs. size consistent with that expected for a collisional family dispersed as a result of the Yarkovsky radiation effect. The family's age is determined from the Yarkovsky dispersion to be 950 My. Furthermore, a survey of the spin sense of 21 Flora-region asteroids, accomplished via a time-efficient modification of the epoch method for spin sense determination, confirms the single-collision Yarkovsky-dispersed model for the family's origin. The neighboring Nysa-Polana complex is the likely source region for many of the carbonaceous near-Earth asteroids, several of which are important targets for spacecraft reconnaissance and sample return missions. Family identification in the Nysa-Polana complex via the core sample method reveals two families associated with asteroid (135) Hertha, both with distinct age and reflectance properties. The larger of these two families demonstrates a correlation in semimajor axis and eccentricity

  7. Gaia-GOSA: An interactive service for coordination of asteroid observation campaigns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana-Ros, Toni; Bartczak, Przemyslaw; Michalowski, Tadeusz; Marciniak, Anna; Butkiewicz-Bak, Magda; Dudziński, Grzegorz

    2016-10-01

    We describe the Gaia-Ground-based Observational Service for Asteroids (www.gaiagosa.eu), which is a website aiming to facilitate asteroid observers in contributing to the Gaia mission by gathering lightcurves of selected targets.There are many asteroids which lightcurves cannot be covered during one observing run, like slow rotators,with periods longer than 12 hours. There are also targets with periods commensurate with the Earth's day, sotheir lightcurves cannot be covered by observing from one site only. There are also targets of special interest,like binary objects, where a large amount of data is needed. For all targets like those mentioned above, acoordination of observers is needed, also to avoid unnecessary duplication of data gathering.To that end we have created Gaia-GOSA, a web service which allows coordination between observers, focuseson interesting targets and may avoid observers to unnecessary gather data of the same object at the sametime. Furthermore, it is not necessary to be an advanced observer to contribute to the project. The websiteprepares the observing plan, providing all the necessary information to point your telescope. Thesubscription is free and observers with any level of experience are welcome.All the data gathered by Gaia-GOSA users will be reduced and analyzed by astronomers from the Astronomical Observatory of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (AO AMU). The resulting catalogue, containing all the lightcurves obtained, will be used to enhance the results of the Gaia (cornerstone European Space Agency's mission) inversion algorithm.The project has been developed under funding from the European Space Agency (ESA) and initially was only devoted to help users in planning photometric observations of asteroids. However, in this poster we also present an extended version of the website, which also aims to publish predictions of stellar occultations for selected targets. This work has been done in the framework of the Small Bodies: Near

  8. PHYS: Division of Physical Chemistry 258 - Properties and Origins of Cometary and Asteroidal Organic Matter Delivered to the Early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Scott; Nguyen, Ann

    2017-01-01

    Comets and asteroids may have contributed much of the Earth's water and organic matter. The Earth accretes approximately 4x10(exp 7) Kg of dust and meteorites from these sources every year. The least altered meteorites contain complex assemblages of organic compounds and abundant hydrated minerals. These carbonaceous chondrite meteorites probably derive from asteroids that underwent hydrothermal processing within the first few million years after their accretion. Meteorite organics show isotopic and chemical signatures of low-T ion-molecule and grain-surface chemistry and photolysis of icy grains that occurred in cold molecular clouds and the outer protoplanetary disk. These signatures have been overprinted by aqueously mediated chemistry in asteroid parent bodies, forming amino acids and other prebiotic molecules. Comets are much richer in organic matter but it is less well characterized. Comet dust collected in the stratosphere shows larger H and N isotopic anomalies than most meteorites, suggesting better preservation of primordial organics. Rosetta studies of comet 67P coma dust find complex organic matter that may be related to the macromolecular material that dominates the organic inventory of primitive meteorites. The exogenous organic material accreting on Earth throughout its history is made up of thousands of molecular species formed in diverse processes ranging from circumstellar outflows to chemistry at near absolute zero in dark cloud cores and the formative environment within minor planets. NASA and JAXA are currently flying sample return missions to primitive, potentially organic-rich asteroids. The OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2 missions will map their target asteroids, Bennu and Ryugu, in detail and return regolith samples to Earth. Laboratory analyses of these pristine asteroid samples will provide unprecedented views of asteroidal organic matter relatively free of terrestrial contamination within well determined geological context. Studies of

  9. Asteroid results from the IRAS survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veeder, G.J.; Tedesco, E.F.; Matson, D.L.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports that the IRAS Asteroid and Comet Survey yield a data base of infrared flux densities for 1811 individual asteroids. Albedos and diameters for these have been derived via a standard thermal model. IRAS sampled a large number of small asteroids and detected many dark asteroids in the outer belt. High-albedo asteroids remain rare. Observations of the brighter asteroids at multiple wavelengths shows the expected range of color temperatures through the main belt

  10. The Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, A.; Cohen, B. A.; Barnouin, O. S.; Chabot, N. L.; Ernst, C. M.; Klima, R. L.; Helbert, J.; Sternovsky, Z.

    2015-12-01

    The asteroids preserve information from the earliest times in solar system history, with compositions in the population reflecting the material in the solar nebula and experiencing a wide range of temperatures. Today they experience ongoing processes, some of which are shared with larger bodies but some of which are unique to their size regime. They are critical to humanity's future as potential threats, resource sites, and targets for human visitation. However, over twenty years since the first spacecraft encounters with asteroids, they remain poorly understood. The mission we propose here, the Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS), explores the diversity of asteroids to understand our solar system's past history, its present processes, and future opportunities and hazards. MANTIS addresses many of NASA's highest priorities as laid out in its 2014 Science Plan and provides additional benefit to the Planetary Defense and Human Exploration communities via a low-risk, cost-effective tour of the near-Earth and inner asteroid belt. MANTIS visits the materials that witnessed solar system formation and its earliest history, addressing the NASA goal of exploring and observing the objects in the solar system to understand how they formed and evolve. MANTIS measures OH, water, and organic materials via several complementary techniques, visiting and sampling objects known to have hydrated minerals and addressing the NASA goal of improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of life on Earth. MANTIS studies the geology and geophysics of nine diverse asteroids, with compositions ranging from water-rich to metallic, representatives of both binary and non-binary asteroids, and sizes covering over two orders of magnitude, providing unique information about the chemical and physical processes shaping the asteroids, addressing the NASA goal of advancing the understanding of how the chemical and physical processes in our solar system

  11. Asteroid Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merline, W. J.

    2001-11-01

    Discovery and study of small satellites of asteroids or double asteroids can yield valuable information about the intrinsic properties of asteroids themselves and about their history and evolution. Determination of the orbits of these moons can provide precise masses of the primaries, and hence reliable estimates of the fundamental property of bulk density. This reveals much about the composition and structure of the primary and will allow us to make comparisons between, for example, asteroid taxonomic type and our inventory of meteorites. The nature and prevalence of these systems will also give clues as to the collisional environment in which they formed, and have further implications for the role of collisions in shaping our solar system. A decade ago, binary asteroids were more of a theoretical curiosity. In 1993, the Galileo spacecraft allowed the first undeniable detection of an asteroid moon, with the discovery of Dactyl, a small moon of Ida. Since that time, and particularly in the last year, the number of known binaries has risen dramatically. Previously odd-shaped and lobate near-Earth asteroids, observed by radar, have given way to signatures indicating, almost certainly, that at least four NEAs are binary systems. The tell-tale lightcurves of several other NEAs reveal a high likelihood of being double. Indications are that among the NEAs, there may be a binary frequency of several tens of percent. Among the main-belt asteroids, we now know of 6 confirmed binary systems, although their overall frequency is likely to be low, perhaps a few percent. The detections have largely come about because of significant advances in adaptive optics systems on large telescopes, which can now reduce the blurring of the Earth's atmosphere to compete with the spatial resolution of space-based imaging (which itself, via HST, is now contributing valuable observations). Most of these binary systems have similarities, but there are important exceptions. Searches among other

  12. Oxygen and Magnesium Isotopic Compositions of Asteroidal Materials Returned from Itokawa by the Hayabusa Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurimoto, H; Abe, M.; Ebihara, M.; Fujimura, A.; Hashizume, K.; Ireland, T. R.; Itoh, S.; Kawaguchi, K.; Kitajima, F.; Mukai, T.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The Hayabusa spacecraft made two touchdowns on the surface of Asteroid 25143 Itokawa on November 20th and 26th, 2005. The Asteroid 25143 Itokawa is classified as an S-type asteroid and inferred to consist of materials similar to ordinary chondrites or primitive achondrites [1]. Near-infrared spectroscopy by the Hayabusa spacecraft proposed that the surface of this body has an olivine-rich mineral assemblage potentially similar to that of LL5 or LL6 chondrites with different degrees of space weathering [2]. The spacecraft made the reentry into the Earth s atmosphere on June 12th, 2010 and the sample capsule was successfully recovered in Australia on June 13th, 2010. Although the sample collection processes on the Itokawa surface had not been made by the designed operations, more than 1,500 grains were identified as rocky particles in the sample curation facility of JAXA, and most of them were judged to be of extraterrestrial origin, and definitely from Asteroid Itokawa on November 17th, 2010 [3]. Although their sizes are mostly less than 10 microns, some larger grains of about 100 microns or larger were also included. The mineral assembly is olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase, iron sulfide and iron metal. The mean mineral compositions are consistent with the results of near-infrared spectroscopy from Hayabusa spacecraft [2], but the variations suggest that the petrologic type may be smaller than the spectroscopic results. Several tens of grains of relatively large sizes among the 1,500 grains will be selected by the Hayabusa sample curation team for preliminary examination [4]. Each grain will be subjected to one set of preliminary examinations, i.e., micro-tomography, XRD, XRF, TEM, SEM, EPMA and SIMS in this sequence. The preliminary examination will start from the last week of January 2011. Therefore, samples for isotope analyses in this study will start from the last week of February 2011. By the time of the LPSC meeting we will have measured the oxygen and

  13. Crew Systems for Asteroid Exploration: Concepts for Lightweight & Low Volume EVA Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rob; Calle, Carlos; Mantovani, James

    2013-01-01

    This RFI response is targeting Area 5. Crew Systems for Asteroid Exploration: concepts for lightweight and low volume robotic and extra-vehicular activity (EVA) systems, such as space suits, tools, translation aids, stowage containers, and other equipment. The NASA KSC Surface Systems Office, Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Lab and the Electrostatics & Surface Physics Lab (ESPL) are dedicated to developing technologies for operating in regolith environments on target body surfaces. We have identified two technologies in our current portfolio that are highly relevant and useful for crews that will visit a re-directed asteroid in Cis-Lunar Space. Both technologies are at a high TRL of 5/6 and could be rapidly implemented in time for an ARM mission in this decade.

  14. Human Health and Performance Considerations for Exploration of Near Earth Asteroids (NEA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundrot, Craig E.; Charles, John B.; Steinberg, Susan L.

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews some of the health and performance issues for an manned exploration mission to some of the Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). The issues that NASA is reviewing are: 1. Radiation exposure 2. Inadequate food and nutrition 3. Challenges to behavioral health 4. Muscle, cardiovascular, bone atrophy 5. Dust and volatiles 6. Remote medical care 7. Decompression sickness.

  15. Do asteroids have satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weidenschilling, S.J.; Paolicchi, P.; Zappala, V.

    1989-01-01

    A substantial body of indirect evidence suggests that some asteroids have satelities, although none has been detected unambiguously. Collisions between asteroids provide physically plausible mechanisms for the production of binaries, but these operate with low probability; only a small minority of asteroids are likely to have satellites. The abundance of binary asteroids can constrain the collisional history of the entire belt population. The allowed angular momentum of binaries and their rate of tidal evolution limit separations to no more than a few tens of the primary's radii. Their expected properties are consistent with failure to detect them by current imaging techniques

  16. The stability of some asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicente, R.O.

    1983-01-01

    The utilization of two different stability criteria, namely, Hill's modified stability criterium and the method of surface of section, has been employed for asteroid orbits. The idea is to compute different criteria of stability for the same asteroids in order to compare the results and see the practical interest of the computations for researches about evolutionary trends of individual asteroids, groups and families of asteroids. (Auth.)

  17. Ion Irradiation Experiments on the Murchison CM2 Carbonaceous Chondrite: Simulating Space Weathering of Primitive Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, L. P.; Christoffersen, R.; Dukes, C. A.; Baragiola, R. A.; Rahman, Z.

    2015-01-01

    Remote sensing observations show that space weathering processes affect all airless bodies in the Solar System to some degree. Sample analyses and lab experiments provide insights into the chemical, spectroscopic and mineralogic effects of space weathering and aid in the interpretation of remote- sensing data. For example, analyses of particles returned from the S-type asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa mission revealed that space-weathering on that body was dominated by interactions with the solar wind acting on LL ordinary chondrite-like materials [1, 2]. Understanding and predicting how the surface regoliths of primitive carbonaceous asteroids respond to space weathering processes is important for future sample return missions (Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS-REx) that are targeting objects of this type. Here, we report the results of our preliminary ion irradiation experiments on a hydrated carbonaceous chondrite with emphasis on microstructural and infrared spectral changes.

  18. Introduction to the Asteroids II data base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, E.F.

    1989-01-01

    The Asteroids II data base presented is a compilation of asteroid data. Included are asteroid names and discovery circumstances, proper elements and family identifications, asteroid lightcurve parameters, asteroid pole determinations, taxonomic classes, absolute magnitudes and slope parameters, UBV color indices, and albedos and diameters from the IRAS Asteroid and Comet Survey

  19. A concept for providing warning of earth impacts by small asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, D. W.; Reitsema, H. J.; Lu, E.; Arentz, R.; Linfield, R.; Chapman, C.; Farquhar, R.; Ledkov, A. A.; Eismont, N. A.; Chumachenko, E.

    2013-07-01

    Earth towards the Sun, to find most asteroids larger than about 5 meters that approach the Earth from the solar direction. The spacecraft would scan 165 square degrees of the sky around the Earth every hour, finding asteroids when they are brightest (small phase angle) as they approach Earth. We will undertake Monte Carlo studies to see what fraction of asteroids 5 m and larger approaching from the Sun might be found by such a mission, and how much warning time might typically be expected. Also, we will check the overall coverage for all Earth-approaching NEO's, including ground-based observations and observations by the recently-launched NEOSSat, which may best fill any gaps in coverage between that provided by an SE-L1 telescope and ground-based surveys. Many of the objects as large as 50 m, like the one that created Meteor Crater in Arizona, will not be found by current NEO surveys, while they would usually be seen by this possible mission even if they approached from the direction of the Sun. We should give better warning for future "Bolts out of the blue."

  20. Prospective Ukrainian lunar orbiter mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkuratov, Y.; Litvinenko, L.; Shulga, V.; Yatskiv, Y.; Kislyuk, V.

    Ukraine has launch vehicles that are able to deliver about 300 kg to the lunar orbit. Future Ukrainian lunar program may propose a polar orbiter. This orbiter should fill principal information gaps in our knowledge about the Moon after Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions and the future missions, like Smart-1, Lunar-A, and Selene. We consider that this can be provided by radar studies of the Moon with supporting optical polarimetric observations from lunar polar orbit. These experiments allow one to better understand global structure of the lunar surface in a wide range of scales, from microns to kilometers. We propose three instruments for the prospective lunar orbiter. They are: a synthetic aperture imaging radar (SAR), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and imaging polarimeter (IP). The main purpose of SAR is to study with high resolution (50 m) the permanently shadowed sites in the lunar polar regions. These sites are cold traps for volatiles, and have a potential of resource utilization. Possible presence of water ice in the regolith in the sites makes them interesting for permanent manned bases on the Moon. Radar imaging and mapping of other interesting regions could be also planned. Multi-frequencies multi-polarization soun d ing of the lunar surface with GPR can provide information about internal structure of the lunar surface from meters to several hundred meters deep. GPR can be used for measuring the megaregolith layer properties, detection of cryptomaria, and studies of internal structure of the largest craters. IP will be a CCD camera with an additional suite of polarizers. Modest spatial resolution (100 m) should provide a total coverage or a large portion of the lunar surface in oblique viewing basically at large phase angles. Polarization degree at large (>90°) phase angles bears information about characteristic size of the regolith particles. Additional radiophysical experiments are considered with the use of the SAR system, e.g., bistatic radar

  1. Preliminary Examination of Particles Recovered from the Surface of the Asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchiyama, A.; Ebihara, M.; Kimura, M.; Kitajima, F.; Kotsugi, M.; Ito, S.; Nagao, K.; Nakamura, T.; Naraoka, H.; Noguchi, T.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The Hayabusa spacecraft arrived at S-type Asteroid 25143 Itokawa in November 2006, and reveal astounding features of the small asteroid (535 x 294 x 209 m). Near-infrared spectral shape indicates that the surface of this body has an olivinerich mineral assemblage potentially similar to that of LL5 or LL6 chondrites with different degrees of space weathering. Based on the surface morphological features observed in high-resolution images of Itokawa s surface, two major types of boulders were distinguished: rounded and angular boulders. Rounded boulders seem to be breccias, while angular boulders seem to have severe impact origin. Although the sample collection did not be made by normal operations, it was considered that some amount of samples, probably small particles of regolith, was collected from MUSES-C regio on the Itokawa s surface. The sample capsule was successfully recovered on the earth on June 13, 2010, and was opened at curation facility of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Sagamihara, Japan. A large number of small particles were found in the sample container. Preliminary analysis with SEM/EDX at the curation facility showed that at least more than 1500 grains were identified as rocky particles, and most of them were judged to be of extraterrestrial origin, and definitely from Asteroid Itokawa. Minerals (olivine, low-Ca pyroxene, high-Ca pyroxene, plagioclase, Fe sulfide, Fe-Ni metal, chromite, Ca phosphate), roughly estimated mode the minerals and rough measurement of the chemical compositions of the silicates show that these particles are roughly similar to LL chondrites. Although their size are mostly less than 10 m, some larger particles of about 100 m or larger were also identified. A part of the sample (probably several tens particles) will be selected by Hayabusa sample curation team and examined preliminary in Japan within one year after the sample recovery in prior to detailed analysis phase. Hayabusa Asteroidal Sample Preliminary

  2. Origin of the asteroid belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetherill, G.W.

    1989-01-01

    Earlier work and concepts relevant to the origin of the asteroid belt are reviewed and considered in the context of the more general question of solar system origin. Several aspects of asteroidal origin by accumulation of smaller bodies have been addressed by new dynamic studies. Numerical and analytical solutions of the dynamical theory of planetesimal accumulation are characterized by a bifurcation into runaway and nonrunaway solutions. The differences in time scales resulting from runaway and nonrunaway growth can be more important than conventional time scale differences determined by heliocentric distances. This introduces new possibilities, e.g., planetary accumulation may be more rapid at the distance of Jupiter than in the asteroid belt, thus permitting Jupiter to control asteroidal growth. Although alternatives must be seriously considered, the most promising approach to asteroidal origin is one in which the initial surface density of the solar nebula varied smoothly between the terrestrial and giant-planet region. In the absence of external perturbations, it is found that runaway growth of excessively large asteroids would then occur on <1 Myr, but fairly modest external perturbations by Jupiter, Saturn or other perturbers, resulting in eccentricities ∼0.01 may quench runaways, truncate asteroidal growth at their present size, and then initiate the necessary loss of asteroidal material by mutual fragmentation

  3. Compositional studies of primitive asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilas, F.

    1988-01-01

    The composition of primitive asteroids and their relationship to satellites in the solar system will be studied by analyzing existing narrowband charge coupled device (CCD) reflectance spectra, acquiring additional spectra of asteroids and small satellites in the 0.5 to 1.0 micrometer spectral range, and exploring possibilities for obtaining compositional information in the blue-UV spectral region. Comparison with laboratory spectra of terrestrial chlorites and serpentines (phyllosilicates) and the clay minerals found in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites will continue. During 1987, narrowband CCD reflectance spectra of 17 additional asteroids were acquired. These spectra and spectra of 34 other asteroids have been used primarily for two studies: weak absorption features similar to those due to Fe2(+) and Fe2(+) - Fe3(+) transitions in iron oxides f ound in terrestrial chlorites and serpentines and carbonaceous chondrites have been identified in some primitive asteroid spectra. There is a first indication that asteroids grouped by heliocentric distance show similar weak absorption features. Nonparametric statistics are being applied to test the hypothesis of discrete remnants of a gradation in composition of outer-belt asteroids

  4. Overview: Solar Electric Propulsion Concept Designs for SEP Technology Demonstration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcguire, Melissa L.; Hack, Kurt J.; Manzella, David; Herman, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    JPC presentation of the Concept designs for NASA Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration mission paper. Multiple Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Missions were developed to assess vehicle performance and estimated mission cost. Concepts ranged from a 10,000 kg spacecraft capable of delivering 4000 kg of payload to one of the Earth Moon Lagrange points in support of future human-crewed outposts to a 180 kg spacecraft capable of performing an asteroid rendezvous mission after launched to a geostationary transfer orbit as a secondary payload.

  5. Asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, J.F.; Gaffey, M.J.

    1989-01-01

    During the past 15 yr much progress has been made in the study of the asteroids with optical, infrared, and radar telescopes. Simultaneously a vast body of petrologic, chemical and isotopic data has been acquired for meteorites, which are actual samples of asteroids. This work has demonstrated that asteroids vary widely in composition and thermal history in a systematic but complex way with orbital position and size. The authors report that it appears that these variations can be explained to first order by a simple model invoking three principal mechanisms: condensation of various known and unknown classes of chondritic material at radial locations in the nebula controlled by the temperature and composition; intense metamorphic heating after accretion which declined rapidly with both increasing solar distance and smaller planetesimal size, producing complete differentiation in some inner belt objects, incomplete differentiation in many more, and extensive metamorphism and aqueous alteration in middle-belt objects; and complex collisional fragmentation often controlled by internal strength gradients due to irregular distribution of metal

  6. Photometry of faint asteroids and satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Degewij, J.

    1978-01-01

    The smaller asteroids, having diameters of about 1 km, appear to rotate faster than do the larger asteroids (approximately 200 km diameter). Most of the bodies may be nearly spherical, probably due to a collisional erosion process in the Main Belt of asteroids. The distributions of diameter versus number were studied for low albedo (C, for carbonaceous) and high albedo (S, for silicaceous) type asteroids in the main belt, down to diameters of 25 km. Among the smaller bodies the S type asteroids are relatively more abundant, probably due to greater crushing strength for S type asteroids. This indicates that both optical types have also different properties in the interior of the body. Areas with slightly different reflectivity over the surface of an asteroid were detected; the rotational light variation of asteroid 4 (Vesta) was found to be caused by spots on its surface. Colorimetry and infrared radiometry of some Hilda asteroids, Trojans and the fainter satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, all having diameters between 100 and 200 km, show that a mixture of types exist. If some asteroids are nearly expended nuclei of comets that lost most of their volatile gaseous material, then their cometary activity is expected to be extinct or at least weak. (Auth.)

  7. New candidates for active asteroids: Main-belt (145) Adeona, (704) Interamnia, (779) Nina, (1474) Beira, and near-Earth (162,173) Ryugu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busarev, Vladimir V.; Makalkin, Andrei B.; Vilas, Faith; Barabanov, Sergey I.; Scherbina, Marina P.

    2018-04-01

    For the first time, spectral signs of subtle coma activity were observed for four main-belt primitive asteroids (145) Adeona, (704) Interamnia, (779) Nina, and (1474) Beira around their perihelion distances in September 2012, which were interpreted as manifestations of the sublimation of H2O ice in/under the surface matter (Busarev et al., 2015a, 2015b). We confirm the phenomenon for Nina when it approached perihelion in September 2016. At the same time, based on results of spectral observations of near-Earth asteroid (162,173) Ryugu (Vilas, 2008) being a target of Japan's Hayabusa 2 space mission, we suspected a periodic similar transient activity on the Cg-type asteroid. However, unlike the main-belt primitive asteroids demonstrating sublimation of ices close to their perihelion distances, the effect on Ryugu was apparently registered near aphelion. To explain the difference, we calculated the subsolar temperature depending on heliocentric distance of the asteroids, considered qualitative models of internal structure of main-belt and near-Earth primitive asteroids including ice and performed some analytical estimations. Presumed temporal sublimation/degassing activity of Ryugu is a sign of a residual frozen core in its interior. This could be an indication of a relatively recent transition of the asteroid from the main asteroid belt to the near-Earth area.

  8. The Dimensions and Pole of Asteroid (21) Lutetia from Adaptive Optics Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Jack D.; Conrad, A.; Merline, W.; Carry, B.

    2009-09-01

    In a campaign to study the Rosetta mission target, asteroid (21) Lutetia, we obtained 81 images on December 2, 2008, at 2.12 microns with adaptive optics (AO) on the Keck-II 10 m telescope. From these nearly consecutive images obtained over a quarter of rotation, we have determined the asteroid's triaxial ellipsoid diameters to be 132x101x76 km, with formal uncertainties of 1 km for the equatorial dimensions, and 31 km for the shortest axis. This latter uncertainty occurs because the observations were made at the relatively high sub-Earth latitude of -69 degrees. From these observations we determine that Lutetia's pole lies at 2000.0 coordinates of RA=48, Dec=+9, or Ecliptic coordinates of [49;-8], with a formal uncertainty radius of 3 deg. (The other possible pole is eliminated by considering its lightcurve history.) The rotational pole derived for the lightcurve inversion model (available at http://astro.troja.mff.cuni.cz/ projects/asteroids3D/web.php), is only 5 deg from ours, but comparing our images to the lightcurve inversion model we find that Lutetia is more pointed than the model. Our technique of deriving the dimensions of asteroids from AO images has been calibrated against Pluto and 4 satellites of Saturn with precise diameters, and we find that any systematic errors can be no more than 1-3%. We acknowledge the assistance of other team members Christophe Dumas (ESO), Peter Tamblyn (SwRI), and Clark Chapman (SwRI). We also thank Hal Weaver (JHU/APL) as the lead for our collaboration with the Rosetta mission. We are grateful for telescope time made available to us by S. Kulkarni and M. Busch (Cal Tech) for a portion of our overall Lutetia effort. We also thank our collaborators on Team Keck, the Keck science staff, for making possible some of the Lutetia observations and for their participation. Additional Lutetia observations were acquired at Gemini North under NOAO time allocation.

  9. Impact of Utilizing Photos and Deimos as Waypoints for Mars Human Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Brown, Kendall

    2015-01-01

    Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, are interesting exploration destinations that offer extensibility of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) technologies. Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), asteroid rendezvous and docking, and surface operations can be used to land on and explore the moons of Mars. The close Mars vicinity of Phobos and Deimos warrant examining them as waypoints, or intermediate staging orbits, for Mars surface missions. This paper outlines the analysis performed to determine the mass impact of using the moons of Mars both as an intermediate staging point for exploration as well as for in-situ recourse utilization, namely propellant, to determine if the moons are viable options to include in the broader Mars surface exploration architecture.

  10. SEARCHING FOR TROJAN ASTEROIDS IN THE HD 209458 SYSTEM: SPACE-BASED MOST PHOTOMETRY AND DYNAMICAL MODELING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moldovan, Reka; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Gladman, Brett; Bottke, William F.; Vokrouhlicky, David

    2010-01-01

    We have searched Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars (MOST) satellite photometry obtained in 2004, 2005, and 2007 of the solar-type star HD 209458 for Trojan asteroid swarms dynamically coupled with the system's transiting 'hot Jupiter' HD 209458b. Observations of the presence and nature of asteroids around other stars would provide unique constraints on migration models of exoplanetary systems. Our results set an upper limit on the optical depth of Trojans in the HD 209458 system that can be used to guide current and future searches of similar systems by upcoming missions. Using cross-correlation methods with artificial signals implanted in the data, we find that our detection limit corresponds to a relative Trojan transit depth of 1 x10 -4 , equivalent to ∼1 lunar mass of asteroids, assuming power-law Trojan size distributions similar to Jupiter's Trojans in our solar system. We confirm with dynamical interpretations that some asteroids could have migrated inward with the planet to its current orbit at 0.045 AU, and that the Yarkovsky effect is ineffective at eliminating objects of >1 m in size. However, using numerical models of collisional evolution we find that, due to high relative speeds in this confined Trojan environment, collisions destroy the vast majority of the asteroids in -7 .

  11. Rotational Characterization of Hayabusa II Target Asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3

    OpenAIRE

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Abe, Shinsuke; Pan, Kang-Shian; Osip, David; Pefkou, Dimitra; Melita, Mario; Elias, Mauro; Kitazato, Kohei; Bus, Schelte; DeMeo, Francesca; Binzel, Richard; Abell, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa II mission is scheduled to rendezvous with and return a sample from the near-Earth asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3. Previous visible-wavelength spectra of this object show significant variability across multiple epochs which could be the result of a compositionally heterogeneous surface. We present new visible and near-infrared spectra to demonstrate that thermally altered carbonaceous chondrites are plausible compositional analogs, however this is a tentative ...

  12. Priority Science Targets for Future Sample Return Missions within the Solar System Out to the Year 2050

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Allton, J. H.; Barnes, J. J.; Boyce, J. W.; Burton, A. S.; Draper, D. S.; Evans, C. A.; Fries, M. D.; Jones, J. H.; Keller, L. P.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (henceforth referred to herein as NASA Curation Office) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is responsible for curating all of NASA's extraterrestrial samples. JSC presently curates 9 different astromaterials collections: (1) Apollo samples, (2) LUNA samples, (3) Antarctic meteorites, (4) Cosmic dust particles, (5) Microparticle Impact Collection [formerly called Space Exposed Hardware], (6) Genesis solar wind, (7) Star-dust comet Wild-2 particles, (8) Stardust interstellar particles, and (9) Hayabusa asteroid Itokawa particles. In addition, the next missions bringing carbonaceous asteroid samples to JSC are Hayabusa 2/ asteroid Ryugu and OSIRIS-Rex/ asteroid Bennu, in 2021 and 2023, respectively. The Hayabusa 2 samples are provided as part of an international agreement with JAXA. The NASA Curation Office plans for the requirements of future collections in an "Advanced Curation" program. Advanced Curation is tasked with developing procedures, technology, and data sets necessary for curating new types of collections as envisioned by NASA exploration goals. Here we review the science value and sample curation needs of some potential targets for sample return missions over the next 35 years.

  13. The Steward Observatory asteroid relational database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Alvarezdelcastillo, Elizabeth M.

    1991-01-01

    The Steward Observatory Asteroid Relational Database (SOARD) was created as a flexible tool for undertaking studies of asteroid populations and sub-populations, to probe the biases intrinsic to asteroid databases, to ascertain the completeness of data pertaining to specific problems, to aid in the development of observational programs, and to develop pedagogical materials. To date, SOARD has compiled an extensive list of data available on asteroids and made it accessible through a single menu-driven database program. Users may obtain tailored lists of asteroid properties for any subset of asteroids or output files which are suitable for plotting spectral data on individual asteroids. The program has online help as well as user and programmer documentation manuals. The SOARD already has provided data to fulfill requests by members of the astronomical community. The SOARD continues to grow as data is added to the database and new features are added to the program.

  14. Comets, Asteroids and Rubble Piles: not just debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, J. B.; Dusenbery, P.

    2010-12-01

    The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute (NCIL @ SSI) is developing a variety of asteroids related education activities as part of several E/PO projects, including Finding NEO (funded through NSF and NASA SMD); Great Balls of Fire! (funded through NSF); and a partnership with the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) mission. These activities range from a web site to traveling exhibits in three different sizes. The Killer Asteroids web site (www.killerasteroids.org) includes background information on comets and asteroids as well as a number of interactive activities and games. These include a game that compares the risk of death from an asteroid impact to other hazards; a game and video vignettes on the role of backyard astronomers in light curve research; a physics-based asteroid deflection game; and a Google Earth -based "drop a rock on your house" activity. In addition, the project is developing a small, portable exhibit suitable for use in libraries or visitors centers. Great Balls of Fire! includes two separate traveling exhibitions: a 3000 square foot exhibition for science centers, and a 500 square foot version for smaller venues. Both will begin national tours in the summer of 2011. The Great Balls of Fire! exhibit program includes a free Education Program for docents and educators, and an Outreach Program to amateur astronomers around the country through the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s (ASP) Astronomy from the Ground Up program. The project will facilitate partnerships between host venues and local astronomy clubs that can interact with the public using a toolkit of activities developed by ASP. Great Balls of Fire! Represents a collaboration between scientists, educators, exhibit designers, graphic artists, evaluators, education researchers, and three teams of middle school students who acted as advisors. The project’s exhibit design firm is Jeff Kennedy Associates Inc. We will present a summary of the

  15. Reverse Asteroids: Searching for an Effective Tool to Combat Asteroid Belt Misconceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, F.; Eisenhamer, B.

    2014-12-01

    The public 'knows' that asteroid belts are densely packed and dangerous for spaceships to cross. Visuals from "Star Wars" to, unfortunately, the recent "Cosmos" TV series have firmly established this astronomical misconception. However, even scientifically correct graphics, such as the Minor Planet Center's plot of the inner solar system, reinforces that view. Each pixel in the image is more than a million kilometers in width, making an accurate representation of the object density impossible.To address this widespread misconception, we are investigating an educational exercise built around a computer interactive that we call "Reverse Asteroids". In the arcade classic video game, the asteroids came to the player's spaceship. For our reverse implementation, we consider an inquiry-based activity in which the spaceship must go hunting for the asteroids, using a database of real objects in our solar system. Both 3D data visualization and basic statistical analysis play crucial roles in bringing out the true space density within the asteroid belt, and perhaps a reconciliation between imagination and reality. We also emphasize that a partnership of scientists and educators is fundamental to the success of such projects.

  16. Radiation effects in the Si-PIN detector on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission

    CERN Document Server

    Starr, R; Evans, L G; Floyd, S R; McClanahan, T P; Trombka, J I; Goldsten, J O; Maurer, R H; McNutt, R L; Roth, D R

    1999-01-01

    A Si-PIN photodiode is being used as a solar X-ray monitor on the X-ray/gamma-ray spectrometer experiment which is flying on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft. Since its launch in February 1996 this photodiode has experienced several brief failures. These anomalies and other performance characteristics will be described. Efforts to reproduce these failures in ground tests with flight spare equipment will also be discussed.

  17. Prediction of Spiral Patterns on the Surface of Asteroid 101955 Bennu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreslavsky, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    Asteroid 101955 Bennu, the target of OSIRIS-REx space mission, is known to have a "walnut" shape: close to an axially symmetric oblate shape with a sharp equatorial ridge (Nolan M. C., et al., 2013, Icarus 226, 629-640, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.05.028). Such a shape is usual among quickly spinning small asteroids; it is thought to be formed due to surficial transport of asteroid material toward equator under a combination of the gravitational and centrifugal forces, in other words, downhill with respect to the geopotential (e.g., Scheeres, D. J., et al., 2006, Science 314, 1280-1283, doi:10.1126/science.1133599). This is likely to occur, when a rubble-pile asteroid is spun up by the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect. The Rossby number Ro associated with the frictionless downslope movement is scaled as (T/2π)(g sinθ/L)1/2, where T the spin period, g is a characteristic value of the effective gravity (the geopotential gradient), θ is the characteristic surface slope with respect to the geopotential, and L is the characteristic scale length of the slope. Typical values for Bennu, g 6×10-5 m s-2, θ 30° (Scheeres, D.J., et al., 2016, Icarus 276, 116-140, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.04.013), and L 100 m, a part of Bennu radius, yields Ro 1.3, which means that the Coriolis force play a significant role in the downslope movement dynamics. On this basis, it is reasonable to predict that the traces left by material sliding toward equator on Bennu would form spiral patterns. Hopefully, OSIRIS-REx mission will check the prediction soon. I modeled trajectories of rolling boulders, bouncing boulders, and sliding masses assuming different friction models. For these calculations I used an idealized axially symmetric Bennu shape and semianalytical calculation of gravitational potential. I also repeated the calculation for a set of higher spin rates that may be relevant to the geologically recent past. Although the trajectory form itself is insufficient to

  18. Distant asteroids and Chiron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    French, L.M.; Vilas, F.; Hartmann, W.K.; Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    Knowledge of the physical properties of distant asteroids (a>3.3 AU) has grown dramatically over the past five years, due to systematic compositional and lightcurve studies. Most of these objects have red, dark surfaces, and their spectra show a reddening in spectral slope with heliocentric distance implying a change in surface composition. Trojans for which near-opposition phase curve information is available appear to show little or no opposition effect, unlike any dark solar system objects. The lightcurve amplitudes of Trojan and Hilda asteroids imply significantly more elongated shapes for these groups than for main-belt asteroids of comparable size. These recent observations are reviewed in the context of their implications for the formation and subsequent evolution of the distant asteroids, and their interrelations with the main belt, Chiron and comets

  19. Asteroid mass estimation using Markov-chain Monte Carlo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siltala, Lauri; Granvik, Mikael

    2017-11-01

    Estimates for asteroid masses are based on their gravitational perturbations on the orbits of other objects such as Mars, spacecraft, or other asteroids and/or their satellites. In the case of asteroid-asteroid perturbations, this leads to an inverse problem in at least 13 dimensions where the aim is to derive the mass of the perturbing asteroid(s) and six orbital elements for both the perturbing asteroid(s) and the test asteroid(s) based on astrometric observations. We have developed and implemented three different mass estimation algorithms utilizing asteroid-asteroid perturbations: the very rough 'marching' approximation, in which the asteroids' orbital elements are not fitted, thereby reducing the problem to a one-dimensional estimation of the mass, an implementation of the Nelder-Mead simplex method, and most significantly, a Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach. We describe each of these algorithms with particular focus on the MCMC algorithm, and present example results using both synthetic and real data. Our results agree with the published mass estimates, but suggest that the published uncertainties may be misleading as a consequence of using linearized mass-estimation methods. Finally, we discuss remaining challenges with the algorithms as well as future plans.

  20. Asteroids - NeoWs API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NeoWs (Near Earth Object Web Service) is a RESTful web service for near earth Asteroid information. With NeoWs a user can: search for Asteroids based on their...

  1. Geotechnical Tests on Asteroid Simulant Orgueil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Alexander D'marco

    2017-01-01

    In the last 100 years, the global population has more than quadrupled to over seven billion people. At the same time, the demand for food and standard of living has been increasing which has amplified the global water use by nearly eight times from approximately 500 to 4000 cu km per yr from 1900 to 2010. With the increasing concern to sustain the growing population on Earth it is necessary to seek other approaches to ensure that our planet will have resources for generations to come. In recent years, the advancement of space travel and technology has allowed the idea of mining asteroids with resources closer to becoming a reality. During the duration of the internship at NASA Kennedy Space Center, several geotechnical tests were conducted on BP-1 lunar simulant and asteroid simulant Orgueil. The tests that were conducted on BP-1 was to practice utilizing the equipment that will be used on the asteroid simulant and the data from those tests will be omitted from report. Understanding the soil mechanics of asteroid simulant Orgueil will help provide basis for future technological advances and prepare scientists for the conditions they may encounter when mining asteroids becomes reality in the distant future. Distinct tests were conducted to determine grain size distribution, unconsolidated density, and maximum density. Once the basic properties are known, the asteroid simulant will be altered to different levels of compaction using a vibrator table to see how compaction affects the density. After different intervals of vibration compaction, a miniature vane shear test will be conducted. Laboratory vane shear testing is a reliable tool to investigate strength anisotropy in the vertical and horizontal directions of a very soft to stiff saturated fine-grained clayey soil. This test will provide us with a rapid determination of the shear strength on the undisturbed compacted regolith. The results of these tests will shed light on how much torque is necessary to drill

  2. The first retrograde Trojan asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegert, Paul; Connors, Martin; Veillet, Christian

    2018-04-01

    There are about six thousand asteroids which share Jupiter's orbit around the Sun. Called the 'Trojan asteroids', they co-exist easily with this giant planet because they travel in the same direction as it ('direct' or 'prograde' motion), and remain roughly 60 degrees ahead of or behind it in its orbit. Newly discovered asteroid 2015 BZ509 is on a retrograde orbit, but is nonetheless in a state dynamically analogous to that of the prograde Trojans. The discovery circumstances and the nature of the motion of this curious asteroid -the first of its kind- will be outlined.

  3. Asteroids mass determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffmann, M.

    1989-01-01

    Basic methods for asteroid mass determinations and their errors are discussed. New results and some current developments in the astrometric method are reviewed. New methods and techniques, such as electronic imaging, radar ranging and space probes are becoming important for asteroid mass determinations. Mass and density estimations on rotational properties and possible satelites are also discussed

  4. Design and analysis of RTGs for CRAF and Cassini missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schock, A.; Noravian, H.; Or, C.; Sankarankandath, K.

    1991-01-01

    The paper describes the design and analysis of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) integrated with the Jet Proplusion Laboratory's CRAF (Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby) and Cassini Spacecraft. The principal purpose of the CRAF mission is the study of Asteroids and comets, and the principal purpose of the Cassini mission is the study of asteroids, Saturn, and its moons (particularly Titan). Both misions will employ the Mariner/Mark-2 spacecraft, and each will be powered by two GPHS-RTGs (General Purpose Heat Source-RTGs). JPL's spacecraft designers wish to locate the two RTGs in close proximity to each other, resulting in mutual and unsymmetrical obstruction of their heat rejection paths. To support JPL's design studies, the U.S. Department of Energy asked Fairchild to determine the effect of the RTGs' proximity on their power output. As described in the paper, this required the development of novel analysis methods and computer codes for the coupled thermal and electrical analysis of obstructed RTGs with axial and circumferential temperature, voltage, and current variations. The code was validated against measured data of unobstructed RTG tests, and was used for the detailed analysis of the obstructed CRAF and Cassini RTGs. Also described is a new method for predicting the combined effect of fuel decay and thermoelectric degradation on the output of obstructed RTGs, which amounts for the effect of diminishing temperatures on degradation rates. For the 24-degree separation angle of JPL's original baseline design, and for the 35-degree RTG separation of JPL's revised design, the computed results indicate that the mutually obstructed GPHS/RTGs with standard fuel loading and operating temperatures can comfortably meet the JPL-specified power requirements for the CRAF mission and almost meet the specified requirements for the Cassini mission

  5. An initial perspective of S-asteroid subtypes within asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, M. S.; Gaffey, M. J.

    1993-01-01

    Many main belt asteroids cluster around certain values of semi-major axis (a), inclination (i), and eccentricity (e). Hirayama was the first to notice these concentrations which he interpreted as evidence of disruptions of larger parent bodies. He called these clusters 'asteroid families'. The term 'families' is increasingly reserved for genetic associations to distinguish them from clusters of unknown or purely dynamical origin (e.g. the Phocaea cluster). Members of a genetic asteroid family represent fragments derived from various depths within the original parent planetesimal. Thus, family members offer the potential for direct examination of the interiors of parent bodies which have undergone metamorphism and differentiation similar to that occurring in the inaccessible interiors of terrestrial planets. The differentiation similar to that occurring in the inaccessible interiors of terrestrial planets. The condition that genetic family members represent the fragments of a parent object provides a critical test of whether an association (cluster in proper element space) is a genetic family. Compositions (types and relative abundances of materials) of family members must permit the reconstruction of a compositionally plausible parent body. The compositions of proposed family members can be utilized to test the genetic reality of the family and to determine the type and degree of internal differentiation within the parent planetesimal. The interpretation of the S-class mineralogy provides a preliminary evaluation of family memberships. Detailed mineralogical and petrological analysis was done based on the reflectance spectra of 39 S-type asteroids. The result is a division of the S-asteroid class into seven subtypes based on compositional differences. These subtypes, designated S(I) to S(VII), correspond to surface silicate assemblages ranging from monomineralic olivine (dunites) through olivine-pyroxene mixtures to pure pyroxene or pyroxene-feldspar mixtures

  6. Evolution of comets into asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; A'hearn, M.F.; Rickman, H.; Mcfadden, L.A.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents observational evidence, together with recent theoretical developments, supporting the hypothesis that at least some asteroids might be extinct or dormant cometary nuclei. The observations include the discovery of a number of apparent asteroids in chaotic Jupiter-crossing orbits; the IRAS discovery of 1983 TB, an asteroid in the same orbit as the Geminid meteor shower; the apparent low activity levels determined for several short-period comet nuclei including Comet Halley; and observations of possible cometary activity in some earth-crossing asteroids. Theoretical developments include explorations of dynamical mechanisms capable of delivering main-belt asteroids into earth-crossing orbits, and an understanding of possible processes which may affect comets during their long residence in the Oort cloud and lead to the formation of nonvolatile crusts before and after they enter the planetary system. 143 refs

  7. Ejecta cloud from the AIDA space project kinetic impact on the secondary of a binary asteroid: I. mechanical environment and dynamical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yang; Michel, Patrick; Schwartz, Stephen R.; Naidu, Shantanu P.; Benner, Lance A. M.

    2017-01-01

    An understanding of the post-impact dynamics of ejecta clouds are crucial to the planning of a kinetic impact mission to an asteroid, and also has great implications for the history of planetary formation. The purpose of this article is to track the evolution of ejecta produced by AIDA mission, which targets for kinetic impact the secondary of near-Earth binary asteroid (65803) Didymos on 2022, and to feedback essential informations to AIDA's ongoing phase-A study. We present a detailed dynamic model for the simulation of an ejecta cloud from a binary asteroid that synthesizes all relevant forces based on a previous analysis of the mechanical environment. We apply our method to gain insight into the expected response of Didymos to the AIDA impact, including the subsequent evolution of debris and dust. The crater scaling relations from laboratory experiments are employed to approximate the distributions of ejecta mass and launching speed. The size distribution of fragments is modeled with a power law fitted from observations of real asteroid surface. A full-scale demonstration is simulated using parameters specified by the mission. We report the results of the simulation, which include the computed spread of the ejecta cloud and the recorded history of ejecta accretion and escape. The violent period of the ejecta evolution is found to be short, and is followed by a stage where the remaining ejecta is gradually cleared. Solar radiation pressure proves to be efficient in cleaning dust-size ejecta, and the simulation results after two weeks shows that large debris on polar orbits (perpendicular to the binary orbital plane) has a survival advantage over smaller ejecta and ejecta that keeps to low latitudes.

  8. Comparison of three filters in asteroid-based autonomous navigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cui Wen; Zhu Kai-Jian

    2014-01-01

    At present, optical autonomous navigation has become a key technology in deep space exploration programs. Recent studies focus on the problem of orbit determination using autonomous navigation, and the choice of filter is one of the main issues. To prepare for a possible exploration mission to Mars, the primary emphasis of this paper is to evaluate the capability of three filters, the extended Kalman filter (EKF), unscented Kalman filter (UKF) and weighted least-squares (WLS) algorithm, which have different initial states during the cruise phase. One initial state is assumed to have high accuracy with the support of ground tracking when autonomous navigation is operating; for the other state, errors are set to be large without this support. In addition, the method of selecting asteroids that can be used for navigation from known lists of asteroids to form a sequence is also presented in this study. The simulation results show that WLS and UKF should be the first choice for optical autonomous navigation during the cruise phase to Mars

  9. A Lean, Fast Mars Round-trip Mission Architecture: Using Current Technologies for a Human Mission in the 2030s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Lora; Folta, David; Barbee, Brent W.; Vaughn, Frank; Kirchman, Frank; Englander, Jacob; Campbell, Bruce; Thronson, Harley; Lin, Tzu Yu

    2013-01-01

    We present a lean fast-transfer architecture concept for a first human mission to Mars that utilizes current technologies and two pivotal parameters: an end-to-end Mars mission duration of approximately one year, and a deep space habitat of approximately 50 metric tons. These parameters were formulated by a 2012 deep space habitat study conducted at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) that focused on a subset of recognized high- engineering-risk factors that may otherwise limit space travel to destinations such as Mars or near-Earth asteroid (NEA)s. With these constraints, we model and promote Mars mission opportunities in the 2030s enabled by a combination of on-orbit staging, mission element pre-positioning, and unique round-trip trajectories identified by state-of-the-art astrodynamics algorithms.

  10. Special issue on asteroids - Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novaković, Bojan; Hsieh, Henry H.; Gronchi, Giovanni F.

    2018-04-01

    The articles in this special issue are devoted to asteroids, small solar system bodies that primarily populate a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, known as the asteroid belt, but can also be found throughout the Solar System. Asteroids are considered to be a key to understanding the formation and evolution of our planetary system. Their properties allow us to test current theoretical models and develop new theoretical concepts pertaining to evolutionary processes in the Solar System. There have been major advances in asteroid science in the last decade, and that trend continues. Eighteen papers accepted for this special issue cover a wide range of asteroid-related subjects, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of these intriguing objects even further. Here we provide the reader with a brief overview of these thrilling papers, with an invitation for interested scientists to read each work in detail for a better understanding of these recent cutting edge results. As many topics in asteroid science remain open challenges, we hope that this special issue will be an important reference point for future research on this compelling topic.

  11. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baer, James [Private address, 3210 Apache Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241 (United States); Chesley, Steven R., E-mail: jimbaer1@earthlink.net [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2017-08-01

    The conventional least-squares asteroid mass determination algorithm allows us to solve for the mass of a large subject asteroid that is perturbing the trajectory of a smaller test asteroid. However, this algorithm is necessarily a first approximation, ignoring the possibility that the subject asteroid may itself be perturbed by the test asteroid, or that the encounter’s precise geometry may be entangled with encounters involving other asteroids. After reviewing the conventional algorithm, we use it to calculate the masses of 30 main-belt asteroids. Compared to our previous results, we find new mass estimates for eight asteroids (11 Parthenope, 27 Euterpe, 51 Neimausa, 76 Freia, 121 Hermione, 324 Bamberga, 476 Hedwig, and 532 Herculina) and significantly more precise estimates for six others (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 9 Metis, 16 Psyche, and 88 Thisbe). However, we also find that the conventional algorithm yields questionable results in several gravitationally coupled cases. To address such cases, we describe a new algorithm that allows the epoch state vectors of the subject asteroids to be included as solve-for parameters, allowing for the simultaneous solution of the masses and epoch state vectors of multiple subject and test asteroids. We then apply this algorithm to the same 30 main-belt asteroids and conclude that mass determinations resulting from current and future high-precision astrometric sources (such as Gaia ) should conduct a thorough search for possible gravitational couplings and account for their effects.

  12. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.

    2017-08-01

    The conventional least-squares asteroid mass determination algorithm allows us to solve for the mass of a large subject asteroid that is perturbing the trajectory of a smaller test asteroid. However, this algorithm is necessarily a first approximation, ignoring the possibility that the subject asteroid may itself be perturbed by the test asteroid, or that the encounter’s precise geometry may be entangled with encounters involving other asteroids. After reviewing the conventional algorithm, we use it to calculate the masses of 30 main-belt asteroids. Compared to our previous results, we find new mass estimates for eight asteroids (11 Parthenope, 27 Euterpe, 51 Neimausa, 76 Freia, 121 Hermione, 324 Bamberga, 476 Hedwig, and 532 Herculina) and significantly more precise estimates for six others (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 9 Metis, 16 Psyche, and 88 Thisbe). However, we also find that the conventional algorithm yields questionable results in several gravitationally coupled cases. To address such cases, we describe a new algorithm that allows the epoch state vectors of the subject asteroids to be included as solve-for parameters, allowing for the simultaneous solution of the masses and epoch state vectors of multiple subject and test asteroids. We then apply this algorithm to the same 30 main-belt asteroids and conclude that mass determinations resulting from current and future high-precision astrometric sources (such as Gaia) should conduct a thorough search for possible gravitational couplings and account for their effects.

  13. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.

    2017-01-01

    The conventional least-squares asteroid mass determination algorithm allows us to solve for the mass of a large subject asteroid that is perturbing the trajectory of a smaller test asteroid. However, this algorithm is necessarily a first approximation, ignoring the possibility that the subject asteroid may itself be perturbed by the test asteroid, or that the encounter’s precise geometry may be entangled with encounters involving other asteroids. After reviewing the conventional algorithm, we use it to calculate the masses of 30 main-belt asteroids. Compared to our previous results, we find new mass estimates for eight asteroids (11 Parthenope, 27 Euterpe, 51 Neimausa, 76 Freia, 121 Hermione, 324 Bamberga, 476 Hedwig, and 532 Herculina) and significantly more precise estimates for six others (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 9 Metis, 16 Psyche, and 88 Thisbe). However, we also find that the conventional algorithm yields questionable results in several gravitationally coupled cases. To address such cases, we describe a new algorithm that allows the epoch state vectors of the subject asteroids to be included as solve-for parameters, allowing for the simultaneous solution of the masses and epoch state vectors of multiple subject and test asteroids. We then apply this algorithm to the same 30 main-belt asteroids and conclude that mass determinations resulting from current and future high-precision astrometric sources (such as Gaia ) should conduct a thorough search for possible gravitational couplings and account for their effects.

  14. Geography of the asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, B. H.

    1978-01-01

    The CSM classification serves as the starting point on the geography of the asteroid belt. Raw data on asteroid types are corrected for observational biases (against dark objects, for instance) to derive the distribution of types throughout the belt. Recent work on family members indicates that dynamical families have a true physical relationship, presumably indicating common origin in the breakup of a parent asteroid.

  15. Autonomous Mission Design in Extreme Orbit Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surovik, David Allen

    An algorithm for autonomous online mission design at asteroids, comets, and small moons is developed to meet the novel challenges of their complex non-Keplerian orbit environments, which render traditional methods inapplicable. The core concept of abstract reachability analysis, in which a set of impulsive maneuvering options is mapped onto a space of high-level mission outcomes, is applied to enable goal-oriented decision-making with robustness to uncertainty. These nuanced analyses are efficiently computed by utilizing a heuristic-based adaptive sampling scheme that either maximizes an objective function for autonomous planning or resolves details of interest for preliminary analysis and general study. Illustrative examples reveal the chaotic nature of small body systems through the structure of various families of reachable orbits, such as those that facilitate close-range observation of targeted surface locations or achieve soft impact upon them. In order to fulfill extensive sets of observation tasks, the single-maneuver design method is implemented in a receding-horizon framework such that a complete mission is constructed on-the-fly one piece at a time. Long-term performance and convergence are assured by augmenting the objective function with a prospect heuristic, which approximates the likelihood that a reachable end-state will benefit the subsequent planning horizon. When state and model uncertainty produce larger trajectory deviations than were anticipated, the next control horizon is advanced to allow for corrective action -- a low-frequency form of feedback control. Through Monte Carlo analysis, the planning algorithm is ultimately demonstrated to produce mission profiles that vary drastically in their physical paths but nonetheless consistently complete all goals, suggesting a high degree of flexibility. It is further shown that the objective function can be tuned to preferentially minimize fuel cost or mission duration, as well as to optimize

  16. Hungaria asteroid region telescopic spectral survey (HARTSS) I: Stony asteroids abundant in the Hungaria background population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Michael P.; Emery, Joshua P.; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Lindsay, Sean S.; Lorenzi, Vania

    2017-07-01

    The Hungaria asteroids remain as survivors of late giant planet migration that destabilized a now extinct inner portion of the primordial asteroid belt and left in its wake the current resonance structure of the Main Belt. In this scenario, the Hungaria region represents a ;purgatory; for the closest, preserved samples of the asteroidal material from which the terrestrial planets accreted. Deciphering the surface composition of these unique samples may provide constraints on the nature of the primordial building blocks of the terrestrial planets. We have undertaken an observational campaign entitled the Hungaria Asteroid Region Telescopic Spectral Survey (HARTSS) to record near-infrared (NIR) reflectance spectra in order to characterize their taxonomy, surface mineralogy, and potential meteorite analogs. The overall objective of HARTSS is to evaluate the compositional diversity of asteroids located throughout the Hungaria region. This region harbors a collisional family of Xe-type asteroids, which are situated among a background (i.e., non-family) of predominantly S-complex asteroids. In order to assess the compositional diversity of the Hungaria region, we have targeted background objects during Phase I of HARTSS. Collisional family members likely reflect the composition of one original homogeneous parent body, so we have largely avoided them in this phase. We have employed NIR instruments at two ground-based telescope facilities: the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), and the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG). Our data set includes the NIR spectra of 42 Hungaria asteroids (36 background; 6 family). We find that stony S-complex asteroids dominate the Hungaria background population (29/36 objects; ∼80%). C-complex asteroids are uncommon (2/42; ∼5%) within the Hungaria region. Background S-complex objects exhibit considerable spectral diversity as band parameter measurements of diagnostic absorption features near 1- and 2-μm indicate that several

  17. Asteroid Spectroscopy: A Declaration of Independence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.

    1995-09-01

    One of the shibboleths of asteroid spectroscopy for the past 25 years has been that a detailed knowledge of meteoritics is essential for proper interpretation of asteroid spectra. In fact, several recent spectroscopic discoveries have overturned long-standing models based on popular interpretations of meteorite data. A case can be made that spectroscopists could have made much faster progress if they had worked in total isolation from meteoritics. Consider the first three spectral classes identified in the 1970s: Vesta: The very first asteroid spectrum was unambigously basaltic, yet some meteoriticists have persistently resisted the obvious conclusion that the HED clan comes from Vesta, because A) Vesta is "impossibly" far from the known dynamical escape hatches; and B) the HED O-isotope data "establishes" a lirlk with pallasites and IIIAB irons, suggesting that their parent was some other completely disrupted asteroid. The discovery of a "dynamically impossible" extended family of basaltic fragments extending from Vesta to the 3:1 resonance [1] makes it clear that HEDs must originate on Vesta, and that dynamical, physical and isotopic arguments all led in the wrong direction. Stony: In the early 1970s meteorite fall statistics led to an expectation that many of the larger asteroids would be ordinary chondrites. When the most common class of asteroids proved to have silicate absorption bands, many concluded that these objects were the expected ordinary chondrite parent asteroids. The later discovery that S-type spectra do not actually resemble OCs was rationalized with imaginary "space weathering" processes (which have never been observed or simulated despite 20 years of wasted effort). Now that the real weathering trends in S asteroids have been resolved [2] and asteroids which actually do look like OCs discovered [3], it is clear that the eDhre controversy over S asteroid composition was a blind alley that could have been avoided by taking the spectra at face

  18. Exogenous origin of hydration on asteroid (16) Psyche: the role of hydrated asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avdellidou, C.; Delbo', M.; Fienga, A.

    2018-04-01

    Asteroid (16) Psyche, which for a long time was the largest M-type with no detection of hydration features in its spectrum, was recently discovered to have a weak 3-μm band and thus it was eventually added to the group of hydrated asteroids. Its relatively high density, in combination with the high radar albedo, led researchers to classify the asteroid as a metallic object. It is believed that it is possibly a core of a differentiated body, a remnant of `hit-and-run' collisions. The detection of hydration is, in principle, inconsistent with a pure metallic origin for this body. Here, we consider the scenario in which the hydration on its surface is exogenous and was delivered by hydrated impactors. We show that impacting asteroids that belong to families whose members have the 3-μm band can deliver hydrated material to Psyche. We developed a collisional model with which we test all dark carbonaceous asteroid families, which contain hydrated members. We find that the major source of hydrated impactors is the family of Themis, with a total implanted mass on Psyche of the order of ˜1014 kg. However, the hydrated fraction could be only a few per cent of the implanted mass, as the water content in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, the best analogue for the Themis asteroid family, is typically a few per cent of their mass.

  19. Rendezvous missions with minimoons from L1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chyba, M.; Haberkorn, T.; Patterson, G.

    2014-07-01

    We propose to present asteroid capture missions with the so-called minimoons. Minimoons are small asteroids that are temporarily captured objects on orbits in the Earth-Moon system. It has been suggested that, despite their small capture probability, at any time there are one or two meter diameter minimoons, and progressively greater numbers at smaller diameters. The minimoons orbits differ significantly from elliptical orbits which renders a rendezvous mission more challenging, however they offer many advantages for such missions that overcome this fact. First, they are already on geocentric orbits which results in short duration missions with low Delta-v, this translates in cost efficiency and low-risk targets. Second, beside their close proximity to Earth, an advantage is their small size since it provides us with the luxury to retrieve the entire asteroid and not only a sample of material. Accessing the interior structure of a near-Earth satellite in its morphological context is crucial to an in-depth analysis of the structure of the asteroid. Historically, 2006 RH120 is the only minimoon that has been detected but work is ongoing to determine which modifications to current observation facilities is necessary to provide detection algorithm capabilities. In the event that detection is successful, an efficient algorithm to produce a space mission to rendezvous with the detected minimoon is highly desirable to take advantage of this opportunity. This is the main focus of our work. For the design of the mission we propose the following. The spacecraft is first placed in hibernation on a Lissajoux orbit around the liberation point L1 of the Earth-Moon system. We focus on eight-shaped Lissajoux orbits to take advantage of the stability properties of their invariant manifolds for our transfers since the cost to minimize is the spacecraft fuel consumption. Once a minimoon has been detected we must choose a point on its orbit to rendezvous (in position and velocities

  20. Shape and spin of asteroid 967 Helionape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolovska, G.; Kostov, A.; Donchev, Z.; Bebekovska, E. Vchkova; Kuzmanovska, O.

    2018-04-01

    Knowledge of the spin and shape parameters of the asteroids is very important for understanding of the conditions during the creation of our planetary system and formation of asteroid populations. The main belt asteroid and Flora family member 967 Helionape was observed during five apparitions. The observations were made at the Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory (BNAO) Rozhen, since March 2006 to March 2016. Lihtcurve inversion method (Kaasalainen et al. (2001)), applied on 12 relative lightcurves obtained at various geometric conditions of the asteroid, reveals the spin vector, the sense of rotation and the preliminary shape model of the asteroid. Our aim is to contribute in increasing the set of asteroids with known spin and shape parameters. This could be done with dense lightcurves, obtained during small number of apparitions, in combination with sparse data produced by photometric asteroid surveys such as the Gaia satellite (Hanush (2011)).

  1. Working Group Reports and Presentations: Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John

    2006-01-01

    The study and utilization of asteroids will be an economical way to enable exploration of the solar system and extend human presence in space. There are thousands of near-earth objects (NEOs) that we will be able to reach. They offer resources, transportation, and exploration platforms, but also present a potential threat to civilization. Asteroids play a catastrophic role in the history of the Earth. Geological records indicate a regular history of massive impacts, which astronomical observations confirm is likely to continue with potentially devastating consequences. However, study and exploration of near earth asteroids can significantly increase advanced warning of an Earth impact, and potentially lead to the technology necessary to avert such a collision. Efforts to detect and prevent cataclysmic events would tend to foster and likely require international cooperation toward a unified goal of self-preservation. Exploration of asteroids will help us to understand our history and perhaps save our future. Besides the obvious and compelling scientific and security drivers for asteroid research and exploration, there are numerous engineering and industrial applications for near-term asteroid exploration. We have strong evidence that some asteroids are metal rich. Some are water and organic rich. They can be reached with a very low fuel cost compared to other solar system destinations. Once we reach them, there are efficient, simple extraction technologies available that would facilitate utilization. In addition, the costs of returning extracted resources from asteroids will be a fraction of the cost to return similar resources from the moon to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). These raw materials, extracted and shipped at relatively low cost, can be used to manufacture structures, fuel, and products which could be used to foster mankind s further exploration of the solar system. Asteroids also have the potential to offer transport to several destinations in the solar system

  2. Capturing asteroids into bound orbits around the earth: Massive early return on an asteroid terminal defense system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hills, J.G.

    1992-01-01

    Nuclear explosives may be used to capture small asteroids (e.g., 20--50 meters in diameter) into bound orbits around the earth. The captured objects could be used for construction material for manned and unmanned activity in Earth orbit. Asteroids with small approach velocities, which are the ones most likely to have close approaches to the Earth, require the least energy for capture. They are particularly easy to capture if they pass within one Earth radius of the surface of the Earth. They could be intercepted with intercontinental missiles if the latter were retrofit with a more flexible guiding and homing capability. This asteroid capture-defense system could be implemented in a few years at low cost by using decommissioned ICMs. The economic value of even one captured asteroid is many times the initial investment. The asteroid capture system would be an essential part of the learning curve for dealing with larger asteroids that can hit the earth

  3. Spectral Classification of Asteroids by Random Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, C.; Ma, Y. H.; Zhao, H. B.; Lu, X. P.

    2016-09-01

    With the increasing asteroid spectral and photometric data, a variety of classification methods for asteroids have been proposed. This paper classifies asteroids based on the observations of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalogue (MOC) by using the random forest algorithm. With the training data derived from the taxonomies of Tholen, Bus, Lazzaro, DeMeo, and Principal Component Analysis, we classify 48642 asteroids according to g, r, i, and z SDSS magnitudes. In this way, asteroids are divided into 8 spectral classes (C, X, S, B, D, K, L, and V).

  4. Spectral properties of binary asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajuelo, Myriam; Birlan, Mirel; Carry, Benoît; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Binzel, Richard P.; Berthier, Jérôme

    2018-04-01

    We present the first attempt to characterize the distribution of taxonomic class among the population of binary asteroids (15% of all small asteroids). For that, an analysis of 0.8-2.5{μ m} near-infrared spectra obtained with the SpeX instrument on the NASA/IRTF is presented. Taxonomic class and meteorite analog is determined for each target, increasing the sample of binary asteroids with known taxonomy by 21%. Most binary systems are bound in the S-, X-, and C- classes, followed by Q and V-types. The rate of binary systems in each taxonomic class agrees within uncertainty with the background population of small near-Earth objects and inner main belt asteroids, but for the C-types which are under-represented among binaries.

  5. Reflectance spectroscopy and asteroid surface mineralogy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaffey, M.J.; Bell, J.F.; Cruikshank, D.P.

    1989-01-01

    Information available from reflectance spectroscopy on the surface mineralogy of asteroids is discussed. Current spectral interpretive procedures used in the investigations of asteroid mineralogy are described. Present understanding of the nature and history of asteroids is discussed together with some still unresolved issues such as the source of ordinary chondrites. 100 refs

  6. Three Dimensional Structures of Particles Recovered from the Asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa Mission and a Role of X-Ray Microtomography in the Preliminary Examination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchiyama, A.; Uesugi, M.; Uesugi, K.; Nakano, T.; Nakamura, T.; Noguchi, T.; Noguchi, R.; Matsumoto, T.; Matsuno, J.; Nagano, T.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Particles of regolith on S-type Asteroid 25143 Itokawa were successfully recovered by the Hayabusa mission of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). Near-infrared spectral study of Itokawa s surface indicates that these particles are materials similar to LL5 or LL6 chondrites. High-resolution images of Itokawa's surface suggest that they may be breccias and some impact products. At least more than 1500 particles were identified as Itokawa origin at curation facility of JAXA. Preliminary analysis with SEM/EDX at the curation facility shows that they are roughly similar to LL chondrites. Although most of them are less than 10 micron in size, some larger particles of about 100 micron or larger were also identified. A part of the sample (probably several tens particles) will be selected by Hayabusa sample curation team, and sequential examination will start from January 2011 by Hayabusa Asteroidal Sample Preliminary Examination Team (HASPET). In mainstream of the analytical flow, each particle will be examined by microtomography, XRD and XRF first as nondestructive analyses, and then the particle will be cut by an ultra-microtome and examined by TEM, SEM, EPMA, SIMS, PEEM/XANES, and TOF-SIMS sequentially. Three-dimensional structures of Itokawa particles will be obtained by microtomography sub-team of HASPET. The results together with XRD and XRF will be used for design of later destructive analyses, such as determination of cutting direction and depth, to obtain as much information as possible from small particles. Scientific results and a role of the microtomography in the preliminary examination will be presented.

  7. Developing an Asteroid Rotational Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geis, Gena; Williams, Miguel; Linder, Tyler; Pakey, Donald

    2018-01-01

    The goal of this project is to develop a theoretical asteroid rotational theory from first principles. Starting at first principles provides a firm foundation for computer simulations which can be used to analyze multiple variables at once such as size, rotation period, tensile strength, and density. The initial theory will be presented along with early models of applying the theory to the asteroid population. Early results confirm previous work by Pravec et al. (2002) that show the majority of the asteroids larger than 200m have negligible tensile strength and have spin rates close to their critical breakup point. Additionally, results show that an object with zero tensile strength has a maximum rotational rate determined by the object’s density, not size. Therefore, an iron asteroid with a density of 8000 kg/m^3 would have a minimum spin period of 1.16h if the only forces were gravitational and centrifugal. The short-term goal is to include material forces in the simulations to determine what tensile strength will allow the high spin rates of asteroids smaller than 150m.

  8. Spectral Classification of Asteroids by Random Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chao; Ma, Yue-hua; Zhao, Hai-bin; Lu, Xiao-ping

    2017-10-01

    With the increasing spectral and photometric data of asteroids, a variety of classification methods for asteroids have been proposed. This paper classifies asteroids based on the observations in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalogue (MOC) by using the random forest algorithm. In combination with the present taxonomies of Tholen, Bus, Lazzaro, and DeMeo, and the principal component analysis, we have classified 48642 asteroids according to their SDSS magnitudes at the g, r, i, and z wavebands. In this way, these asteroids are divided into 8 (C, X, S, B, D, K, L, and V) classes.

  9. Rendezvous with Toutatis from the Moon: The Chang'e-2 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, J.; Tang, X.; Meng, L.

    2014-07-01

    Chang'e-2 probe was the second lunar probe of China, with the main objectives to demonstrate some key features of the new lunar soft landing technology, and its applications to future exploration missions. After completing the planned mission successfully, Chang'e-2 flew away from the Moon and entered into the interplanetary space. Later, at a distance of 7 million km from the Earth, Chang'e-2 encountered asteroid (4179) Toutatis with a very close fly-by distance and obtained colorful images with a 3-m resolution. Given some surplus velocity increment as well as the promotion of autonomous flight ability and improvement of control, propulsion, and thermal systems in the initial design, Chang'e-2 had the capabilities necessary for escaping from the Moon. By taking advantage of the unique features of the Lagrangian point, the first close fly-by of asteroid Toutatis was realized despite the tight constraints of propellant allocation, spacecraft-Earth communication, and coordination of execution sequences. Chang'e-2 realized the Toutatis flyby with a km-level distance at closest approach. In the absence of direct measurement method, based on the principle of relative navigation and through the use of the sequence of target images, we calculated the rendezvous parameters such as relative distance and image resolution. With the help of these parameters, some fine and new scientific discoveries about the asteroid were obtained by techniques of optical measurements and image processing. Starting with an innovative design, followed by high-fidelity testing and demonstration, elaborative implementation, and optimal usage of residual propellant, Chang'e-2 has for the first time successfully explored the Moon, L2 point and an asteroid, while achieving the purpose of 'faster, better, cheaper'. What Chang'e-2 has accomplished was far beyond our expectations. *J. Huang is the chief designer (PI) of Chang'e-2 probe, planned Chang'e-2's multi-objective and multitasking exploration

  10. An overview of the asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.

    1989-01-01

    An introduction and overview of the field of asteroid science is presented, highlighting the accomplishments of the 1980s. The development and application of many observational techniques and data from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite have greatly increased our knowledge of asteroid physical properties. New scenarios for understanding the chemical diversity and dynamical structure of asteroids have emerged. New insights have been gained toward understanding their origin and interrelations with meteorites and comets. Suggestions and speculations are offered on future research directions

  11. Hungaria Asteroid Region Telescopic Spectral Survey (HARTSS): Stony Asteroids Abundant in the Background and Family Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Michael P.; Emery, Joshua P.; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Lindsay, Sean S.; Lorenzi, Vania

    2016-10-01

    The Hungaria region represents a "purgatory" for the closest, preserved samples of the material from which the terrestrial planets accreted. The Hungaria region harbors a collisional family of Xe-type asteroids, which are situated among a background of predominantly S-complex asteroids. Deciphering their surface composition may provide constraints on the nature of the primordial building blocks of the terrestrial planets. We hypothesize that planetesimals in the inner part of the primordial asteroid belt experienced partial- to full-melting and differentiation, the Hungaria region should retain any petrologically-evolved material that formed there.We have undertaken an observational campaign entitled the Hungaria Asteroid Region Telescopic Spectral Survey (HARTSS) to record near-infrared (NIR) spectra to characterize taxonomy, surface mineralogy, and potential meteorite analogs. We used NIR instruments at two ground-based facilities (NASA IRTF; TNG). Our data set includes spectra of 82 Hungaria asteroids (61 background; 21 family), 65 were observed during HARTSS. We compare S-complex background asteroids to calibrations developed via laboratory analyses of ordinary chondrites, and to our analyses (EPMA, XRD, VIS+NIR spectra) of 11 primitive achondrite (acapulcoite-lodranite clan) meteorites.We find that stony S-complex asteroids dominate the Hungaria background population (~80%). Background objects exhibit considerable spectral diversity, when quantified by spectral band parameter measurements, translates to a variety of surface compositions. Two main meteorite groups are represented within the Hungaria background: unmelted, nebular L chondrites (and/or L chondrites), and partially-melted primitive achondrites. H-chondrite mineralogies appear to be absent from the Hungaria background. Xe-type Hungaria family members exhibit spectral homogeneity, consistent with the hypothesis that the family was derived from the disruption of a parent body analogous to an enstatite

  12. A Breccia of Ureilitic and C2 Carbonaceous Chondrite Materials from Almahata Sitta: Implications for the Regolith of Urelitic Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, C. A.; Fioretti, A. M.; Zolensky, M.; Fries, M.; Shaddad, M.; Kohl, I.; Young, E.; Jenniskens, P.

    2017-01-01

    The Almahata Sitta (AhS) polymict ureilite is the first meteorite to originate from a spectrally classified asteroid (2008 TC3) [1-3], and provides an unprecedented opportunity to correlate properties of meteorites with those of their parent asteroid. AhS is also unique because its fragments comprise a wide variety of meteorite types. Of approximately140 stones studied to-date, 70% are ureilites (carbon-rich ultramafic achondrites) and 30% are various types of chondrites [4,5]. None of these show contacts between ureilitic and chondritic lithologies. It has been inferred that 2008 TC3 was loosely aggregated, so that it disintegrated in the atmosphere and only its most coherent clasts fell as individual stones [1,3,5]. Understanding the structure and composition of this asteroid is critical for missions to sample asteroid surfaces. We are studying [6] the University of Khartoum collection of AhS [3] to test hypotheses for the nature of 2008 TC3. We describe a sample that consists of both ureilitic and chondritic materials.

  13. Dawn Mission Education and Public Outreach: Science as Human Endeavor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, W. H.; Wise, J.; Schmidt, B. E.; Ristvey, J.

    2012-12-01

    Dawn Education and Public Outreach strives to reach diverse learners using multi-disciplinary approaches. In-depth professional development workshops in collaboration with NASA's Discovery Program, MESSENGER and Stardust-NExT missions focusing on STEM initiatives that integrate the arts have met the needs of diverse audiences and received excellent evaluations. Another collaboration on NASA ROSES grant, Small Bodies, Big Concepts, has helped bridge the learning sequence between the upper elementary and middle school, and the middle and high school Dawn curriculum modules. Leveraging the Small Bodies, Big Concepts model, educators experience diverse and developmentally appropriate NASA activities that tell the Dawn story, with teachers' pedagogical skills enriched by strategies drawn from NSTA's Designing Effective Science Instruction. Dawn mission members enrich workshops by offering science presentations to highlight events and emerging data. Teachers' awareness of the process of learning new content is heightened, and they use that experience to deepen their science teaching practice. Activities are sequenced to enhance conceptual understanding of big ideas in space science and Vesta and Ceres and the Dawn Mission 's place within that body of knowledge Other media add depth to Dawn's resources for reaching students. Instrument and ion engine interactives developed with the respective science team leads help audiences engage with the mission payload and the data each instrument collects. The Dawn Dictionary, an offering in both audio as well as written formats, makes key vocabulary accessible to a broader range of students and the interested public. Further, as Dawn E/PO has invited the public to learn about mission objectives as the mission explored asteroid Vesta, new inroads into public presentations such as the Dawn MissionCast tell the story of this extraordinary mission. Asteroid Mapper is the latest, exciting citizen science endeavor designed to invite the

  14. An Innovative Solution to NASA's NEO Impact Threat Mitigation Grand Challenge and Flight Validation Mission Architecture Development

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A Hypervelocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle (HAIV) mission architecture, which blends a hypervelocity kinetic impactor with a subsurface nuclear explosion for optimal...

  15. Near-surface bulk densities of asteroids derived from dual-polarization radar observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkki, A.; Taylor, P. A.; Zambrano-Marin, L. F.; Howell, E. S.; Nolan, M. C.; Lejoly, C.; Rivera-Valentin, E. G.; Aponte, B. A.

    2017-09-01

    We present a new method to constrain the near-surface bulk density and surface roughness of regolith on asteroid surfaces using planetary radar measurements. The number of radar observations has increased rapidly during the last five years, allowing us to compare and contrast the radar scattering properties of different small-body populations and compositional types. This provides us with new opportunities to investigate their near-surface physical properties such as the chemical composition, bulk density, porosity, or the structural roughness in the scale of centimeters to meters. Because the radar signal can penetrate into a planetary surface up to a few decimeters, radar can reveal information that is hidden from other ground-based methods, such as optical and infrared measurements. The near-surface structure of asteroids and comets in centimeter-to-meter scale is essential information for robotic and human space missions, impact threat mitigation, and understanding the history of these bodies as well as the formation of the whole Solar System.

  16. PROPERTIES OF NEAR-SUN ASTEROIDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California at Los Angeles, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States)

    2013-05-15

    Asteroids near the Sun can attain equilibrium temperatures sufficient to induce surface modification from thermal fracture, desiccation, and decomposition of hydrated silicates. We present optical observations of nine asteroids with perihelia <0.25 AU (sub-solar temperatures {>=}800 K) taken to search for evidence of thermal modification. We find that the broadband colors of these objects are diverse but statistically indistinguishable from those of planet-crossing asteroids having perihelia near 1 AU. Furthermore, images of these bodies taken away from perihelion show no evidence for on-going mass-loss (model-dependent limits {approx}<1 kg s{sup -1}) that might result from thermal disintegration of the surface. We conclude that, while thermal modification may be an important process in the decay of near-Sun asteroids and in the production of debris, our new data provide no evidence for it.

  17. Dawn of small worlds dwarf planets, asteroids, comets

    CERN Document Server

    Moltenbrey, Michael

    2016-01-01

    This book gives a detailed introduction to the thousands and thousands of smaller bodies in the solar system. Written for interested laymen, amateur astronomers and students it describes the nature and origin of asteroids, dwarf planets and comets, and gives detailed information about their role in the solar system. The author nicely reviews the history of small-world-exploration and describes past, current and future space craft missions studying small worlds, and presents their results. Readers will learn that small solar system worlds have a dramatically different nature and appearance than the planets. Even though research activity on small worlds has increased in the recent past many of their properties are still in the dark and need further research.

  18. Modeling and analysis of periodic orbits around a contact binary asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Jinglang; Noomen, Ron; Visser, Pieter N. A. M.; Yuan, Jianping

    2015-06-01

    The existence and characteristics of periodic orbits (POs) in the vicinity of a contact binary asteroid are investigated with an averaged spherical harmonics model. A contact binary asteroid consists of two components connected to each other, resulting in a highly bifurcated shape. Here, it is represented by a combination of an ellipsoid and a sphere. The gravitational field of this configuration is for the first time expanded into a spherical harmonics model up to degree and order 8. Compared with the exact potential, the truncation at degree and order 4 is found to introduce an error of less than 10 % at the circumscribing sphere and less than 1 % at a distance of the double of the reference radius. The Hamiltonian taking into account harmonics up to degree and order 4 is developed. After double averaging of this Hamiltonian, the model is reduced to include zonal harmonics only and frozen orbits are obtained. The tesseral terms are found to introduce significant variations on the frozen orbits and distort the frozen situation. Applying the method of Poincaré sections, phase space structures of the single-averaged model are generated for different energy levels and rotation rates of the asteroid, from which the dynamics driven by the 4×4 harmonics model is identified and POs are found. It is found that the disturbing effect of the highly irregular gravitational field on orbital motion is weakened around the polar region, and also for an asteroid with a fast rotation rate. Starting with initial conditions from this averaged model, families of exact POs in the original non-averaged system are obtained employing a numerical search method and a continuation technique. Some of these POs are stable and are candidates for future missions.

  19. Resurfacing asteroids from YORP spin-up and failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Kevin J.; Minton, David A.; Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Carry, Benoit

    2018-04-01

    The spectral properties of S and Q-type asteroids can change over time due to interaction with the solar wind and micrometeorite impacts in a process known as 'space weathering.' Space weathering raises the spectral slope and decreases the 1 μm absorption band depth in the spectra of S and Q-type asteroids. Over time, Q-type asteroids, which have very similar spectra to ordinary chondrite meteorites, will change into S-type asteroids. Because there are a significant number of Q-type asteroids, there must be some process which is resurfacing S-type asteroids into Q-types. In this study, we use asteroid data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to show a trend between the slope through the g‧, r‧, and i‧ filters, called the gri-slope, and size that holds for all populations of S and Q-type asteroids in the inner solar system, regardless of orbit. We model the evolution of a suite of asteroids in a Monte Carlo YORP rotational evolution and space weathering model. We show that spin-up and failure from YORP is one of the key resurfacing mechanisms that creates the observed weathering trends with size. By varying the non-dimensional YORP coefficient and running time of the present model over the range 475-1425 Myr, we find a range of values for the space weathering timescale, τSW ≈ 19-80 Myr at 2.2 AU. We also estimate the time to weather a newly resurfaced Q-type asteroid into an S-complex asteroid at 1 AU, τQ → S(1AU) ≈ 2-7 Myr.

  20. Catastrophic Disruption of Asteroids: First Simulations with Explicit Formation of Spinning Rigid and Semi-rigid Aggregates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick; Richardson, D. C.

    2007-10-01

    We have made major improvements in simulations of asteroid disruption by computing explicitly aggregate formations during the gravitational reaccumulation of small fragments, allowing us to obtain information on their spin and shape. First results will be presented taking as examples asteroid families that we reproduced successfully with previous less sophisticated simulations. In the last years, we have simulated successfully the formation of asteroid families using a SPH hydrocode to compute the fragmentation following the impact of a projectile on the parent body, and the N-body code pkdgrav to compute the mutual interactions of the fragments. We found that fragments generated by the disruption of a km-size asteroid can have large enough masses to be attracted by each other during their ejection. Consequently, many reaccumulations take place. Eventually most large fragments correspond to gravitational aggregates formed by reaccumulation of smaller ones. Moreover, formation of satellites occurs around the largest and other big remnants. In these previous simulations, when fragments reaccumulate, they merge into a single sphere whose mass is the sum of their masses. Thus, no information is obtained on the actual shape of the aggregates, their spin, ... For the first time, we have now simulated the disruption of a family parent body by computing explicitly the formation of aggregates, along with the above-mentioned properties. Once formed these aggregates can interact and/or collide with each other and break up during their evolution. We will present these first simulations and their possible implications on properties of asteroids generated by disruption. Results can for instance be compared with data provided by the Japanese space mission Hayabusa of the asteroid Itokawa, a body now understood to be a reaccumulated fragment from a larger parent body. Acknowledgments: PM and DCR acknowledge supports from the French Programme National de Planétologie and grants

  1. The Origin of Asteroid 101955 (1999 RQ36)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campins, Humberto; Morbidelli, A.; de León, J.; Tsiganis, K.; Licandro, J.

    2010-10-01

    Near-Earth asteroid 101955 (1999 RQ36; henceforth RQ36) is particularly interesting. It's especially accessible to spacecraft and is the primary target of NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission; it's also a potentially hazardous asteroid (Milani et al. 2009). We combine dynamical and spectral information to identify the most likely main-belt origin of RQ36 and conclude that it is the Polana family, located at a semi-major axis of about 2.42 AU (our approach is similar to that used by de León et al. (2010) to link 3200 Phaethon, parent body of the Geminids, to 2 Pallas). Our conclusion is based on the following results. a) Dynamical evidence favors strongly an inner-belt, low-inclination (2.15 AU families (families are favored over single objects because small fragments have already been produced). c) The Polana family is characterized by low albedos and B-class spectra or colors (Bus and Binzel 2002), which is the same spectral class, and albedo, as RQ36. d) The SDSS colors show that the Polana family is the branch of the Nysa-Polana complex that extends toward the ν6 resonance; furthermore, Polana has delivered objects the size of RQ36 and larger into the ν6 resonance. e) RQ36 is retrograde, consistent with the Yarkovsky effect having moved it inward from Polana into the ν6. f) A quantitative comparison of visible and near-infrared spectra does not yield a unique match for RQ36; however, it is consistent with a compositional link between RQ36 and the Polana family. Finally, the Polana Family is likely the most important inner-belt source of low albedo Near-Earth asteroids. This work was supported by NASA and NSF.

  2. Volcanism on differentiated asteroids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Dawn spacecraft's investigation of 4 Vesta, best-preserved of the early-forming differentiated asteroids, prompts a reappraisal of factors controlling igneous activity on such bodies. Analogy with melt transfer in zones of partial melting on Earth implies that silicate melts moved efficiently within asteroid mantles in complex networks of veins and dikes, so that only a few percent of the mantle consisted of melt at any one time. Thus even in cases where large amounts of mantle melting occurred, the melts did not remain in the mantle to form "magma oceans", but instead migrated to shallow depths. The link between magma flow rate and the stresses needed to keep fractures open and allow flow fast enough to avoid excessive cooling implies that only within asteroids with radii more than ~190-250 km would continuous magma flow from mantle to surface be possible. In all smaller asteroids (including Vesta) magma must have accumulated in sills at the base of the lithosphere (the conductively controlled ~10 km thick thermal boundary layer) or in crustal magma reservoirs near its base. Magma would then have erupted intermittently to the surface from these steadily replenished reservoirs. The average rates of eruption to the surface (or shallow intrusion) should balance the magma production rate, but since magma could accumulate and erupt intermittently from these reservoirs, the instantaneous eruption rates could be hundreds to thousands of cubic m/s, comparable to historic basaltic eruption rates on Earth and very much greater than the average mantle melting rate. The absence of asteroid atmospheres makes explosive eruptions likely even if magmas are volatile-poor. On asteroids with radii less than ~100 km, gases and sub-mm pyroclastic melt droplets would have had speeds exceeding the escape speed assuming a few hundred ppm volatiles, and only cm sized or larger clasts would have been retained. On larger bodies almost all pyroclasts will have returned to the surface

  3. Asteroid mass estimation with Markov-chain Monte Carlo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siltala, Lauri; Granvik, Mikael

    2017-10-01

    Estimates for asteroid masses are based on their gravitational perturbations on the orbits of other objects such as Mars, spacecraft, or other asteroids and/or their satellites. In the case of asteroid-asteroid perturbations, this leads to a 13-dimensional inverse problem at minimum where the aim is to derive the mass of the perturbing asteroid and six orbital elements for both the perturbing asteroid and the test asteroid by fitting their trajectories to their observed positions. The fitting has typically been carried out with linearized methods such as the least-squares method. These methods need to make certain assumptions regarding the shape of the probability distributions of the model parameters. This is problematic as these assumptions have not been validated. We have developed a new Markov-chain Monte Carlo method for mass estimation which does not require an assumption regarding the shape of the parameter distribution. Recently, we have implemented several upgrades to our MCMC method including improved schemes for handling observational errors and outlier data alongside the option to consider multiple perturbers and/or test asteroids simultaneously. These upgrades promise significantly improved results: based on two separate results for (19) Fortuna with different test asteroids we previously hypothesized that simultaneous use of both test asteroids would lead to an improved result similar to the average literature value for (19) Fortuna with substantially reduced uncertainties. Our upgraded algorithm indeed finds a result essentially equal to the literature value for this asteroid, confirming our previous hypothesis. Here we show these new results for (19) Fortuna and other example cases, and compare our results to previous estimates. Finally, we discuss our plans to improve our algorithm further, particularly in connection with Gaia.

  4. ASTEROID PHOTOMETRIC CATALOG V1.1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Asteroid Photometric Catalog (3rd update), Lagerkvist, et.al., 1993 [LAGERKVISTETAL1993], is a compilation of all asteroid lightcurve photometry published up to...

  5. Binaries and triples among asteroid pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, Petr; Scheirich, Peter; Kušnirák, Peter; Hornoch, Kamil; Galád, Adrián

    2015-08-01

    Despite major achievements obtained during the past two decades, our knowledge of the population and properties of small binary and multiple asteroid systems is still far from advanced. There is a numerous indirect evidence for that most small asteroid systems were formed by rotational fission of cohesionless parent asteroids that were spun up to the critical frequency presumably by YORP, but details of the process are lacking. Furthermore, as we proceed with observations of more and more binary and paired asteroids, we reveal new facts that substantially refine and sometimes change our understanding of the asteroid systems. One significant new finding we have recently obtained is that primaries of many asteroid pairs are actually binary or triple systems. The first such case found is (3749) Balam (Vokrouhlický, ApJL 706, L37, 2009). We have found 9 more binary systems among asteroid pairs within our ongoing NEOSource photometric project since October 2012. They are (6369) 1983 UC, (8306) Shoko, (9783) Tensho-kan, (10123) Fideoja, (21436) Chaoyichi, (43008) 1999 UD31, (44620) 1999 RS43, (46829) 1998 OS14 and (80218) 1999 VO123. We will review their characteristics. These paired binaries as we call them are mostly similar to binaries in the general ("background") population (of unpaired asteroids), but there are a few trends. The paired binaries tend to have larger secondaries with D_2/D_1 = 0.3 to 0.5 and they also tend to be wider systems with 8 of the 10 having orbital periods between 30 and 81 hours, than average among binaries in the general population. There may be also a larger fraction of triples; (3749) Balam is a confirmed triple, having a larger close and a smaller distant satellite, and (8306) Shoko and (10123) Fideoja are suspect triples as they show additional rotational lightcurve components with periods of 61 and 38.8 h that differ from the orbital period of 36.2 and 56.5 h, respectively. The unbound secondaries tend to be of the same size or

  6. Twenty-one Asteroid Lightcurves at Asteroids Observers (OBAS) - MPPD: Nov 2016 - May 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mas, Vicente; Fornas, G.; Lozano, Juan; Rodrigo, Onofre; Fornas, A.; Carreño, A.; Arce, Enrique; Brines, Pedro; Herrero, David

    2018-01-01

    We report on the analysis of photometric observations of 21 main-belt asteroids (MBA) done by Asteroids Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database task that was initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.

  7. ASTEROID SIZING BY RADIOGALAXY OCCULTATION AT 5 GHZ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtinen, K.; Muinonen, K.; Poutanen, M. [Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI, Geodeetinrinne 2, FI-02430 Masala (Finland); Bach, U. [Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Radioobservatorium Effelsberg, Max-Planck-Str. 28, D-53902 Bad Münstereifel-Effelsberg (Germany); Petrov, L., E-mail: kimmo.lehtinen@nls.fi [Astrogeo Center, Falls Church, VA 22043 (United States)

    2016-05-10

    Stellar occultations by asteroids observed at visual wavelengths have been an important tool for studying the size and shape of asteroids and for revising the orbital parameters of asteroids. At radio frequencies, a shadow of an asteroid on the Earth is dominated by diffraction effects. Here, we show, for the first time, that a single observation of an occultation of a compact radio source at a frequency of 5 GHz can be used to derive the effective size of the occulting object and to derive the distance between the observer and the center of the occultation path on the Earth. The derived diameter of the occulting object, asteroid (115) Thyra, is 75 ± 6 km. The observed occultation profile shows features that cannot be explained by diffraction of a single asteroid.

  8. Storyboard GALILEO CRUISE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES describes asteroid encounters

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-01-01

    Storyboard with mosaicked image of an asteroid and entitled GALILEO CRUISE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES describes asteroid objectives. These objectives include: first asteroid encounter; surface geology, composition size, shape, mass; and relation of primitive bodies to meteorites.

  9. ASTEROID POLARIMETRIC DATABASE V6.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Asteroid Polarimetric Database (APD) is a collection of asteroid polarimetry results compiled by D.F. Lupishko and S.V. Vasiliev of Karazin Kharkiv National...

  10. Asteroid 'Bites the Dust' Around Dead Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes upon the dusty remains of shredded asteroids around several dead stars. This artist's concept illustrates one such dead star, or 'white dwarf,' surrounded by the bits and pieces of a disintegrating asteroid. These observations help astronomers better understand what rocky planets are made of around other stars. Asteroids are leftover scraps of planetary material. They form early on in a star's history when planets are forming out of collisions between rocky bodies. When a star like our sun dies, shrinking down to a skeleton of its former self called a white dwarf, its asteroids get jostled about. If one of these asteroids gets too close to the white dwarf, the white dwarf's gravity will chew the asteroid up, leaving a cloud of dust. Spitzer's infrared detectors can see these dusty clouds and their various constituents. So far, the telescope has identified silicate minerals in the clouds polluting eight white dwarfs. Because silicates are common in our Earth's crust, the results suggest that planets similar to ours might be common around other stars.

  11. Near Earth Asteroid Solar Sail Engineering Development Unit Test Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockett, Tiffany Russell; Few, Alexander; Wilson, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout project is a 30x20x10cm (6U) cubesat reconnaissance mission to investigate a near Earth asteroid utilizing an 86m2 solar sail as the primary propulsion system. This will be the largest solar sail NASA will launch to date. NEA Scout is a secondary payload currently manifested on the maiden voyage of the Space Launch System in 2018. In development of the solar sail subsystem, design challenges were identified and investigated for packaging within a 6U form factor and deployment in cis-lunar space. Analysis furthered understanding of thermal, stress, and dynamics of the stowed system and matured an integrated sail membrane model for deployed flight dynamics. This paper will address design, fabrication, and lessons learned from the NEA Scout solar sail subsystem engineering development unit. From optical properties of the sail material to folding and spooling the single 86m2 sail, the team has developed a robust deployment system for the solar sail. This paper will also address expected and received test results from ascent vent, random vibration, and deployment tests.

  12. CM and CO chondrites: A common parent body or asteroidal neighbors? Insights from chondrule silicates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrader, Devin L.; Davidson, Jemma

    2017-10-01

    By investigating the petrology and chemical composition of type II (FeO-rich) chondrules in the Mighei-like carbonaceous (CM) chondrites we constrain their thermal histories and relationship to the Ornans-like carbonaceous (CO) chondrites. We identified FeO-rich relict grains in type II chondrules by their Fe/Mn ratios; their presence indicates chondrule recycling among type II chondrules. The majority of relict grains in type II chondrules are FeO-poor olivine grains. Consistent with previous studies, chemical similarities between CM and CO chondrite chondrules indicate that they had similar formation conditions and that their parent bodies probably formed in a common region within the protoplanetary disk. However, important differences such as mean chondrule size and the lower abundance of FeO-poor relicts in CM chondrite type II chondrules than in CO chondrites suggest CM and CO chondrules did not form together and they likely originate from distinct parent asteroids. Despite being aqueously altered, many CM chondrites contain pre-accretionary anhydrous minerals (i.e., olivine) that are among the least thermally metamorphosed materials in chondrites according to the Cr2O3 content of their ferroan olivine. The presence of these minimally altered pre-accretionary chondrule silicates suggests that samples to be returned from aqueously altered asteroids by the Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return missions, even highly hydrated, may contain silicates that can provide information about the pre-accretionary histories and conditions of asteroids Ryugu and Bennu, respectively.

  13. Compositional Investigation of Binary Near-Earth Asteroid 66063 (1998 RO1): A Potentially Undifferentiated Assemblage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Gaffey, M. J.; Landis, R. R.; Jarvis, K. S.

    2005-01-01

    It is now thought that approximately 16% of all asteroids among the near-Earth population may be binary objects. Several independent lines of evidence, such as the presence of doublet craters on the Earth and Moon [1, 2], complex lightcurves of near-Earth objects exhibiting mutual events [3], and radar images of near-Earth asteroids revealing distinct primary and secondary objects, have supported this conclusion [4]. To date at least 23 near-Earth objects have been discovered as binary systems with expectations that many more have yet to be identified or recognized. Little is known about the physical characteristics of binary objects except that they seem to have fairly rapid rotation rates, generally have primaries in the approx. 1 km diameter range with smaller secondaries on the order of a few hundred meters, and apart from a few exceptions, are in synchronous orbits [4, 5]. Previously only two of these binary near-Earth asteroids (1998 ST27 and 2003 YT1) have been characterized in terms of detailed mineralogical investigations [6, 7]. Such investigations are required to fully understand the formation mechanisms of these binary objects and their possible source regions. In addition, detailed knowledge of these objects may play an important role for planning future spacecraft missions and for the development of impact mitigation strategies. The work presented here represents a continued effort to characterize this particular sub-group of the near- Earth asteroid population.

  14. Polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids. V. The unusual polarimetric behavior of V-type asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Hutton, R.; López-Sisterna, C.; Calandra, M. F.

    2017-03-01

    Aims: We present the results of a polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (CASLEO), San Juan, Argentina. The aims of this survey are to increase the database of asteroid polarimetry, to estimate diversity in polarimetric properties of asteroids that belong to different taxonomic classes, and to search for objects that exhibit anomalous polarimetric properties. Methods: The data were obtained using the CASPROF and CASPOL polarimeters at the 2.15 m telescope. The CASPROF polarimeter is a two-hole aperture polarimeter with rapid modulation and CASPOL is a polarimeter based on a CCD detector, which allows us to observe fainter objects with better signal-to-noise ratio. Results: The survey began in 1995 and data on a large sample of asteroids were obtained until 2012. A second period began in 2013 using a polarimeter with a more sensitive detector in order to study small asteroids, families, and special taxonomic groups. We obtained 55 polarimetric measurements for 28 V-type main belt asteroids, all of them polarimetrically observed for the first time. The data obtained in this survey let us find polarimetric parameters for (1459) Magnya and for a group of 11 small V-type objects with similar polarimetric behavior. These polarization curves are unusual since they show a shallow minimum and a small inversion angle in comparison with (4) Vesta, although they have a steeper slope at α0. This polarimetric behavior could be explained by differences in the regoliths of these asteroids. The observations of (2579) Spartacus, and perhaps also (3944) Halliday, indicate a inversion angle larger than 24-25°. Based on observations carried out at the Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba, and San Juan.

  15. Study of the Asteroid Florence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto; Pereira, Mario

    2018-06-01

    Asteroid Florence was discovered at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia (March 1981). Paul Chodas, manager of CNEOS-JPL said: “Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began” [1]. The asteroid passed 7.1 million kilometers away from the earth [2]. The GDSCC-NASA discovered that the asteroid has two small moons. The diameter of Florence is 4.5 kilometers, and the sizes of the two moons are probably between 100 – 300 meters across. The inner moon has a rotation period around Florence of about 8 hours, and the outer moon has a period of about 25 hours [3]. From our Observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we captured several pictures, videos and astrometry data during several hours during three days. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and also appears at the web page of NEODyS [4]. The pictures were captured with the following equipment: CGE PRO 1400 CELESTRON and STL-1001 SBIG camera. Astrometry and photometry was carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements and the rotation period. Summary and conclusions: We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity = 0.422548 +/- 0.000994, semi-major axis = 1.76675 +/- 0.00313 A.U, orbital inclination = 22.128 +/- 0.029 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 336.0960 +/- 0.0013 deg, argument of perihelion = 27.861 +/- 0.016, mean motion = 0.41970 +/- 0.00112 deg/d, perihelion distance = 1.0202151 +/- 5.27e-5 A.U, aphelion distance = 2.51329 +/- 0.00625 A.U, absolute magnitude = 14.4. The parameters were calculated based on 281 observations. Dates: 2017 September 01 to 05 with mean residual = 0.19 arcseconds. The asteroid has an orbital period of 2.35 years (857.74 days). The rotation period of the asteroid is 2.3 hours. Note: Spaceweather published our video on September 1-2017 [5].[1] https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/large-asteroid-to-safely-pass-earth-on-sept-1[2] http

  16. Prospects for AGN Science using the ART-XC on the SRG Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Douglas A.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Gubarev, Mikhail V.; O'Dell, Stephen L.; Ramsey, Brian D.; Bonamente, Massimiliano

    2012-01-01

    The enhanced hard X-ray sensitivity provided by the Astronomical Roentgen Telescope to the Spectrum Roentgen Gamma mission facilitates the detection of heavily obscured and other hard-spectrum cosmic X-ray sources. The SRG all-sky survey will obtain large, statistically-well-defined samples of active galactic nuclei (AGN) including a significant population of local heavily-obscured AGN. In anticipation of the SRG all-sky survey, we investigate the prospects for refining the bright end of the AGN luminosity function and determination of the local black hole mass function and comparing the spatial distribution of AGN with large-scale structure defined by galaxy clusters and groups. Particular emphasis is placed on studies of the deep survey Ecliptic Pole regions.

  17. Comet or Asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-11-01

    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  18. Human health and performance considerations for near earth asteroids (NEA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Susan; Kundrot, Craig; Charles, John

    2013-11-01

    Humans are considered as a system in the design of any deep space exploration mission. The addition of many potential near asteroid (NEA) destinations to the existing multiple mission architecture for Lunar and Mars missions increases the complexity of human health and performance issues that are anticipated for exploration of space. We suggest that risks to human health and performance be analyzed in terms of the 4 major parameters related to multiple mission architecture: destination, duration, distance and vehicle design. Geological properties of the NEA will influence design of exploration tasks related to sample handling and containment, and extravehicular activity (EVA) capabilities including suit ports and tools. A robotic precursor mission that collects basic information on NEA surface properties would reduce uncertainty about these aspects of the mission as well as aid in mission architecture and exploration task design. Key mission parameters are strongly impacted by duration and distance. The most critical of these is deep-space radiation exposure without even the temporary shielding of a nearby large planetary body. The current space radiation permissible exposure limits (PEL) limits mission duration to 3-10 months depending on age, gender and stage of the solar cycle. Duration also impacts mission architectures including countermeasures for bone, muscle, and cardiovascular atrophy during continuous weightlessness; and behavioral and psychological issues resulting from isolation and confinement. Distance affects communications and limits abort and return options for a NEA mission. These factors are anticipated to have important effects on crew function and autonomous operations, as well as influence medical capability, supplies and training requirements of the crew. The design of a habitat volume that can maintain the physical and psychological health of the crew and support mission operations with limited intervention from earth will require an

  19. DIFFERENT ORIGINS OR DIFFERENT EVOLUTIONS? DECODING THE SPECTRAL DIVERSITY AMONG C-TYPE ASTEROIDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vernazza, P.; Marsset, M.; Groussin, O.; Lamy, P.; Jorda, L.; Mousis, O.; Delsanti, A.; Castillo-Rogez, J.; Beck, P.; Emery, J.; Brunetto, R.; Djouadi, Z.; Dionnet, Z.; Delbo, M.; Carry, B.; Marchis, F.; Zanda, B.; Borondics, F.

    2017-01-01

    Anhydrous pyroxene-rich interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) have been proposed as surface analogs for about two-thirds of all C-complex asteroids. However, this suggestion appears to be inconsistent with the presence of hydrated silicates on the surfaces of some of these asteroids, including Ceres. Here, we report the presence of enstatite (pyroxene) on the surface of two C-type asteroids (Ceres and Eugenia) based on their spectral properties in the mid-infrared range. The presence of this component is particularly unexpected in the case of Ceres, because most thermal evolution models predict a surface consisting of hydrated compounds only. The most plausible scenario is that Ceres’ surface has been partially contaminated by exogenous enstatite-rich material, possibly coming from the Beagle asteroid family. This scenario questions a similar origin for Ceres and the remaining C-types, and it possibly supports recent results obtained by the Dawn mission (NASA) that Ceres may have formed in the very outer solar system. Concerning the smaller D  ∼ 200 km C-types such as Eugenia, both their derived surface composition (enstatite and amorphous silicates) and low density (<1.5 g cm −3 ) suggest that these bodies accreted from the same building blocks, namely chondritic porous, pyroxene-rich IDPs and volatiles (mostly water ice), and that a significant volume fraction of these bodies has remained unaffected by hydrothermal activity likely implying a late accretion. In addition, their current heliocentric distance may best explain the presence or absence of water ice at their surfaces. Finally, we raise the possibility that CI chondrites, Tagish-Lake-like material, or hydrated IDPs may be representative samples of the cores of these bodies.

  20. Reanalysis of Asteroid Families Structure Through Visible Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mothé-Diniz, T.; Carvano, J.; Roig, F.; Lazzaro, D.

    In this work we re-analyse the presence of interlopers in asteroid families based on a larger spectral database and on a family determination which makes use of a larger set of proper elements. The asteroid families were defined using the HCM method (Zappalà et al. 1995) on the set of proper elements for 110,000 asteroids available at the Asteroid Dynamic Site (AstDyS http://hamilton.dm.unipi.it/astdys )). The spectroscopic analysis is performed using spectra on the 0.44-0.92 μ m range observed by the SMASS Xu et al. 1995, SMASSII (Bus and Binzel, 2002) and 3OS2 (Lazzaro et al. 2002) surveys, which together total around 2140 asteroids with observed spectra. The asteroid taxonomy used is the Bus taxonomy (Bus et al. 2000). A total of 22 two families were analysed . The families of Vesta, Eunomia, Hoffmeister, Dora, Merxia, Agnia, and Koronis were found to be spectrally homogeneous, which confirms previous studies. The Veritas family, on the other hand, which is quoted in the literature as an heterogeneous family was found to be quite homogeneous in the present work. The Eos family is noteworthy for being at one time spectrally heterogeneous and quite different from the background population. References Bus, S. J., and R. P. Binzel 2002. Phase II of the Small Main-Belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey - The Observations. Icarus 158, 106-145. Bus, S. J., R. P. Binzel, and T. H. Burbine 2000. A New Generation of Asteroid Taxonomy. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, vol. 35, Supplement, p.A36 35, 36 +. Lazzaro, D., C. A. Angeli, T. Mothe-Diniz, J. M. Carvano, R. Duffard, and M. Florczak 2002. The superficial characterization of a large sample of asteroids: the S3OS2. Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 34, 859 +. Xu, S., R. P. Binzel, T. H. Burbine, and S. J. Bus 1995. Small main-belt asteroid spectroscopic survey: Initial results. Icarus 115, 1-35. Zappala, V., P. Bendjoya, A. Cellino, P. Farinella, and C. Froeschle 1995. Asteroid families: Search of a 12

  1. Near-Earth asteroids: Metals occurrence, extraction, and fabrication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westfall, Richard

    Near-earth asteroids occur in three principle types of orbits: Amor, Apollo, and Aten. Amor asteroids make relatively close (within 0.3 AU) approaches to the earth's orbit, but do not actually overlap it. Apollo asteroids spend most of their time outside the earth's orbital path, but at some point of close approach to the sun, they cross the orbit of the earth. Aten asteroids are those whose orbits remain inside the earth's path for the majority of their time, with semi-major axes less than 0.1 AU. Near-earth orbit asteroids include: stones, stony-irons, irons, carbonaceous, and super-carbonaceous. Metals within these asteroids include: iron, nickel, cobalt, the platinum group, aluminum, titanium, and others. Focus is on the extraction of ferrous and platinum group metals from the stony-iron asteroids, and the iron asteroids. Extraction of the metal fraction can be accomplished through the use of tunnel-boring-machines (TBM) in the case of the stony-irons. The metals within the story-iron asteroids occur as dispersed granules, which can be separated from the stony fraction through magnetic and gaseous digestion separation techniques. The metal asteroids are processes by drilling and gaseous digestion or by gaseous digestion alone. Manufacturing of structures, housings, framing networks, pressure vessels, mirrors, and other products is accomplished through the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of metal coating on advanced composites and on the inside of contour-defining inflatables (CDI). Metal coatings on advanced composites provide: resistance to degradation in the hostile environments of space; superior optical properties; superior heat dissipation; service as wear coatings; and service as evidential coatings. Metal coatings on the inside of CDI produce metal load-bearing products. Fibers such as graphite, kevlar, glass, ceramic, metal, etc., can be incorporated in the metal coatings on the inside of CDI producing metal matrix products which exhibit high strength

  2. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) for OSIRIS-REx: identifying regional elemental enrichment on asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Hong, Jaesub; Binzel, Richard P.; Masterson, Rebecca; Inamdar, Niraj K.; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew W.; Bautz, Marshall W.; Kissel, Steven E.; Villasenor, Joel; Oprescu, Miruna; Induni, Nicholas

    2013-09-01

    The OSIRIS-REx Mission was selected under the NASA New Frontiers program and is scheduled for launch in September of 2016 for a rendezvous with, and collection of a sample from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2019. 101955 Bennu (previously 1999 RQ36) is an Apollo (near-Earth) asteroid originally discovered by the LINEAR project in 1999 which has since been classified as a potentially hazardous near-Earth object. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) was proposed jointly by MIT and Harvard and was subsequently accepted as a student led instrument for the determination of the elemental composition of the asteroid's surface as well as the surface distribution of select elements through solar induced X-ray fluorescence. REXIS consists of a detector plane that contains 4 X-ray CCDs integrated into a wide field coded aperture telescope with a focal length of 20 em for the detection of regions with enhanced abundance in key elements at 50 m scales. Elemental surface distributions of approximately 50-200 m scales can be detected using the instrument as a simple collimator. An overview of the observation strategy of the REXIS instrument and expected performance are presented here.

  3. Constraints on Spin Axis and Thermal Properties of Asteroids in the WISE Catalog

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLennan, Eric M.; Emery, J. P.

    2013-10-01

    It has widely been accepted that dynamical state of asteroids can strongly be influenced by radiation forces (e.g., Yarkovsky and YORP). Determination of an object’s thermal properties and spin state are a critical step towards understanding the effects of these forces. In this respect, observations of thermal flux emitted from the surfaces of asteroids are a powerful tool. The emission of flux is determined by the temperature distribution which is controlled by the thermal inertia, rotation rate, and spin axis orientation. By gathering data at multiple viewing geometries, the temperature distribution can be modeled accurately enough to separate the effects attributed to (some of) these parameters. Over the length of its mission, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) observed many asteroids in two epochs (i.e., on either side of opposition) such that data for both morning and afternoon times were gathered. We have begun a project that employs a Thermophysical Model (TPM) in order to analyze these multi-epoch thermal observations with the goal of deriving the thermal properties and spin axis of a large number of asteroids. Here, we first investigate the validity and limits of our method on objects with a previously determined spin axis. Asteroid (413) Edburga has a published spin axis of λ = 202o, β = - 45o (ecliptic longitude and latitude, respectively) using the lightcurve inversion method. With our technique, we estimate a solution consistent with the previous estimate. Applying our TPM to WISE multi-epoch thermal observations of (155) Scylla (no known spin axis estimate), we also place estimates for the ecliptic longitude and latitude of its spin axis. Analysis of multi-epoch thermal data enables determination of spin axis orientation without knowing the rotation period, in contrast to the lightcurve inversion method. This is due to the coupling of thermal inertia and rotation rate in determining the longitudinal distribution of temperature. Their

  4. Abodes for life in carbonaceous asteroids?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramov, Oleg; Mojzsis, Stephen J.

    2011-05-01

    Thermal evolution models for carbonaceous asteroids that use new data for permeability, pore volume, and water circulation as input parameters provide a window into what are arguably the earliest habitable environments in the Solar System. Plausible models of the Murchison meteorite (CM) parent body show that to first-order, conditions suitable for the stability of liquid water, and thus pre- or post-biotic chemistry, could have persisted within these asteroids for tens of Myr. In particular, our modeling results indicate that a 200-km carbonaceous asteroid with a 40% initial ice content takes almost 60 Myr to cool completely, with habitable temperatures being maintained for ˜24 Myr in the center. Yet, there are a number of indications that even with the requisite liquid water, thermal energy sources to drive chemical gradients, and abundant organic "building blocks" deemed necessary criteria for life, carbonaceous asteroids were intrinsically unfavorable sites for biopoesis. These controls include different degrees of exothermal mineral hydration reactions that boost internal warming but effectively remove liquid water from the system, rapid (1-10 mm yr -1) inward migration of internal habitable volumes in most models, and limitations imposed by low permeabilities and small pore sizes in primitive undifferentiated carbonaceous asteroids. Our results do not preclude the existence of habitable conditions on larger, possibly differentiated objects such as Ceres and the Themis family asteroids due to presumed longer, more intense heating and possible long-lived water reservoirs.

  5. THERMAL TOMOGRAPHY OF ASTEROID SURFACE STRUCTURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, Alan W.; Drube, Line, E-mail: alan.harris@dlr.de [German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany)

    2016-12-01

    Knowledge of the surface thermal inertia of an asteroid can provide insight into its surface structure: porous material has a lower thermal inertia than rock. We develop a means to estimate thermal inertia values of asteroids and use it to show that thermal inertia appears to increase with spin period in the case of main-belt asteroids (MBAs). Similar behavior is found on the basis of thermophysical modeling for near-Earth objects (NEOs). We interpret our results in terms of rapidly increasing material density and thermal conductivity with depth, and provide evidence that thermal inertia increases by factors of 10 (MBAs) to 20 (NEOs) within a depth of just 10 cm. Our results are consistent with a very general picture of rapidly changing material properties in the topmost regolith layers of asteroids and have important implications for calculations of the Yarkovsky effect, including its perturbation of the orbits of potentially hazardous objects and those of asteroid family members after the break-up event. Evidence of a rapid increase of thermal inertia with depth is also an important result for studies of the ejecta-enhanced momentum transfer of impacting vehicles (“kinetic impactors”) in planetary defense.

  6. Matched Filter Processing for Asteroid Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gural, Peter S.; Larsen, Jeffrey A.; Gleason, Arianna E.

    2005-10-01

    Matched filter (MF) processing has been shown to provide significant performance gains when processing stellar imagery used for asteroid detection, recovery, and tracking. This includes extending detection ranges to fainter magnitudes at the noise limit of the imagery and operating in dense cluttered star fields as encountered at low Galactic latitudes. The MF software has been shown to detect 40% more asteroids in high-quality Spacewatch imagery relative to the currently implemented approaches, which are based on moving target indicator (MTI) algorithms. In addition, MF detections were made in dense star fields and in situations in which the asteroid was collocated with a star in an image frame, cases in which the MTI algorithms failed. Thus, using legacy sensors and optics, improved detection sensitivity is achievable by simply upgrading the image-processing stream. This in turn permits surveys of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population farther from opposition, for smaller sizes, and in directions previously inaccessible to current NEA search programs. A software package has been developed and made available on the NASA data services Web site that can be used for asteroid detection and recovery operations utilizing the enhanced performance capabilities of MF processing.

  7. Human Health and Performance Considerations for Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundrot, Craig; Steinberg, Susan; Charles, John

    2010-01-01

    This presentation will describe the human health and performance issues that are anticipated for the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEA). Humans are considered a system in the design of any such deep-space exploration mission, and exploration of NEA presents unique challenges for the human system. Key factors that define the mission are those that are strongly affected by distance and duration. The most critical of these is deep-space radiation exposure without even the temporary shielding of a nearby large planetary body. The current space radiation permissible exposure limits (PEL) restrict mission duration to 3-10 months depending on age and gender of crewmembers and stage of the solar cycle. Factors that affect mission architecture include medical capability; countermeasures for bone, muscle, and cardiovascular atrophy during continuous weightlessness; restricted food supplies; and limited habitable volume. The design of a habitat that can maintain the physical and psychological health of the crew and support mission operations with limited intervention from Earth will require an integrated research and development effort by NASA s Human Research Program, engineering, and human factors groups. Limited abort and return options for an NEA mission are anticipated to have important effects on crew psychology as well as influence medical supplies and training requirements of the crew. Other important factors are those related to isolation, confinement, communication delays, autonomous operations, task design, small crew size, and even the unchanging view outside the windows for most of the mission. Geological properties of the NEA will influence design of sample handling and containment, and extravehicular activity capabilities including suit ports and tools. A robotic precursor mission that collects basic information on NEA surface properties would reduce uncertainty about these aspects of the mission as well as aid in design of mission architecture and

  8. UV Spectrophotometry of the Galilean Satellites, Saturnian Satellites & Selected Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Robert M.

    We propose a series of ultraviolet spectral observations of solid surfaces of selected solar system objects, specifically the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, several atmosphereless satellites of Saturn, and the asteroids, 5 Astraea, 18 Melpomene, 532 Herculina, 68 Leto, 31 Euphmsyne, 80 Sappho, 3 Juno, and 39 Laetitia. Historically such spectral observations have allowed for the Identification of spectrally active solid state materials on planetary surfaces. Furthermore, because the rotational properties are known for all the objects proposed for study, this technique will provide a longitude map of such materials on the objects' surfaces. The study of asteroid surface mineralogy is an important method of constraining solar system formation models. The asteroid spectra we have previously acquired with IUE have created unique subdivisions within the existent asteroid types. The new spectra will provide more sophisticated mineralogical characterizations of asteroid surface materials. Our other accomplishments with IUE include mapping of the distribution of condensed S02 on Io, identification of a longitudinal asymmetry on Europa associated with magnetospheric particle bombardment of the surface, and establishing the ultraviolet geometric albedo variation as a function of longitude for all the Galilean satellites. Because Io is the most volcanically active body In the solar system, and short tern variations in selected regions of the Jovian magnetosphere are known to occur, it is important to periodically check for temporal variations in the spectra of the Galilean satellites that may be due to variations n Io tectonic/volcanic activity, or magnetosphere changes. These proposed UV observations are critical to the design and operation of several instruments on Project Galileo, NASA's Jupiter Orbiter and Probe Mission. Spectra of Iapetus, Rhea and Dione have been acquired during the previous year; however, only at orbital locations near elongation. In addition, the dark

  9. Spectroscopy of near-Earth asteroids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, René; Nathues, Andreas; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar

    2006-01-01

    We present spectra and taxonomic classifications of 12 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and 2 inner Main Belt asteroids. The observations were carried out with the ESO 3.5 m NTT and the Danish 1.54 m telescope at La Silla, Chile. Eleven of the investigated NEAs belong to the S class while only one C-t...

  10. Infrared spectral reflectances of asteroid surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, H. P.; Veeder, G. J.

    1979-01-01

    This review compares the types of compositional information produced by three complementary techniques used in infrared observations of asteroid surfaces: broadband JHKL photometry, narrow band photometry, and multiplex spectroscopy. The high information content of these infrared observations permits definitive interpretations of asteroid surface compositions in terms of the major meteoritic minerals (olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase feldspar, hydrous silicates, and metallic Ni-Fe). These studies emphasize the individuality of asteroid surface compositions, the inadequacy of simple comparisons with spectra of meteorites, and the need to coordinate spectral measurements of all types to optimize diagnostic capabilities.

  11. Using Information from Rendezvous Missions for Best-Case Appraisals of Impact Damage to Planet Earth Caused by Natural Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, James O.; Chodas, Paul W.; Ulamec, Stephan; Mathias, Donovan L.; Burkhard, Craig D.

    2017-01-01

    The Asteroid Threat Assessment Project (ATAP), a part of NASAs Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) has the responsibility to appraise the range of surface damage by potential asteroid impacts on land or water. If a threat is realized, the project will provide appraisals to officials empowered to make decisions about potential mitigation actions. This paper describes a scenario for assessment of surface damage when characterization of an asteroid had been accomplished by a rendezvous mission that would be conducted by the international planetary defense community. It is shown that the combination of data from ground and in-situ measurements on an asteroid provides knowledge that can be used to pin-point its impact location and predict the level of devastation it would cause. The hypothetical asteroid 2017 PDC with a size range of 160 to 290 m in diameter to be discussed at the PDC 2017 is used as an example. In order of importance for appraising potential damage, information required is: (1) where will the surface impact occur? (2) what is the mass, shape and size of the asteroid and what is its entry state (speed and entry angle) at the 100 km atmospheric pierce point? And (3) is the asteroid a monolith or a rubble pile? If it is a rubble pile, what is its structure and heterogeneity from the surface and throughout its interior? Item (1) is of first order importance to determine levels of devastation (loss of life and infrastructure damage) because it varies strongly on the impact location. Items (2) and (3) are used as inputs for ATAPs simulations to define the level of surface hazards: winds, overpressure, thermal exposure; all created by the deposition of energy during the objects atmospheric flight, andor cratering. Topics presented in this paper include: (i) the devastation predicted by 2017 PDCs impact on land based on initial observations using ATAPs risk assessment capability, (ii) how information corresponding to items (1) to (3) could be obtained

  12. The Camera of the MASCOT Asteroid Lander on Board Hayabusa 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaumann, R.; Schmitz, N.; Koncz, A.; Michaelis, H.; Schroeder, S. E.; Mottola, S.; Trauthan, F.; Hoffmann, H.; Roatsch, T.; Jobs, D.; Kachlicki, J.; Pforte, B.; Terzer, R.; Tschentscher, M.; Weisse, S.; Mueller, U.; Perez-Prieto, L.; Broll, B.; Kruselburger, A.; Ho, T.-M.; Biele, J.; Ulamec, S.; Krause, C.; Grott, M.; Bibring, J.-P.; Watanabe, S.; Sugita, S.; Okada, T.; Yoshikawa, M.; Yabuta, H.

    2017-07-01

    The MASCOT Camera (MasCam) is part of the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander's science payload. MASCOT has been launched to asteroid (162173) Ryugu onboard JAXA's Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample return mission on Dec 3rd, 2014. It is scheduled to arrive at Ryugu in 2018, and return samples to Earth by 2020. MasCam was designed and built by DLR's Institute of Planetary Research, together with Airbus-DS Germany. The scientific goals of the MasCam investigation are to provide ground truth for the orbiter's remote sensing observations, provide context for measurements by the other lander instruments (radiometer, spectrometer and magnetometer), the orbiter sampling experiment, and characterize the geological context, compositional variations and physical properties of the surface (e.g. rock and regolith particle size distributions). During daytime, clear filter images will be acquired. During night, illumination of the dark surface is performed by an LED array, equipped with 4×36 monochromatic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) working in four spectral bands. Color imaging will allow the identification of spectrally distinct surface units. Continued imaging during the surface mission phase and the acquisition of image series at different sun angles over the course of an asteroid day will contribute to the physical characterization of the surface and also allow the investigation of time-dependent processes and to determine the photometric properties of the regolith. The MasCam observations, combined with the MASCOT hyperspectral microscope (MMEGA) and radiometer (MARA) thermal observations, will cover a wide range of observational scales and serve as a strong tie point between Hayabusa 2's remote-sensing scales (103-10^{-3} m) and sample scales (10^{-3}-10^{-6} m). The descent sequence and the close-up images will reveal the surface features over a broad range of scales, allowing an assessment of the surface's diversity and close the gap between the orbital observations

  13. Bayesian modeling of the mass and density of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie L.; Mathias, Donovan

    2017-10-01

    Mass and density are two of the fundamental properties of any object. In the case of near earth asteroids, knowledge about the mass of an asteroid is essential for estimating the risk due to (potential) impact and planning possible mitigation options. The density of an asteroid can illuminate the structure of the asteroid. A low density can be indicative of a rubble pile structure whereas a higher density can imply a monolith and/or higher metal content. The damage resulting from an impact of an asteroid with Earth depends on its interior structure in addition to its total mass, and as a result, density is a key parameter to understanding the risk of asteroid impact. Unfortunately, measuring the mass and density of asteroids is challenging and often results in measurements with large uncertainties. In the absence of mass / density measurements for a specific object, understanding the range and distribution of likely values can facilitate probabilistic assessments of structure and impact risk. Hierarchical Bayesian models have recently been developed to investigate the mass - radius relationship of exoplanets (Wolfgang, Rogers & Ford 2016) and to probabilistically forecast the mass of bodies large enough to establish hydrostatic equilibrium over a range of 9 orders of magnitude in mass (from planemos to main sequence stars; Chen & Kipping 2017). Here, we extend this approach to investigate the mass and densities of asteroids. Several candidate Bayesian models are presented, and their performance is assessed relative to a synthetic asteroid population. In addition, a preliminary Bayesian model for probablistically forecasting masses and densities of asteroids is presented. The forecasting model is conditioned on existing asteroid data and includes observational errors, hyper-parameter uncertainties and intrinsic scatter.

  14. The asteroid 2014 JO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto; Pereira, Mario

    2017-10-01

    The asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered by A. D. Grauer at the Mt. Lemmon Survey on May 2014, and Joe Masiero used observations from the NEOWISE in 2014 to estimate a diameter of 650 meters [1]. However, using the radio telescope at Arecibo-Puerto Rico, astronomers obtained radar images on April 17-2017 and Edgar Rivera Valentín (scientist at Arecibo) said: “We found 2014 JO25 is a contact binary asteroid, two space rocks that were originally separate bodies, and each segment is about 640 meters and 670 meters, for a total of about 1.3 km long. Its rotation is of 3.5 hours” [2]. This asteroid flew past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 4.6 lunar distances from the Earth. This was the closest approach by an asteroid since 4179 Toutatis. Toutatis flew past Earth on September 2004 at a distance of about 4 lunar distances from the Earth [3]. In April 12-2020 the asteroid will be at a minimum possible distance of 0.1617280 A.U from Earth [4]. From our observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we obtained a lot of pictures. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center [5] and also appears at the web page of NEODyS [6]. Astrometry and photometry were carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements. We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity=0.88454+/-0.00152, semi-major axis= 2.0573+/- 0.0216 A.U, orbital inclination=25.22+/-0.10 deg, longitude of the ascending node =30.6530+/-0.0032 deg, argument of perihelion=49.586+/-0.012 deg, mean motion = 0.33402+/-0.00527 deg/d, perihelion distance=0.237524+/-0.000644 A.U, aphelion distance=3.8770+/-0.0449 A.U, absolute magnitude =18.1. The parameters were calculated based on 164 observations. Dates: 2017 April: 22 to 24 with mean residual=0.22 arcseconds.The asteroid has an orbital period of 2.95 years.[1] https://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2014JO25/2014JO25_planning.html[2] http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/large-asteroid-2014-jo25-close-april-19-2017-how-to-see[3] https

  15. Investigating the origin of the asteroids and early findings on Vesta historical studies in asteroid research

    CERN Document Server

    Cunningham, Clifford J

    2017-01-01

    This book assesses the origin of asteroids by analyzing the discovery of Vesta in 1807. Wilhelm Olbers, who discovered Vesta, suggested that the asteroids were the result of a primordial planet’s explosion. Cunningham studies that idea in detail through the writings of Sir David Brewster in Scotland, the era's most prolific writer about the asteroids. He also examines the link between meteorites and asteroids, revealing a synergy between Ernst Chladni, Romantic symbolism, and the music of the spheres. Vesta was a lightning rod for controversy throughout the nineteenth century with observers arguing over its size and color, and the astounding notion that it was self-luminous. It was also a major force for change, as new methods in the field of celestial mechanics were developed to study the orbital perturbations it is subject to. A large selection of private correspondence and scientific papers complete the first comprehensive historical study of Vesta ever published. With a synoptic look at the four astero...

  16. Orbital motion in strongly perturbed environments applications to asteroid, comet and planetary satellite orbiters

    CERN Document Server

    Scheeres, Daniel J

    2012-01-01

    The proposed book will provide a detailed, technical introduction to the analysis of orbital motion in strongly perturbed environments, focusing on motion about small Solar System bodies, such as comets and asteroids. The author shows why such small bodies are of interest and why they can be used as a motivation for the general analysis of orbital mechanics. He shows how it is possible to model the small body environment, including specialised cases such as those of binary asteroids, comets and ‘rubble piles’, and how the fundamental equations of motion are derived. The properties of the various solutions to the equations of motion are described and the methods of analysis and their application are discussed. Both ballistic motion and powered motion on and about small bodies are considered and case studies for different small body missions are presented. The author concludes his comprehensive treatment with a discussion of the mechanics of multi-body small body systems and a review of advanced topics and ...

  17. A retrograde co-orbital asteroid of Jupiter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegert, Paul; Connors, Martin; Veillet, Christian

    2017-03-29

    Recent theoretical work in celestial mechanics has revealed that an asteroid may orbit stably in the same region as a planet, despite revolving around the Sun in the sense opposite to that of the planet itself. Asteroid 2015 BZ 509 was discovered in 2015, but with too much uncertainty in its measured orbit to establish whether it was such a retrograde co-orbital body. Here we report observations and analysis that demonstrates that asteroid 2015 BZ 509 is indeed a retrograde co-orbital asteroid of the planet Jupiter. We find that 2015 BZ 509 has long-term stability, having been in its current, resonant state for around a million years. This is long enough to preclude precise calculation of the time or mechanism of its injection to its present state, but it may be a Halley-family comet that entered the resonance through an interaction with Saturn. Retrograde co-orbital asteroids of Jupiter and other planets may be more common than previously expected.

  18. Near-Earth Asteroids: Destinations for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbee, Brent W.

    2014-01-01

    The Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) is a system that monitors the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population to identify NEAs whose orbital characteristics may make them potential destinations for future round-trip human space flight missions. To accomplish this monitoring, Brent Barbee (GSFC) developed and automated a system that applies specialized trajectory processing to the orbits of newly discovered NEAs, and those for which we have updated orbit knowledge, obtained from the JPL Small Bodies Database (SBDB). This automated process executes daily and the results are distributed to the general public and the astronomy community. This aids in prioritizing telescope radar time allocations for obtaining crucial follow-up observations of highly accessible NEAs during the critical, because it is often fleeting, time period surrounding the time at which the NEAs are initially discovered.

  19. Encounter of a different kind: Rosetta observes asteroid at close quarters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-09-01

    ESA's comet chaser, Rosetta, last night flew by a small body in the main asteroid belt, asteroid Steins, collecting a wealth of information about this rare type of minor Solar System body. At 20:58 CEST (18:58 UT) last night, ESA's Rosetta probe approached asteroid 2867 Steins, coming to within a distance of only 800 km from it. Steins is Rosetta's first nominal scientific target in its 11½ year mission to ultimately explore the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The success of this 'close' encounter was confirmed at 22:14 CEST, when ESA's ground control team at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, received initial telemetry from the spacecraft. During the flyby operations, Rosetta was out of reach as regards communication links because its antenna had to be turned away from Earth. At a distance of about 2.41 AU (360 million kilometres) from our planet, the radio signal from the probe took 20 minutes to reach the ground. Steins is a small asteroid of irregular shape with a diameter of only 4.6 km. It belongs to the rare class of E-type asteroids, which had not been directly observed by an interplanetary spacecraft before. Such asteroids are quite small in size and orbit and are mostly found in the inner part of the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. They probably originate from the mantle of larger asteroids destroyed in the early history of the Solar System, and are thought to be composed mainly of silicate minerals with little or no iron content. The data collected by Rosetta last night and which will be analysed over the coming days and weeks will finally unveil the true nature of Steins. Through the study of minor bodies such as asteroids, Rosetta is opening up a new window onto the early history of our Solar System. It will give us a better understanding of the origins and evolution of the planets, and also a key to better interpreting asteroid data collected from the ground. Under Rosetta's scope This

  20. Dawn Mission Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, M. V.; Russell, C. T.; Coradini, A.; Christensen, U.; de Sanctis, M. C.; Feldman, W. C.; Jaumann, R.; Keller, U.; Konopliv, A. S.; McCord, T. B.; McFadden, L. A.; McSween, H. Y.; Mottola, S.; Neukum, G.; Pieters, C. M.; Prettyman, T. H.; Raymond, C. A.; Smith, D. E.; Williams, B. G.; Wise, J.; Zuber, M. T.

    2004-11-01

    Dawn, the ninth Discovery mission, will be the first spacecraft to rendezvous with two solar system bodies, the main belt asteroids Vesta and Ceres. This is made possible by utilizing ion propulsion to reach its targets and to maneuver into (and depart) orbits about these bodies. Vesta and Ceres are two terrestrial protoplanets that have survived since the earliest epoch of the solar system and will provide important insights into planet building processes and their evolution under very different circumstances, with and without water. Dawn carries a double framing camera, a visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, and a gamma ray and neutron detector. At Vesta our studies will include the volcanic emplacement of basalts, its differentiation, the possible exposure of its interior near the south pole. At Ceres our studies will include the role of water in its evolution, hydration processes on its surface, and the possible existence of a subsurface ocean. The mission has passed its critical design review and is scheduled to be launched in June 2006 with arrival at Vesta in 2011 and Ceres in 2015. Operation strategies will be presented. Groundbased observations of Vesta, Ceres, and Vesta family members over broad wavelengths, periods and phases will play an important role in detailed mission planning.

  1. Planetary mission requirements, technology and design considerations for a solar electric propulsion stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cork, M. J.; Hastrup, R. C.; Menard, W. A.; Olson, R. N.

    1979-01-01

    High energy planetary missions such as comet rendezvous, Saturn orbiter and asteroid rendezvous require development of a Solar Electric Propulsion Stage (SEPS) for augmentation of the Shuttle-IUS. Performance and functional requirements placed on the SEPS are presented. These requirements will be used in evolution of the SEPS design, which must be highly interactive with both the spacecraft and the mission design. Previous design studies have identified critical SEPS technology areas and some specific design solutions which are also presented in the paper.

  2. Environmental control and life support technologies for advanced manned space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, F. T.; Wynveen, R. A.; Lin, C.

    1986-01-01

    Regenerative environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) technologies are found by the present evaluation to have reached a degree of maturity that recommends their application to long duration manned missions. The missions for which regenerative ECLSSs are attractive in virtue of the need to avoid expendables and resupply requirements have been identified as that of the long duration LEO Space Station, long duration stays at GEO, a permanently manned lunar base (or colony), manned platforms located at the earth-moon libration points L4 or L5, a Mars mission, deep space exploration, and asteroid exploration. A comparison is made between nonregenerative and regenerative ECLSSs in the cases of 10 essential functions.

  3. Controlled Ascent From the Surface of an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Haijun; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Cornelius, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently investigating a conceptual robotic mission to collect a small boulder up to 4 m in diameter resting on the surface of a large Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). Because most NEAs are not well characterized, a great range of uncertainties in boulder mass properties and NEA surface characteristics must be considered in the design of this mission. These uncertainties are especially significant when the spacecraft ascends with the boulder in tow. The most important requirement during ascent is to keep the spacecraft in an upright posture to maintain healthy ground clearances for the two large solar arrays. This paper focuses on the initial stage (the first 50 m) of ascent from the surface. Specifically, it presents a sensitivity study of the solar array ground clearance, control authority, and accelerations at the array tips in the presence of a variety of uncertainties including various boulder sizes, densities, shapes and orientations, locations of the true center of mass, and push-off force distributions. Results are presented, and appropriate operations are recommended in the event some of the off-nominal cases occur.

  4. Education and Public Outreach and Engagement at NASA's Analog Missions in 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Wendy L.; Janoiko, Barbara A.; Mahoney, Erin; Hermann, Nicole B.

    2013-01-01

    each activity into the mission timeline. In 2012, the AES Analog Missions Project performed three distinct missions - NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), which simulated a mission to an asteroid using an undersea laboratory; In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Field Test, which simulated a robotic mission to the moon searching and drilling for water; and Research and Technology Studies (RATS) integrated tests, which also simulated a mission to an asteroid. This paper will discuss the education and public engagement that occurred during these missions.

  5. Fusion energy for space missions in the 21st Century

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulze, N.R.

    1991-08-01

    Future space missions were hypothesized and analyzed and the energy source for their accomplishment investigated. The mission included manned Mars, scientific outposts to and robotic sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids, as well as fly-by and rendezvous mission with the Oort Cloud and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Space system parametric requirements and operational features were established. The energy means for accomplishing the High Energy Space Mission were investigated. Potential energy options which could provide the propulsion and electric power system and operational requirements were reviewed and evaluated. Fusion energy was considered to be the preferred option and was analyzed in depth. Candidate fusion fuels were evaluated based upon the energy output and neutron flux. Reactors exhibiting a highly efficient use of magnetic fields for space use while at the same time offering efficient coupling to an exhaust propellant or to a direct energy convertor for efficient electrical production were examined. Near term approaches were identified

  6. DIFFERENT ORIGINS OR DIFFERENT EVOLUTIONS? DECODING THE SPECTRAL DIVERSITY AMONG C-TYPE ASTEROIDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vernazza, P.; Marsset, M.; Groussin, O.; Lamy, P.; Jorda, L.; Mousis, O.; Delsanti, A. [Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, LAM, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille (France); Castillo-Rogez, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Beck, P. [UJF-Grenoble 1, CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), UMR 5274, Grenoble F-38041 (France); Emery, J. [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Planetary Geosciences Institute, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1410 (United States); Brunetto, R.; Djouadi, Z.; Dionnet, Z. [Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS, UMR-8617, Université Paris-Sud, bâtiment 121, F-91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Delbo, M.; Carry, B. [Laboratoire Lagrange, UNS-CNRS, Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, Boulevard de l’Observatoire-CS 34229, F-06304 Nice Cedex 4 (France); Marchis, F. [Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Zanda, B. [IMCCE, Observatoire de Paris, 77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau, F-75014 Paris Cedex (France); Borondics, F., E-mail: pierre.vernazza@lam.fr [SMIS Beamline, Soleil Synchrotron, BP48, L’Orme des Merisiers, F-91192 Gif sur Yvette Cedex (France)

    2017-02-01

    Anhydrous pyroxene-rich interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) have been proposed as surface analogs for about two-thirds of all C-complex asteroids. However, this suggestion appears to be inconsistent with the presence of hydrated silicates on the surfaces of some of these asteroids, including Ceres. Here, we report the presence of enstatite (pyroxene) on the surface of two C-type asteroids (Ceres and Eugenia) based on their spectral properties in the mid-infrared range. The presence of this component is particularly unexpected in the case of Ceres, because most thermal evolution models predict a surface consisting of hydrated compounds only. The most plausible scenario is that Ceres’ surface has been partially contaminated by exogenous enstatite-rich material, possibly coming from the Beagle asteroid family. This scenario questions a similar origin for Ceres and the remaining C-types, and it possibly supports recent results obtained by the Dawn mission (NASA) that Ceres may have formed in the very outer solar system. Concerning the smaller D  ∼ 200 km C-types such as Eugenia, both their derived surface composition (enstatite and amorphous silicates) and low density (<1.5 g cm{sup −3}) suggest that these bodies accreted from the same building blocks, namely chondritic porous, pyroxene-rich IDPs and volatiles (mostly water ice), and that a significant volume fraction of these bodies has remained unaffected by hydrothermal activity likely implying a late accretion. In addition, their current heliocentric distance may best explain the presence or absence of water ice at their surfaces. Finally, we raise the possibility that CI chondrites, Tagish-Lake-like material, or hydrated IDPs may be representative samples of the cores of these bodies.

  7. Tumbling asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.; Scheirich, Peter; Kušnirák, Peter; Kotková, Lenka; Hergenrother, C.; Mottola, S.; Hicks, M. D.; Masi, G.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Kaasalainen, M.; Galád, Adrián; Brown, P.; DeGraff, D. R.; Lambert, J.V.; Cooney, W.R.; Foglia, S.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 173 (2005), s. 108-131 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Keywords : near-Earth objects * fast-rotating asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.244, year: 2005

  8. Visible and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) - a facility instrument for planetary missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wellman, J.B.; Duval, J.; Juergens, D.; Voss, J.

    1988-01-01

    A second-generation visible and IR mapping spectrometer (VIMS), selected for both the Mars Observer and Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) missions, is described. VIMS is a scanning spectrometer with a focal plane consisting of linear arrays of visible and IR detectors, cooled by a radiative cooler. It is noted that a wide-angle scan using a full-aperture scan mirror was implemented for the Mars Observer; a narrow-angle scan using a scanning secondary mirror within a Cassegrain foreoptic was achieved for the CRAF mission. 11 references

  9. Capture orbits around asteroids by hitting zero-velocity curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Yang, Hongwei; Zhang, Wei; Ma, Guangfu

    2017-12-01

    The problem of capturing a spacecraft from a heliocentric orbit into a high parking orbit around binary asteroids is investigated in the current study. To reduce the braking Δ V, a new capture strategy takes advantage of the three-body gravity of the binary asteroid to lower the inertial energy before applying the Δ V. The framework of the circular restricted three-body problem (CR3BP) is employed for the binary asteroid system. The proposed capture strategy is based on the mechanism by which inertial energy can be decreased sharply near zero-velocity curves (ZVCs). The strategy has two steps, namely, hitting the target ZVC and raising the periapsis by a small Δ V at the apoapsis. By hitting the target ZVC, the positive inertial energy decreases and becomes negative. Using a small Δ V, the spacecraft inserts into a bounded orbit around the asteroid. In addition, a rotating mass dipole model is employed for elongated asteroids, which leads to dynamics similar to that of the CR3BP. With this approach, the proposed capture strategy can be applied to elongated asteroids. Numerical simulations validate that the proposed capture strategy is applicable for the binary asteroid 90 Antiope and the elongated asteroid 216 Kleopatra.

  10. Size-dependent modification of asteroid family Yarkovsky V-shapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolin, B. T.; Morbidelli, A.; Walsh, K. J.

    2018-04-01

    Context. The thermal properties of the surfaces of asteroids determine the magnitude of the drift rate cause by the Yarkovsky force. In the general case of Main Belt asteroids, the Yarkovsky force is indirectly proportional to the thermal inertia, Γ. Aim. Following the proposed relationship between Γ and asteroid diameter D, we find that asteroids' Yarkovsky drift rates might have a more complex size dependence than previous thought, leading to a curved family V-shape boundary in semi-major axis, a, vs. 1/D space. This implies that asteroids are drifting faster at larger sizes than previously considered decreasing on average the known ages of asteroid families. Methods: The V-Shape curvature is determined for >25 families located throughout the Main Belt to quantify the Yarkovsky size-dependent drift rate. Results: We find that there is no correlation between family age and V-shape curvature. In addition, the V-shape curvature decreases for asteroid families with larger heliocentric distances suggesting that the relationship between Γ and D is weaker in the outer MB possibly due to homogenous surface roughness among family members.

  11. Space Mission Human Reliability Analysis (HRA) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Roger

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the Space Mission Human Reliability Analysis (HRA) Project is to extend current ground-based HRA risk prediction techniques to a long-duration, space-based tool. Ground-based HRA methodology has been shown to be a reasonable tool for short-duration space missions, such as Space Shuttle and lunar fly-bys. However, longer-duration deep-space missions, such as asteroid and Mars missions, will require the crew to be in space for as long as 400 to 900 day missions with periods of extended autonomy and self-sufficiency. Current indications show higher risk due to fatigue, physiological effects due to extended low gravity environments, and others, may impact HRA predictions. For this project, Safety & Mission Assurance (S&MA) will work with Human Health & Performance (HH&P) to establish what is currently used to assess human reliabiilty for human space programs, identify human performance factors that may be sensitive to long duration space flight, collect available historical data, and update current tools to account for performance shaping factors believed to be important to such missions. This effort will also contribute data to the Human Performance Data Repository and influence the Space Human Factors Engineering research risks and gaps (part of the HRP Program). An accurate risk predictor mitigates Loss of Crew (LOC) and Loss of Mission (LOM).The end result will be an updated HRA model that can effectively predict risk on long-duration missions.

  12. Dynamical properties of the Watsonia asteroid family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsirvoulis, G.; Novakovic, B.; Knezevic, Z.; Cellino, A.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: In recent years, a rare class of asteroids has been discovered [1], with its distinguishing characteristic being the anomalous polarimetric properties of its members. Named Barbarians, after (234) Barbara, the prototype of the class, these asteroids show negative polarization at unusually high phase-angles compared to normal asteroids. Motivated by the fact that some of the few discovered Barbarians seemed to be related to the Watsonia asteroid family, Cellino et al. [2] performed a search for more Barbarians among its members. A positive result of this search led to the conclusion that Watsonia is indeed an important repository of Barbarian asteroids. Based on these findings, we decided to analyze this family in detail. Basic information: According to available data, Watsonia is an L-type asteroid family, located in the middle of the main asteroid belt (2.68 < a_{p} < 2.82 au), with low to moderate orbital eccentricities (0.1 < e_{p} < 0.15) and relatively high inclinations (16.5^{o} < i_{p} < 18^{o}). Methodology: The first step in our study is to derive a reliable list of Watsonia family members. To that purpose, we first calculate the synthetic proper elements [3] of an extended catalogue including numbered, as well as multi and single opposition asteroids, in a wide region around the family. To this catalogue we apply the Hierarchical Clustering Method (HCM)[4] to determine the membership of the family, coinciding with the requirement that all confirmed neighboring Barbarians are included (see figure). To detect potential interlopers and refine the membership list, additional data such as the SDSS colors and WISE albedos are used. Moreover, we identify all relevant resonances and analyze the dynamical characteristics of the region occupied by the family. Then we estimate the age of the family, and finally, we perform numerical integrations of test particles to investigate possible dynamical links to other known Barbarians and to the near

  13. Asteroids II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.; Gehrels, T.; Matthews, M.S.

    1989-01-01

    This book presents an introduction to asteroids. A description of exploration techniques, details on their physical properties, discussions of their origin and evolution, an examination of their interrelations with meteorites and comets followed by an attempt at a big picture framework are given

  14. THE ORIGIN OF ASTEROID 101955 (1999 RQ36)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campins, Humberto; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; De Leon, Julia; Licandro, Javier; Lauretta, Dante

    2010-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroid (NEA) 101955 (1999 RQ 36 ; henceforth RQ36) is especially accessible to spacecraft and is the primary target of NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission; it is also a potentially hazardous asteroid. We combine dynamical and spectral information to identify the most likely main-belt origin of RQ36 and we conclude that it is the Polana family, located at a semimajor axis of about 2.42 AU. We also conclude that the Polana family may be the most important inner-belt source of low-albedo NEAs. These conclusions are based on the following results. (1) Dynamical evidence strongly favors an inner-belt, low-inclination (2.15 AU 0 ) origin, suggesting the ν 6 resonance as the preferred (95% probability) delivery route. (2) This region is dominated by the Nysa and Polana families. (3) The Polana family is characterized by low albedos and B-class spectra or colors, the same albedo and spectral class as RQ36. (4) The Sloan Digital Sky Survey colors show that the Polana family is the branch of the Nysa-Polana complex that extends toward the ν 6 resonance; furthermore, the Polana family has delivered objects of the size of RQ36 and larger into the ν 6 resonance. (5) A quantitative comparison of visible and near-infrared spectra does not yield a unique match for RQ36; however, it is consistent with a compositional link between RQ36 and the Polana family.

  15. Spectroscopy and Photometry of CAI-rich asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanga, P.; Devogele, M.; Bendjoya, Ph.; Cellino, A.; Surdej, J.

    2017-09-01

    Asteroids with an anomalous amount of primitive elements, formed in ancient times in the solar nebula, exist. Our study confirms their nature and provides hints to the interpretation of the ancient evolution of asteroids.

  16. Photometry of the bright and dark terrains of Vesta and Lutetia with comparison to other asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longobardo, A.; Palomba, E.; Capaccioni, F.; De Sanctis, M.; Tosi, F.; Schroder, S.; Li, J.; Capria, M.; Ammannito, E.; Raymond, C.; Russell, C.

    2014-07-01

    The reflectance of a planetary surface as measured at different phase angles can provide useful information about several properties, both optical (importance of multiple and single scattering, regolith shadowing) and physical (roughness and regolith grain size). In particular, disk-resolved observations allow one to monitor photometric properties variations across a planetary surface. In this work, we retrieved disk-resolved phase functions of asteroids Vesta and Lutetia, by means of hyperspectral images returned by the Visible and InfraRed (VIR) mapping spectrometer onboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft, and the Visible, InfraRed, and Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS), onboard ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, respectively. Then we compared their photometric properties with those obtained of other asteroids closely explored by space missions (Gaspra, Ida, Eros, Annefrank, Steins, Mathilde). The trend of reflectance as a function of phase angle has been obtained by undertaking a statistical analysis, based on the empirical definition of reflectance families. For each family, the relation between reflectance and phase has been then calculated. On Vesta, we find steeper phase functions in dark material units, which become flatter with increasing albedo. This has been ascribed to a relevant role of multiple scattering in bright regions. As opposed to Vesta, Lutetia is a more homogeneous body. Hence we can consider a unique phase function for the whole asteroid surface. We chose two parameters useful to describe the photometric behavior of these asteroids: the reflectance which would be observed at a 30° phase, tagged R30, and the ''phase slope'' or the reflectance percent decrease between 20° and 60° phase, tagged PS. These two parameters have been calculated also on disk-resolved phase functions of other asteroids available in literature. We find that all S-type asteroids place in the same region of the R30-PS scatterplot, due to their similar photometric properties. C

  17. The Rosetta Mission - Where no Spacecraft has gone before

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2015-01-01

    This Talk will provide an overview on the Scientific Highlights of the Rosetta Mission. After travelling through the Solar System for nearly 10 years Rosetta arrived at its main target, Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in August 2014. Following an initial characterisation of the Comet, the lander unit Philae touched down on the partly active Nucleus on November 12 of the same year. The data acquired from the numerous instruments onboard the Spacecraft provides a unique insight into the properties of the Comets. While most of the measurements and processing of the data are still ongoing, the results from the Mission provide continuous surprises to the scientific community. While the Lander has been reactivated with some difficulties after a few months of inactivity due to low insolation levels, the Orbiter is pursuing its main mission objectives until the end of its extended Mission in Autumn 2016. During the long journey, the Spacecraft had encountered Earth, Mars and two Asteroids ( 2867 Šteins and 21 Lu...

  18. Scenario-Based Case Study Analysis of Asteroid Mitigation in the Short Response Time Regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seery, B.; Greenaugh, K. C.

    2017-12-01

    Asteroid impact on Earth is a rare but inevitable occurrence, with potentially cataclysmic consequences. If a pending impact is discovered, mitigation options include civil-defense preparations as well as missions to deflect the asteroid and/or robustly disrupt and disperse it to an extent that only a negligible fraction remains on a threatening path (National Research Council's "Defending the Planet," 2010). If discovered with sufficient warning time, a kinetic impactor can deflect smaller objects, but response delays can rule out the option. If a body is too large to deflect by kinetic impactor, or the time for response is insufficient, deflection or disruption can be achieved with a nuclear device. The use of nuclear ablation is considered within the context of current capabilities, requiring no need for nuclear testing. Existing, well-understood devices are sufficient for the largest known Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHOs). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Goddard Space Flight Center and the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration are collaborating to determine the critical characterization issues that define the boundaries for the asteroid-deflection options. Drawing from such work, we examine the timeline for a deflection mission, and how to provide the best opportunity for an impactor to suffice by minimizing the response time. This integrated problem considers the physical process of the deflection method (impact or ablation), along with the spacecraft, launch capability, risk analysis, and the available intercept flight trajectories. Our joint DOE/NASA team has conducted case study analysis of three distinctly different PHOs, on a hypothetical earth impacting trajectory. The size of the design reference bodies ranges from 100 - 500 meters in diameter, with varying physical parameters such as composition, spin state, and metallicity, to name a few. We assemble the design reference of the small body in question using

  19. An Investigation of the Ranges of Validity of Asteroid Thermal Models for Near-Earth Asteroid Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, M.; Jedicke, R.; Trilling, D. E.

    2018-02-01

    The majority of known asteroid diameters are derived from thermal-infrared observations. Diameters are derived using asteroid thermal models that approximate their surface temperature distributions and compare the measured thermal-infrared flux with model-dependent predictions. The most commonly used thermal model is the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM), which is usually perceived as superior to other models like the Fast-Rotating Model (FRM). We investigate the applicability of the NEATM and the FRM to thermal-infrared observations of Near-Earth Objects using synthetic asteroids with properties based on the real Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population. We find the NEATM to provide more accurate diameters and albedos than the FRM in most cases, with a few exceptions. The modeling results are barely affected by the physical properties of the objects, but we find a large impact of the solar phase angle on the modeling results. We conclude that the NEATM provides statistically more robust diameter estimates for NEAs observed at solar phase angles less than ∼65°, while the FRM provides more robust diameter estimates for solar phase angles greater than ∼65°. We estimate that <5% of all NEA diameters and albedos derived up to date are affected by systematic effects that are of the same order of magnitude as the typical thermal model uncertainties. We provide statistical correction functions for diameters and albedos derived using the NEATM and FRM as a function of solar phase angle.

  20. Size distributions of member asteroids in seven Hirayama families

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mikami, Takao; Ishida, Keiichi.

    1990-01-01

    The size distributions of asteroids in the seven Hirayama families are studied for newly assigned member asteroids in the diameter range of about 10 to 100 km. The size distributions for the different families are expressed by the power-law functions with distinctly different power-law indices. The power-law indices for families with small mean orbital inclinations are about 2.5 to 3.0. On the other hand, the power-law indices for families with large mean orbital inclinations are significantly smaller than 2.5. This indicates that the smaller asteroids were removed preferentially from these families after their formation. It is thought that the smaller asteroids left behind the families were dispersed into the main belt. It is consistent with the fact that the power-law index for the size distribution of asteroids with diameters smaller than 25 km in the main belt is larger than the power-law indices for the size distributions of asteroids in the families. This segregation due to the asteroid size can be caused by a drag force caused by the ambient matter deposited on the invariable place of the solar system during the early evolutionary stage. (author)

  1. Shaping asteroid models using genetic evolution (SAGE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartczak, P.; Dudziński, G.

    2018-02-01

    In this work, we present SAGE (shaping asteroid models using genetic evolution), an asteroid modelling algorithm based solely on photometric lightcurve data. It produces non-convex shapes, orientations of the rotation axes and rotational periods of asteroids. The main concept behind a genetic evolution algorithm is to produce random populations of shapes and spin-axis orientations by mutating a seed shape and iterating the process until it converges to a stable global minimum. We tested SAGE on five artificial shapes. We also modelled asteroids 433 Eros and 9 Metis, since ground truth observations for them exist, allowing us to validate the models. We compared the derived shape of Eros with the NEAR Shoemaker model and that of Metis with adaptive optics and stellar occultation observations since other models from various inversion methods were available for Metis.

  2. Asteroid taxonomic classifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports on three taxonomic classification schemes developed and applied to the body of available color and albedo data. Asteroid taxonomic classifications according to two of these schemes are reproduced

  3. Sustained Manned Mars Presence Enabled by E-sail Technology and Asteroid Water Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janhunen, Pekka; Merikallio, Sini; Toivanen, Petri; Envall, M. Jouni

    would be reduced because of intermediate tankings plus opening up the possibility of making the craft reusable for several back and forth trips. The manned spacecraft can be tanked first time at Earth C3, second time in Mars orbit for the return trip, and again in Earth C3 for the next trip if the spacecraft is reusable. When propellant is cheap in Mars orbit, it may also make sense to perform an all-propulsive landing which would make thermal shielding unnecessary. In this case the manned spacecraft would be tanked in Mars orbit two times plus once on the surface per each bidirectional mission. We estimate that the dry mass of cryogenic propellant factories and their associated temporary storage tanks that can process 50 tonnes of water per year is 20 tonnes. By developing the E-sail as enabling technology and by employing asteroid water mining, we think that sustained bidirectional Earth-Mars manned transportation could be created which would asymptotically require no more resources than what running the International Space Station requires today. References [1] Janhunen, P., et. al, Electric solar wind sail: Towards test missions (Invited article), Rev. Sci. Instrum., 81, 111301, 2010. [2] Janhunen, P., A. Quarta and G. Mengali G., Electric solar wind sail mass budget model, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 2, 85-95, 2013.

  4. Forging Asteroid-Meteorite Relationships Through Reflectance Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbine, T. H.; Binzel, R. P.; Bus, S. J.; Buchanan, P. C.; Hinrichs, J. L.; Meibom, A.; Hiroi, T.; Sunshine, J. M.

    2000-01-01

    Near-infrared spectra were obtained for 196 asteroids as part of SMASSIR. SMASSIR focused on observing asteroids assumed to be one of the following: (1) olivine-rich, (2) objects with "Vesta-like spectra" (the "Vestoids"), and (3) postulated meteorite parent bodies.

  5. Strategy for Ranking the Science Value of the Surface of Asteroid 101955 Bennu for Sample Site Selection for Osiris-REx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Connolly, H. C., Jr.; Lauretta, D. S.

    2014-01-01

    OSRIS-REx is NASA's New Frontiers 3 sample return mission that will return at least 60 g of pristine surface material from near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu in September 2023. The scientific value of the sample increases enormously with the amount of knowledge captured about the geological context from which the sample is collected. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is highly maneuverable and capable of investigating the surface of Bennu at scales down to the sub-cm. The OSIRIS-REx instruments will characterize the overall surface geology including spectral properties, microtexture, and geochemistry of the regolith at the sampling site in exquisite detail for up to 505 days after encountering Bennu in August 2018. The mission requires at the very minimum one acceptable location on the asteroid where a touch-and-go (TAG) sample collection maneuver can be successfully per-formed. Sample site selection requires that the follow-ing maps be produced: Safety, Deliverability, Sampleability, and finally Science Value. If areas on the surface are designated as safe, navigation can fly to them, and they have ingestible regolith, then the scientific value of one site over another will guide site selection.

  6. Conceptual definition of a 50-100 kWe NEP system for planetary science missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlander, Alan

    1993-01-01

    The Phase 1 objective of this project is to assess the applicability of a common Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) flight system of the 50-100 kWe power class to meet the advanced transportation requirements of a suite of planetary science (robotic) missions, accounting for differences in mission-specific payloads and delivery requirements. The candidate missions are as follows: (1) Comet Nucleus Sample Return; (2) Multiple Mainbelt Asteroid Rendezvous; (3) Jupiter Grand Tour (Galilean satellites and magnetosphere); (4) Uranus Orbiter/Probe (atmospheric entry and landers); (5) Neptune Orbiter/Probe (atmospheric entry and landers); and (6) Pluto-Charon Orbiter/Lander. The discussion is presented in vugraph form.

  7. El cuerpo asteroide de la esporotricosis. Especificad y diferenciación de otras formas de asteroides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerzaín Rodríguez Toro

    1985-06-01

    Full Text Available El análisis de 86 biopsias de esporotricosis y de biopsias de otras enfermedades granulomatosas, así como los conceptos de la literatura, permiten concluir que hay dos tipos de cuerpos asteroides: 1. lntracitoplasmáticos, situados dentro de una vacuola, en células gigantes multinucleadas de diversas enfermedades granulomatosas. Son eosinófilos y constan de radiaciones aciculares, estelares, que parten de un centro amorfo. Los ilustramos en casos de lepra lepromatosa, sarcoidosis, paracoccidioidomicosis, labomicosis y granulomas a cuerpos extraños. Son morfológicamente idénticos, inespecíficos, no ayudan a ningún diagnóstico y se originan por fagocitosis de colágeno (59 o por modificaciones del citocentro (60. 2. Cuerpos asteroides resultantes del fenómeno de Splendore-Hoeppli, que es una reacción antígeno-anticuerpo (38-40. 44 el más conspicuo de los cuales es el cuerpo asteroide esporotricósico (CAE, extracelular, situado en el centro del granuloma supurado y que consiste en una levadura central rodeada de espículas intensamente eosinófilas. Es pues específico, morfológicamente característico, permite el diagnóstico concluyente de la enfermedad y en nuestros casos lo observamos en el 20% de las biopsias. La referencia al CAE como una estructura inespecífica (47.58.61 no tiene en cuenta la morfología y la patogenia involucradas en la formación de los cuerpos asteroides. En algunas micosis como aspergilosis, candidiasis sistémica. paracoccidioidomicosis lobomicosis. granuloma tricofítico, se pueden ver imágenes asteroides alrededor de una levadura, pero la morfología general del cuadro histológico no guarda parecido alguno con la esporotricosis. Es posible ver en una biopsia cuerpos asteroides de ambos tipos y el patólogo debe ser capaz de darles el significado apropiado.

  8. Asteroid Lightcurves from Xingming Observatory: 2017 - 2017 June

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Hanjie; Yeh, Tingshuo; Li, Bin; Gao, Xing

    2018-01-01

    The lightcurves of main-belt asteroids 963, 1025, 2019, and 17814 and near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) 459872, 2014 JO25, and 2017 BS32 were obtained using Xingming Observatory (Code C42) from 2016 March to 2017 March. The absolute magnitudes of these asteroids range from H = 11.6 to 27.3, corresponding to a diameter range of 14 m to 14 km. The derived synodic rotation periods range between 0.1 to 10 h.

  9. Asteroid spin-rate studies using large sky-field surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chan-Kao; Lin, Hsing-Wen; Ip, Wing-Huen; Prince, Thomas A.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.; Levitan, David; Laher, Russ; Surace, Jason

    2017-12-01

    Eight campaigns to survey asteroid rotation periods have been carried out using the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory in the past 3 years. 2780 reliable rotation periods were obtained, from which we identified two new super-fast rotators (SFRs), (335433) 2005 UW163 and (40511) 1999 RE88, and 23 candidate SFRs. Along with other three known super-fast rotators, there are five known SFRs so far. Contrary to the case of rubble-pile asteroids (i.e., bounded aggregations by gravity only), an internal cohesion, ranging from 100 to 1000 Pa, is required to prevent these five SFRs from flying apart because of their super-fast rotations. This cohesion range is comparable with that of lunar regolith. However, some candidates of several kilometers in size require unusually high cohesion (i.e., a few thousands of Pa). Therefore, the confirmation of these kilometer-sized candidates can provide important information about asteroid interior structure. From the rotation periods we collected, we also found that the spin-rate limit of C-type asteroids, which has a lower bulk density, is lower than for S-type asteroids. This result is in agreement with the general picture of rubble-pile asteroids (i.e., lower bulk density, lower spin-rate limit). Moreover, the spin-rate distributions of asteroids of 3 5 rev/day, regardless of the location in the main belt. The YORP effect is indicated to be less efficient in altering asteroid spin rates from our results when compared with the flat distribution found by Pravec et al. (Icarus 197:497-504, 2008. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2008.05.012). We also found a significant number drop at f = 5 rev/day in the spin-rate distributions of asteroids of D < 3 km.

  10. SAFARI: Searching Asteroids For Activity Revealing Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Anthony; Chandler, Colin Orion; Mommert, Michael; Sheppard, Scott; Trujillo, Chadwick A.

    2018-06-01

    We present results on one of the deepest and widest systematic searches for active asteroids, objects in the main-belt which behave dynamically like asteroids but display comet-like comae. This activity comes from a variety of sources, such as the sublimation of ices or rotational breakup, the former of which offers an opportunity to study a family of protoplanetary ices different than those seen in comets and Kuiper Belt objects. Indications of activity may be detected through visual or spectroscopic evidence of gas or dust emissions. However, these objects are still poorly understood, with only about 25 identified to date. We looked for activity indicators with a pipeline that examined ~35,000 deep images taken with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the 4-meter Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Our pipeline was configured to perform astrometry on DECam images and produce thumbnail images of known asteroids in the field to be examined by eye for signs of activity. We detected three previously identified active asteroids, one of which has shown repeated signs of activity in these data. Our proof of concept demonstrates 1) our novel informatics approach can locate active asteroids 2) DECam data are well suited to search for active asteroids. We will discuss the design structure of our pipeline, adjustments that had to be made for the specific dataset to improve performance, and the the significance of detecting activity in the main-belt. The authors acknowledge funding for this project through NSF grant number AST-1461200.

  11. Orbitrap-based mass analyser for in-situ characterization of asteroids: ILMA, Ion Laser Mass Analyser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briois, C.; Cotti, H.; Thirkell, L.; Space Orbitrap Consortium[K. Aradj, French; Bouabdellah, A.; Boukrara, A.; Carrasco, N.; Chalumeau, G.; Chapelon, O.; Colin, F.; Coll, P.; Engrand, C.; Grand, N.; Kukui, A.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Pennanech, C.; Szopa, C.; Thissen, R.; Vuitton, V.; Zapf], P.; Makarov, A.

    2014-07-01

    Since about a decade the boundaries between comets and carbonaceous asteroids are fading [1,2]. No doubt that the Rosetta mission should bring a new wealth of data on the composition of comets. But as promising as it may look, the mass resolving power of the mass spectrometers onboard (so far the best on a space mission) will only be able to partially account for the diversity of chemical structures present. ILMA (Ion-Laser Mass Analyser) is a new generation high mass resolution LDI-MS (Laser Desorption-Ionization Mass Spectrometer) instrument concept using the Orbitrap technique, which has been developed in the frame of the two Marco Polo & Marco Polo-R proposals to the ESA Cosmic Vision program. Flagged by ESA as an instrument concept of interest for the mission in 2012, it has been under study for a few years in the frame of a Research and Technology (R&T) development programme between 5 French laboratories (LPC2E, IPAG, LATMOS, LISA, CSNSM) [3,4], partly funded by the French Space Agency (CNES). The work is undertaken in close collaboration with the Thermo Fisher Scientific Company, which commercialises Orbitrap-based laboratory instruments. The R&T activities are currently concentrating on the core elements of the Orbitrap analyser that are required to reach a sufficient maturity level for allowing design studies of future space instruments. A prototype is under development at LPC2E and a mass resolution (m/Δm FWHM) of 100,000 as been obtained at m/z = 150 for a background pressure of 10^{-8} mbar. ILMA would be a key instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of objects such as carbonaceous asteroids, comets, or other bodies devoid of atmosphere such as the surface of an icy satellite, the Moon, or Mercury.

  12. The Formation of Jupiter, the Jovian Early Bombardment and the Delivery of Water to the Asteroid Belt: The Case of (4) Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Diego; Svetsov, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    The asteroid (4) Vesta, parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite meteorites, is one of the first bodies that formed, mostly from volatile-depleted material, in the Solar System. The Dawn mission recently provided evidence that hydrated material was delivered to Vesta, possibly in a continuous way, over the last 4 Ga, while the study of the eucritic meteorites revealed a few samples that crystallized in presence of water and volatile elements. The formation of Jupiter and probably its migration occurred in the period when eucrites crystallized, and triggered a phase of bombardment that caused icy planetesimals to cross the asteroid belt. In this work, we study the flux of icy planetesimals on Vesta during the Jovian Early Bombardment and, using hydrodynamic simulations, the outcome of their collisions with the asteroid. We explore how the migration of the giant planet would affect the delivery of water and volatile materials to the asteroid and we discuss our results in the context of the geophysical and collisional evolution of Vesta. In particular, we argue that the observational data are best reproduced if the bulk of the impactors was represented by 1–2 km wide planetesimals and if Jupiter underwent a limited (a fraction of au) displacement. PMID:25370027

  13. The Formation of Jupiter, the Jovian Early Bombardment and the Delivery of Water to the Asteroid Belt: The Case of (4 Vesta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Turrini

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The asteroid (4 Vesta, parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite meteorites, is one of the first bodies that formed, mostly from volatile-depleted material, in the Solar System. The Dawn mission recently provided evidence that hydrated material was delivered to Vesta, possibly in a continuous way, over the last 4 Ga, while the study of the eucritic meteorites revealed a few samples that crystallized in presence of water and volatile elements. The formation of Jupiter and probably its migration occurred in the period when eucrites crystallized, and triggered a phase of bombardment that caused icy planetesimals to cross the asteroid belt. In this work, we study the flux of icy planetesimals on Vesta during the Jovian Early Bombardment and, using hydrodynamic simulations, the outcome of their collisions with the asteroid. We explore how the migration of the giant planet would affect the delivery of water and volatile materials to the asteroid and we discuss our results in the context of the geophysical and collisional evolution of Vesta. In particular, we argue that the observational data are best reproduced if the bulk of the impactors was represented by 1–2 km wide planetesimals and if Jupiter underwent a limited (a fraction of au displacement.

  14. Earth's Trojan asteroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, Martin; Wiegert, Paul; Veillet, Christian

    2011-07-27

    It was realized in 1772 that small bodies can stably share the same orbit as a planet if they remain near 'triangular points' 60° ahead of or behind it in the orbit. Such 'Trojan asteroids' have been found co-orbiting with Jupiter, Mars and Neptune. They have not hitherto been found associated with Earth, where the viewing geometry poses difficulties for their detection, although other kinds of co-orbital asteroid (horseshoe orbiters and quasi-satellites) have been observed. Here we report an archival search of infrared data for possible Earth Trojans, producing the candidate 2010 TK(7). We subsequently made optical observations which established that 2010 TK(7) is a Trojan companion of Earth, librating around the leading Lagrange triangular point, L(4). Its orbit is stable over at least ten thousand years.

  15. Physical characterization of asteroid surfaces from photometric analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.

    1989-01-01

    Rigorous photometric models, like Hapke's equation, can be applied to the analysis of disk-integrated phase curves in order to estimate a variety of regolith physical properties (average particle single-scattering albedo, particle transparency, soil compaction and large-scale roughness). Unfortunately, unambiguous interpretation is difficult due to uncertainties introduced by the irregular shapes of many asteroids and because Earth-based observations are often restricted to small phase angles (<30 degrees). In this chapter, the authors explore in detail how incomplete phase-angle coverage and nonsphericity of asteroids limits the reliable determination of Hapke's photometric parameters from asteroid phase curves. From obtainable Earth-based observations, it is possible to derive useful relative comparisons of single-scattering albedos, opposition-surge amplitudes, and regolith compaction states for different asteroids

  16. Photometric geodesy of main-belt asteroids. III. Additional lightcurves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weidenschilling, S.J.; Chapman, C.R.; Davis, D.R.; Greenberg, R.; Levy, D.H.

    1990-01-01

    A total of 107 complete or partial lightcurves are presented for 59 different asteroids over the 1982-1989 period. Unusual lightcurves with unequal minima and maxima at large amplitudes are preferentially seen for M-type asteroids. Some asteroids, such as 16 Psyche and 201 Penelope, exhibit lightcurves combining large amplitude with very unequal brightness for both maxima and both minima, even at small phase angles. An M-type asteroid is believed to consist of a metal core of a differentiated parent body that has had its rocky mantle completely removed by one or more large impacts. 39 refs

  17. Automated Classification of Asteroids into Families at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knežević, Zoran; Milani, Andrea; Cellino, Alberto; Novaković, Bojan; Spoto, Federica; Paolicchi, Paolo

    2014-07-01

    We have recently proposed a new approach to the asteroid family classification by combining the classical HCM method with an automated procedure to add newly discovered members to existing families. This approach is specifically intended to cope with ever increasing asteroid data sets, and consists of several steps to segment the problem and handle the very large amount of data in an efficient and accurate manner. We briefly present all these steps and show the results from three subsequent updates making use of only the automated step of attributing the newly numbered asteroids to the known families. We describe the changes of the individual families membership, as well as the evolution of the classification due to the newly added intersections between the families, resolved candidate family mergers, and emergence of the new candidates for the mergers. We thus demonstrate how by the new approach the asteroid family classification becomes stable in general terms (converging towards a permanent list of confirmed families), and in the same time evolving in details (to account for the newly discovered asteroids) at each update.

  18. PRODUCTION OF NEAR-EARTH ASTEROIDS ON RETROGRADE ORBITS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenstreet, S.; Gladman, B.; Ngo, H.; Granvik, M.; Larson, S.

    2012-01-01

    While computing an improved near-Earth object (NEO) steady-state orbital distribution model, we discovered in the numerical integrations the unexpected production of retrograde orbits for asteroids that had originally exited from the accepted main-belt source regions. Our model indicates that ∼0.1% (a factor of two uncertainty) of the steady-state NEO population (perihelion q < 1.3 AU) is on retrograde orbits. These rare outcomes typically happen when asteroid orbits flip to a retrograde configuration while in the 3:1 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter and then live for ∼0.001 to 100 Myr. The model predicts, given the estimated near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population, that a few retrograde 0.1-1 km NEAs should exist. Currently, there are two known MPC NEOs with asteroidal designations on retrograde orbits which we therefore claim could be escaped asteroids instead of devolatilized comets. This retrograde NEA population may also answer a long-standing question in the meteoritical literature regarding the origin of high-strength, high-velocity meteoroids on retrograde orbits.

  19. 3-µm Spectroscopy of Asteroid 16 Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takir, Driss; Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan; Shepard, Michael K.

    2016-10-01

    Asteroid 16 Psyche, an M-type asteroid, is thought to be one of the most massive exposed iron metal object in the asteroid belt. The high radar albedos of Psyche suggest that this differentiated asteroid is dominantly composed of metal. Psyche was previously found to be featureless in the 3-µm spectral region. However, in our study we found that this asteroid exhibits a 3-µm absorption feature, possibly indicating the presence of hydrated silicates.We have observed Psyche in the 3-µm spectral region, using the long-wavelength cross-dispersed (LXD:1.9-4.2 µm) mode of the SpeX spectrograph/imager at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). For data reduction, we used the IDL (Interactive Data Language)-based spectral reduction tool Spextool (v4.1). Psyche was observed over the course of three nights with an apparent visual magnitude of ~9.50: 8 December 2015 (3 sets), 9 December 2015 (1 set), and 10 March 2016 (1 set). These observations have revealed that Psyche may exhibit a 3-µm absorption feature, similar to the sharp group in the 2.9-3.3-µm spectral range. Psyche also exhibits an absorption feature similar to the one in Ceres and Ceres-like group in the spectral 3.3-4.0-µm range. These 3-µm observational results revealed that Psyche may not be as featureless as once thought in the 3-µm spectral region.Evidence for the 3-µm band was found on the surfaces of many M-type asteroids and a number of plausible alternative interpretations for the presence of this 3-µm band were previously suggested. These interpretations include the presence of anhydrous silicates containing structural OH, the presence of fluid inclusions, the presence of xenolithic hydrous meteorite components on asteroid surfaces from impacts, solar wind-implanted H, or the presence of troilite. The detection of the Ceres-like feature in the 3.3-4.0-µm spectral range, however, would rule out some of these alternative interpretations, especially the solar wind-implanted H.

  20. Observation of freakish-asteroid-discovered-resembles support my idea that many dark comets were arrested and lurked in the solar system after every impaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dayong

    2014-03-01

    New observations show that some asteroids are looked like comets. http://www.astrowatch.net/2013/11/freakish-asteroid-discovered-resembles.html, http://www.astrowatch.net/2013/11/astronomers-puzzle-over-newfound.html. It supports my idea that ``many dark comets with very special tilted orbits were arrested and lurked in the solar system'' - ``Sun's companion-dark hole seasonal took its dark comets belt and much dark matter to impact near our earth. And some of them probability hit on our earth. So this model kept and triggered periodic mass extinctions on our earth every 25 to 27 million years. After every impaction, many dark comets with very special tilted orbits were arrested and lurked in the solar system. Because some of them picked up many solar matter, so it looked like the asteroids. When the dark hole-Tyche goes near the solar system again, they will impact near planets.'' The idea maybe explains why do the asteroid looks like the comet? Where are the asteroids come from? What relationship do they have with the impactions and extinctions? http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2011.CAL.C1.7, http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/CAL12/Event/181168, http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2013.MAR.H1.267. During 2009 to 2010, I had presented there are many dark comets like dark Asteroids near the orbit of Jupiter in ASP Meetings. In 2010, NASA's WISE found them. http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2011.APR.K1.17, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/news/wise20100122.html Avoid Earth Extinction Associ.

  1. Spectral investigation of two asteroidal fireballs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Borovička, Jiří

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 97, 3-4 (2006), s. 279-293 ISSN 0167-9295. [Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2005. Búzios, 07.08.2005-12.08.2005] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0543; GA ČR GA205/03/1404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * meteors * spectroscopy Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.252, year: 2006

  2. Castalia - European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilchenbach, M.

    2013-12-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a recently identified new solar system population with stable asteroid-like orbits and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact might expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly detect water in the asteroid belt 4. Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water 5. Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for a time interval of some months, arriving before the active period for mapping and then directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of ';hovering' autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The straw-man instrument payload is made up of: - Visible and near-infrared spectral imager - Thermal infrared imager - Radio science - Dust impact detector - Dust composition analyzer - Neutral/ion mass spectrometer - Magnetometer - Plasma package In addition to this, the option of a surface science package is being considered. At the moment MBC 133P/Elst-Pizarro is the best-known target for such a mission. A design study for the Castalia mission has been carried out in partnership between the science team, DLR and OHB Systems. This study looked at possible missions to 133P with launch

  3. Binary asteroid population. 1. Angular momentum content

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 190, č. 1 (2007), s. 250-259 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * satellites of asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.869, year: 2007

  4. Update on an Interstellar Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-01-01

    Whats the news coming from the research world on the interstellar asteroid visitor, asteroid 1I/Oumuamua? Read on for an update from a few of the latest studies.What is Oumuamua?In lateOctober2017, the discovery of minor planet 1I/Oumuamua was announced. This body which researchers first labeled asa comet and later revised to an asteroid had just zipped around the Sun and was already in the process of speeding away whenwe trained our telescopes on it. Its trajectory, however, marked it as being a visitor from outside our solar system: the first knownvisitorof its kind.Since Oumuamuasdiscovery, scientists have been gathering as many observations of this bodyas possible before it vanishes into the distance. Simultaneously, theorists have leapt at the opportunity to explain its presence and the implications its passage has on our understanding of our surroundings. Here we present just a few of the latest studies that have been published on this first detected interstellar asteroid including several timelystudies published in our new journal, Research Notes of the AAS.The galactic velocity of Oumuamua does not coincide with any of the nearest stars to us. [Mamajek 2018]Where Did Oumuamua Come From?Are we sure Oumuamua didnt originate in our solar system andget scattered into a weird orbit? Jason Wright (The Pennsylvania State University) demonstrates via a series of calculations that no known solar system body could have scattered Oumuamua onto its current orbit nor could any stillunknown object bound to our solar system.Eric Mamajek (Caltech and University of Rochester) showsthat thekinematics of Oumuamua areconsistent with what we might expect of interstellar field objects, though he argues that its kinematics suggest its unlikely to have originated from many of the neareststellar systems.What AreOumuamuas Properties?Oumuamuas light curve. [Bannister et al. 2017]A team of University of Maryland scientists led by Matthew Knight captured a light curve of Oumuamua using

  5. Antimatter applied for Earth protection from asteroid collision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satori, Shin; Kuninaka, Hitoshi; Kuriki, Kyoichi

    1990-01-01

    An Earth protection system against asteroids and meteorites in colliding orbit is proposed. The system consists of detection and deorbiting systems. Analyses are given for the resolution of microwave optics, the detectability of radar, the orbital plan of intercepting operation, and the antimatter mass require for totally or partially blasting the asteroid. Antimatter of 1 kg is required for deorbiting an asteroid 200 m in diameter. An experimental simulation of antimatter cooling and storage is planned. The facility under construction is discussed.

  6. Xenon Acquisition Strategies for High-Power Electric Propulsion NASA Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Daniel A.; Unfried, Kenneth G.

    2015-01-01

    The benefits of high-power solar electric propulsion (SEP) for both NASA's human and science exploration missions combined with the technology investment from the Space Technology Mission Directorate have enabled the development of a 50kW-class SEP mission. NASA mission concepts developed, including the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission, and those proposed by contracted efforts for the 30kW-class demonstration have a range of xenon propellant loads from 100's of kg up to 10,000 kg. A xenon propellant load of 10 metric tons represents greater than 10% of the global annual production rate of xenon. A single procurement of this size with short-term delivery can disrupt the xenon market, driving up pricing, making the propellant costs for the mission prohibitive. This paper examines the status of the xenon industry worldwide, including historical xenon supply and pricing. The paper discusses approaches for acquiring on the order of 10 MT of xenon propellant considering realistic programmatic constraints to support potential near-term NASA missions. Finally, the paper will discuss acquisitions strategies for mission campaigns utilizing multiple high-power solar electric propulsion vehicles requiring 100's of metric tons of xenon over an extended period of time where a longer term acquisition approach could be implemented.

  7. SMALL MAIN-BELT ASTEROID SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY, PHASE II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains visible-wavelength (0.435-0.925 micron) spectra for 1341 main-belt asteroids observed during the second phase of the Small Main-belt Asteroid...

  8. Asteroid collisional history - Effects on sizes and spins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, D.R.; Weidenschilling, S.J.; Farinella, P.; Paolicchi, P.; Binzel, R.P.

    1989-01-01

    The effects of asteroid collisional history on sizes and spins of present-day objects are discussed. Collisional evolution studies indicate that collisions have altered the spin-rates of small bodies, but that the largest asteroids may have retained their primordial rotation rates. Most asteroids larger than 100 km diam have probably been shattered, but have gravitationally recaptured their fragments to form a rubble-pile structure. Large angular momentum asteroids appear to have Maclaurian spheroidal or Jacobi-ellipsoid-like shapes; some of them may have fissioned into binaries. An integrated size and spin collisional evolution model is presented, with two critical parameters: one which determines the spin rates for small fragments resulting from a shattering collision, and the other determines the fraction of impact angular momentum that is retained by the target. 36 refs

  9. Initial inflight calibration for Hayabusa2 optical navigation camera (ONC) for science observations of asteroid Ryugu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, H.; Yamada, M.; Kouyama, T.; Tatsumi, E.; Kameda, S.; Honda, R.; Sawada, H.; Ogawa, N.; Morota, T.; Honda, C.; Sakatani, N.; Hayakawa, M.; Yokota, Y.; Yamamoto, Y.; Sugita, S.

    2018-01-01

    Hayabusa2, the first sample return mission to a C-type asteroid was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on December 3, 2014 and will arrive at the asteroid in the middle of 2018 to collect samples from its surface, which may contain both hydrated minerals and organics. The optical navigation camera (ONC) system on board the Hayabusa2 consists of three individual framing CCD cameras, ONC-T for a telescopic nadir view, ONC-W1 for a wide-angle nadir view, and ONC-W2 for a wide-angle slant view will be used to observe the surface of Ryugu. The cameras will be used to measure the global asteroid shape, local morphologies, and visible spectroscopic properties. Thus, image data obtained by ONC will provide essential information to select landing (sampling) sites on the asteroid. This study reports the results of initial inflight calibration based on observations of Earth, Mars, Moon, and stars to verify and characterize the optical performance of the ONC, such as flat-field sensitivity, spectral sensitivity, point-spread function (PSF), distortion, and stray light of ONC-T, and distortion for ONC-W1 and W2. We found some potential problems that may influence our science observations. This includes changes in sensitivity of flat fields for all bands from those that were measured in the pre-flight calibration and existence of a stray light that arises under certain conditions of spacecraft attitude with respect to the sun. The countermeasures for these problems were evaluated by using data obtained during initial in-flight calibration. The results of our inflight calibration indicate that the error of spectroscopic measurements around 0.7 μm using 0.55, 0.70, and 0.86 μm bands of the ONC-T can be lower than 0.7% after these countermeasures and pixel binning. This result suggests that our ONC-T would be able to detect typical strength (∼3%) of the serpentine absorption band often found on CM chondrites and low albedo asteroids with ≥ 4

  10. Advancing Lidar Sensors Technologies for Next Generation Landing Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amzajerdian, Farzin; Hines, Glenn D.; Roback, Vincent E.; Petway, Larry B.; Barnes, Bruce W.; Brewster, Paul F.; Pierrottet, Diego F.; Bulyshev, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Missions to solar systems bodies must meet increasingly ambitious objectives requiring highly reliable "precision landing", and "hazard avoidance" capabilities. Robotic missions to the Moon and Mars demand landing at pre-designated sites of high scientific value near hazardous terrain features, such as escarpments, craters, slopes, and rocks. Missions aimed at paving the path for colonization of the Moon and human landing on Mars need to execute onboard hazard detection and precision maneuvering to ensure safe landing near previously deployed assets. Asteroid missions require precision rendezvous, identification of the landing or sampling site location, and navigation to the highly dynamic object that may be tumbling at a fast rate. To meet these needs, NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) has developed a set of advanced lidar sensors under the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) project. These lidar sensors can provide precision measurement of vehicle relative proximity, velocity, and orientation, and high resolution elevation maps of the surface during the descent to the targeted body. Recent flights onboard Morpheus free-flyer vehicle have demonstrated the viability of ALHAT lidar sensors for future landing missions to solar system bodies.

  11. The Impact and Oxidation Survival of Selected Meteoritic Compounds: Signatures of Asteroid Organic Material on Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, George; Horz, Fred; Oleary, Alanna; Chang, Sherwood

    2013-01-01

    Polar, non-volatile organic compounds may be present on the surfaces (or near surfaces) of multiple Solar System bodies. If found, by current or future missions, it would be desirable to determine the origin(s) of such compounds, e.g., asteroidal or in situ. To test the possible survival of meteoritic compounds both during impacts with planetary surfaces and under subsequent (possibly) harsh ambient conditions, we subjected known meteoritic compounds to relatively high impact-shock pressures and/or to varying oxidizing/corrosive conditions. Tested compounds include sulfonic and phosphonic acids (S&P), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) amino acids, keto acids, dicarboxylic acids, deoxy sugar acids, and hydroxy tricarboxylic acids (Table 1). Meteoritic sulfonic acids were found to be relatively abundant in the Murchison meteorite and to possess unusual S-33 isotope anomalies (non mass-dependent isotope fractionations). Combined with distinctive C-S and C-P bonds, the S&P are potential signatures of asteroidal organic material.

  12. Planning for Planetary Science Mission Including Resource Prospecting, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Advances in computer-aided mission planning can enhance mission operations and science return for surface missions to Mars, the Moon, and beyond. While the...

  13. Generalized Calibration of the Polarimetric Albedo Scale of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupishko, D. F.

    2018-03-01

    Six different calibrations of the polarimetric albedo scale of asteroids have been published so far. Each of them contains its particular random and systematic errors and yields its values of geometric albedo. On the one hand, this complicates their analysis and comparison; on the other hand, it becomes more and more difficult to decide which of the proposed calibrations should be used. Moreover, in recent years, new databases on the albedo of asteroids obtained from the radiometric surveys of the sky with the orbital space facilities (the InfraRed Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), the Japanese astronomical satellite AKARI (which means "light"), the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE)) have appeared; and the database on the diameters and albedos of asteroids obtained from their occultations of stars has substantially increased. Here, we critically review the currently available calibrations and propose a new generalized calibration derived from the interrelations between the slope h and the albedo and between P min and the albedo. This calibration is based on all of the available series of the asteroid albedos and the most complete data on the polarization parameters of asteroids. The generalized calibration yields the values of the polarimetric albedo of asteroids in the system unified with the radiometric albedos and the albedos obtained from occultations of stars by asteroids. This, in turn, removes the difficulties in their comparison, joint analysis, etc.

  14. Tracing meteorite source regions through asteroid spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina Ana

    By virtue of their landing on Earth, meteorites reside in near-Earth object (NEO) orbits prior to their arrival. Thus the population of observable NEOs, in principle, gives the best representation of meteorite source bodies. By linking meteorites to NEOs, and linking NEOs to their most likely main-belt source locations, we seek to gain insight into the original solar system formation locations for different meteorite classes. To forge the first link between meteorites and NEOs, we have developed a three dimensional method for quantitative comparisons between laboratory measurements of meteorites and telescopic measurements of near-Earth objects. We utilize meteorite spectra from the Reflectance Experiment Laboratory (RELAB) database and NEO data from the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Using the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) as a mathematical tool, we treat asteroid and meteorite spectra identically in the calculation of 1-micron and 2-micron geometric band centers and their band area ratios (BARs). Using these identical numerical parameters we quantitatively compare the spectral properties of S-, Sq-, Q- and V-type NEOs with the spectral properties of the meteorites in the H, L, LL and HED meteorite classes. For each NEO spectrum, we assign a set of probabilities for it being related to each of these meteorite classes. Our NEO- meteorite correlation probabilities are then convolved with NEO-source region probabilities to yield a final set of meteorite-source region correlations. An apparent (significant at the 2.1-sigma level) source region signature is found for the H chondrites to be preferentially delivered to the inner solar system through the 3:1 mean motion resonance. A 3:1 resonance H chondrite source region is consistent with the short cosmic ray exposure ages known for H chondrites. The spectroscopy of asteroids is subject to several sources of inherent error. The source region model used a variety of S-type spectra without

  15. On the concept of material strength and first simulations of asteroid disruption with explicit formation of spinning aggregates in the gravity regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, P.; Richardson, D. C.

    2007-08-01

    During their evolutions, the small bodies of our Solar System are affected by several mechanisms which can modify their properties. While dynamical mechanisms are at the origin of their orbital variations, there are other mechanisms which can change their shape, spin, and even their size when their strength threshold is reached, resulting in their disruption. Such mechanisms have been identified and studied, both by analytical and numerical tools. The main mechanisms that can result in the disruption of a small body are collisional events, tidal perturbations, and spin-ups. However, the efficiency of these mechanisms depends on the strength of the material constituing the small body, which also plays a role in its possible equilibrium shape. We will present several important aspects of material strength that are believed to be adapted to Solar System small bodies and briefly review the most recent studies of the different mechanisms that can be at the origin of the disruption of these bodies. In particular, we have recently made a major improvement in the simulations of asteroid disruption by computing explicitly the formation of aggregates during the gravitational reaccumulation of small fragments, allowing us to obtain information on their spin, the number of boulders composing them or lying on their surface, and their shape.We will present the first and preliminary results of this process taking as examples some asteroid families that we reproduced successfully with our previous simulations (Michel et al. 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004a,b), and their possible implications on the properties of asteroids generated by a disruption. Such information can for instance be compared with data provided by the Japanese space mission Hayabusa of the asteroid Itokawa, a body now understood to be a fragment of a larger parent body. It is also clear that future space missions to small bodies devoted to precise in-situ analysis and sample return will allow us to improve our

  16. LONG-TERM STABLE EQUILIBRIA FOR SYNCHRONOUS BINARY ASTEROIDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2011-01-01

    Synchronous binary asteroids may exist in a long-term stable equilibrium, where the opposing torques from mutual body tides and the binary YORP (BYORP) effect cancel. Interior of this equilibrium, mutual body tides are stronger than the BYORP effect and the mutual orbit semimajor axis expands to the equilibrium; outside of the equilibrium, the BYORP effect dominates the evolution and the system semimajor axis will contract to the equilibrium. If the observed population of small (0.1-10 km diameter) synchronous binaries are in static configurations that are no longer evolving, then this would be confirmed by a null result in the observational tests for the BYORP effect. The confirmed existence of this equilibrium combined with a shape model of the secondary of the system enables the direct study of asteroid geophysics through the tidal theory. The observed synchronous asteroid population cannot exist in this equilibrium if described by the canonical 'monolithic' geophysical model. The 'rubble pile' geophysical model proposed by Goldreich and Sari is sufficient, however it predicts a tidal Love number directly proportional to the radius of the asteroid, while the best fit to the data predicts a tidal Love number inversely proportional to the radius. This deviation from the canonical and Goldreich and Sari models motivates future study of asteroid geophysics. Ongoing BYORP detection campaigns will determine whether these systems are in an equilibrium, and future determination of secondary shapes will allow direct determination of asteroid geophysical parameters.

  17. The size distribution of the earth-approaching asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, D. L.

    1993-01-01

    The discovery circumstances of the first asteroids ever observed outside the earth's atmosphere but within the neighborhood of the earth-moon system are described. Four natural objects with diameters in the range 5-50 m were detected during a search for earth-approaching asteroids conducted each month at the 0.91-m Spacewatch Telescope at Kitt Peak. An additional 19 earth approachers with sizes in the range 50 m to 5 km were discovered. These obervations determine the cumulative flux of asteroids near earth as a function of absolute magnitude. For asteroids larger than about 100 m, a power-law dependence with exponent of about 0.9 is observed, consistent with their evolution from the main-belt population. At about 10 m, the flux is more than two orders of magnitude greater than this power-law extrapolation.

  18. Asteroid-Generated Tsunami and Impact Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boslough, M.; Aftosmis, M.; Berger, M. J.; Ezzedine, S. M.; Gisler, G.; Jennings, B.; LeVeque, R. J.; Mathias, D.; McCoy, C.; Robertson, D.; Titov, V. V.; Wheeler, L.

    2016-12-01

    The justification for planetary defense comes from a cost/benefit analysis, which includes risk assessment. The contribution from ocean impacts and airbursts is difficult to quantify and represents a significant uncertainty in our assessment of the overall risk. Our group is currently working toward improved understanding of impact scenarios that can generate dangerous tsunami. The importance of asteroid-generated tsunami research has increased because a new Science Definition Team, at the behest of NASA's Planetary Defense Coordinating Office, is now updating the results of a 2003 study on which our current planetary defense policy is based Our group was formed to address this question on many fronts, including asteroid entry modeling, tsunami generation and propagation simulations, modeling of coastal run-ups, inundation, and consequences, infrastructure damage estimates, and physics-based probabilistic impact risk assessment. We also organized the Second International Workshop on Asteroid Threat Assessment, focused on asteroid-generated tsunami and associated risk (Aug. 23-24, 2016). We will summarize our progress and present the highlights of our workshop, emphasizing its relevance to earth and planetary science. Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  19. Speckle interferometry of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drummond, J.

    1988-01-01

    By studying the image two-dimensional power spectra or autocorrelations projected by an asteroid as it rotates, it is possible to locate its rotational pole and derive its three axes dimensions through speckle interferometry under certain assumptions of uniform, geometric scattering, and triaxial ellipsoid shape. However, in cases where images can be reconstructed, the need for making the assumptions is obviated. Furthermore, the ultimate goal for speckle interferometry of image reconstruction will lead to mapping albedo features (if they exist) as impact areas or geological units. The first glimpses of the surface of an asteroid were obtained from images of 4 Vesta reconstructed from speckle interferometric observations. These images reveal that Vesta is quite Moon-like in having large hemispheric-scale albedo features. All of its lightcurves can be produced from a simple model developed from the images. Although undoubtedly more intricate than the model, Vesta's lightcurves can be matched by a model with three dark and four bright spots. The dark areas so dominate one hemisphere that a lightcurve minimum occurs when the maximum cross-section area is visible. The triaxial ellipsoid shape derived for Vesta is not consistent with the notion that the asteroid has an equilibrium shape in spite of its having apparently been differentiated

  20. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.

    2014-08-01

    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  1. Discovery of a Satellite around a Near-Earth Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    In the course of the major observational programme of asteroids by the Institute of Planetary Exploration of the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) [1] in Berlin, two of the staff astronomers, Stefano Mottola and Gerhard Hahn , have discovered a small satellite (moon) orbiting the asteroid (3671) Dionysus. The new measurements were obtained with the DLR CCD Camera attached at the 60-cm Bochum telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile. This is only the second known case of an asteroid with a moon. Moons and planets Until recently, natural satellites were only known around the major planets . The Moon orbits the Earth, there are two tiny moons around Mars, each of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune has many more, and even the smallest and outermost, Pluto, is accompanied by one [2]. However, the new discovery now strengthens the belief of many astronomers that some, perhaps even a substantial number of the many thousands of minor planets (asteroids) in the solar system may also possess their own moons. The first discovery of a satellite orbiting an asteroid was made by the NASA Galileo spacecraft, whose imagery, obtained during a fly-by of asteroid (253) Ida in August 1993, unveiled a small moon that has since been given the name Dactyl. (3671) Dionysus: an Earth-crossing asteroid In the framework of the DLR asteroid monitoring programme, image sequences are acquired to measure an asteroid's brightness variations caused by the changing amount of sunlight reflected from the asteroid's illuminated surface as it spins, due to its irregular shape. The brightness variations may be used to derive the asteroid's rotational properties, such as speed of rotation and spin axis orientation. Asteroid Dionysus [3] was put on the observing list because it belongs to a special class of asteroids, the members of which occasionally come very close to the Earth and have a small, but non-negligible chance of colliding with our planet. Most of

  2. The nature of C-class asteroids from 3-micron spectrophotometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feierberg, M. A.; Lebofsky, L. A.; Tholen, D. J.

    1985-01-01

    Narrowband spectrophotometry between 2.3 and 3.5 micrometers is presented for 14 main-belt C asteroids greater than 100 km in diameter. Absorption features at 3 micrometers due to water of hydration are present in the spectra of nine of the asteroids, with intensities ranging from 6 to 23 percent. The other five asteroids have no such absorption greater than 2 percent in intensity. The present C-asteroid population may be fragments of larger parent bodies with anhydrous C3-like cores and hydrated C1I- or C2M-like mantles.

  3. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    Like evidence left at a crime scene, the mineral olivine may be the clue that helps scientists piece together Marss possibly violent history. Could a long-ago giant impact have flung pieces of Mars throughout our inner solar system? Two researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan are on the case.A Telltale MineralOlivine, a mineral that is common in Earths subsurface but weathers quickly on the surface. Olivine is a major component of Marss upper mantle. [Wilson44691]Olivine is a major component of the Martian upper mantle, making up 60% of this region by weight. Intriguingly, olivine turns up in other places in our solar system too for instance, in seven out of the nine known Mars Trojans (a group of asteroids of unknown origin that share Marss orbit), and in the rare A-type asteroids orbiting in the main asteroid belt.How did these asteroids form, and why are they so olivine-rich? An interesting explanation has been postulated: perhaps this olivine all came from the same place Mars as the result of a mega impact billions of years ago.Evidence for ImpactMars bears plenty of signs pointing to a giant impact in its past. The northern and sourthern hemispheres of Mars look very different, a phenomenon referred to as the Mars hemisphere dichotomy. The impact of a Pluto-sized body could explain the smooth Borealis Basin that covers the northern 40% of Marss surface.This high-resolution topographic map of Mars reveals the dichotomy between its northern and sourthern hemispheres. The smooth region in the northern hemisphere, the Borealis basin, may have been formed when a giant object impacted Mars billions of years ago. [NASA/JPL/USGS]Other evidence piles up: Marss orbit location, its rotation speed, the presence of its two moons all could be neatly explained by a large impact around 4 billion years ago. Could such an impact have also strewn debris from Marss mantle across the solar system?To test this theory, we need to determine if a mega impact is

  4. RECTIFIED ASTEROID ALBEDOS AND DIAMETERS FROM IRAS AND MSX PHOTOMETRY CATALOGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, Erin Lee; Woodward, Charles E.

    2010-01-01

    Rectified diameters and albedo estimates of 1517 main-belt asteroids selected from IRAS and the Mid-Course Space Experiment asteroid photometry catalogs are derived from updated infrared thermal models, the Standard Thermal Model and the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM), and Monte Carlo simulations, using new Minor Planet Center compilations of absolute magnitudes (H values) constrained by occultation- and radar-derived parameters. The NEATM approach produces a more robust estimate of albedos and diameters, yielding albedos of p v (NEATM mean) =0.081 ± 0.064. The asteroid beaming parameter (η) for the selected asteroids has a mean value of 1.07 ± 0.27, and the smooth distribution of η suggests that this parameter is independent of asteroid properties such as composition. No trends in η due to size-dependent rotation rates are evident. Comparison of derived values of η as a function of taxonomic type indicates that the beaming parameter values for S- and C-type asteroids are identical within the standard deviation of the population of beaming parameters.

  5. Lightcurve Analysis for Near-Earth Asteroid (143404) 2003 BD44

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polakis, Tom; Warner, Brian D.; Skiff, Brian A.

    2018-01-01

    The synodic rotation period has been determined for the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) (143404) 2003 BD44. The asteroid was observed during three intervals with a rotation period on the order of 79 h determined in each case. The lightcurve exhibited rapidly changing morphology as the asteroid approached. Data have submitted to the ALCDEF database.

  6. HIGH ECLIPTIC LATITUDE SURVEY FOR SMALL MAIN-BELT ASTEROIDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terai, Tsuyoshi; Takahashi, Jun; Itoh, Yoichi

    2013-01-01

    Main-belt asteroids have been continuously colliding with one another since they were formed. Their size distribution is primarily determined by the size dependence of asteroid strength against catastrophic impacts. The strength scaling law as a function of body size could depend on collision velocity, but the relationship remains unknown, especially under hypervelocity collisions comparable to 10 km s –1 . We present a wide-field imaging survey at an ecliptic latitude of about 25° for investigating the size distribution of small main-belt asteroids that have highly inclined orbits. The analysis technique allowing for efficient asteroid detections and high-accuracy photometric measurements provides sufficient sample data to estimate the size distribution of sub-kilometer asteroids with inclinations larger than 14°. The best-fit power-law slopes of the cumulative size distribution are 1.25 ± 0.03 in the diameter range of 0.6-1.0 km and 1.84 ± 0.27 in 1.0-3.0 km. We provide a simple size distribution model that takes into consideration the oscillations of the power-law slope due to the transition from the gravity-scaled regime to the strength-scaled regime. We find that the high-inclination population has a shallow slope of the primary components of the size distribution compared to the low-inclination populations. The asteroid population exposed to hypervelocity impacts undergoes collisional processes where large bodies have a higher disruptive strength and longer lifespan relative to tiny bodies than the ecliptic asteroids

  7. Asteroid Moon Micro-imager Experiment (amie) For Smart-1 Mission, Science Objectives and Devel- Opment Status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Heather, D.; Dunkin, S.; Roussel, F.; Beauvivre, S.; Kraenhenbuehl, D.; Plancke, P.; Lange-Vin, Y.; Pinet, P.; Chevrel, S.; Cerroni, P.; de Sanctis, M.-C.; Dillelis, A.; Sodnik, Z.; Koschny, D.; Barucci, A.; Hofmann, B.; Josset, M.; Muinonen, K.; Pironnen, J.; Ehrenfreud, P.; Shkuratov, Y.; Shevchenko, V.

    The Asteroid Moon micro-Imager Experiment (AMIE), which will be on board the first ESA SMART-1 mission to the Moon (launch foreseen late 2002), is an imaging sys- tem with scientific, technical and public outreach oriented objectives. The science objectives are to imagine the Lunar South Pole (Aitken basin), permanent shadow areas (ice deposit), eternal light (crater rims), ancient Lunar Non- mare volcanism, local spectro-photometry and physical state of the lunar surface, and to map high latitudes regions (south) mainly at far side (Fig. 1). The technical objectives are to perform a laser-link experiment (detection of laser beam emitted by ESA Tenerife ground station), flight demonstration of new technologies, navigation aid (feasi- bility study), and on-board autonomy investigations. Figure 3: AMIE camera (light source and a photodiode to verify the stability of the incident flux. The optical system is com- posed of a lens to insure good focusing on the samples (focus with the camera is at distance > 100m) and a mirror to image downwards. The samples used were anorthosite from northern Finland, basalt from Antarctis, meteorites and other lunar analog materials. A spectralon panel has also been used to have flat fields references. The samples were imaged with dif- Figure 1: SMART-1 camera imaging the Moon (simulated view) ferent phase angles. Figure 4 shows images obtained with In order to have spectral information of the surface of the basalt and olivine samples, with different integration times Moon, the camera is equipped with a set of filters (Fig. 2), in order to have information in all areas. introduced between the CCD and the teleobjective. Bandpass-filter No Filter, 750 nm (1) AR coating (3) Bandpass-filter 915 nm (2) Longpass-filter 960 nm (4) Band- Band- Figure 4: Basalt and Olivine sample ­ entire image (left) and passfilter passfilter 915 nm 750 nm visible part () (6) (7) Bandpass- More than 150 images were acquired during this validation filter 847

  8. M-class Asteroids: Soft Rock, Heavy Metal, Or None Of That Jazz?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2008-09-01

    M-class asteroids in the Tholen taxonomy have featureless spectra in the 0.3-1.0 micrometer region and moderate albedos. Taxonomic studies using reflectance spectra have long associated M-class asteroids with iron meteorites. Dozens of parent bodies are required by cosmochemists in order to generate the diversity seen in the iron meteorite population, representing both the disrupted cores of differentiated parent bodies as well as objects with more exotic histories. Unfortunately, the featureless spectrum of iron-nickel metal in the visible and near-IR can be matched by other mineralogies unrelated to iron meteorites. For instance, the primitive enstatite chondrites are also matches to M asteroids (Burbine et al. 2002). The past 20 years have led to increased recognition that the M asteroid class includes a diverse set of objects. Polarimetric, spectral, and radar observations in the 1980s and 1990s showed that at least some M asteroids were not iron-meteorite-like. In particular, observations by Jones et al. (1990), Rivkin et al. (1995), and Rivkin et al. (2000) found several M asteroids with absorptions near 3 micrometers, interpreted as hydrated minerals. This led to the proposal to separate those asteroids with bands into a new W class. Since 2000, new observations have been made by various workers in the near and mid-IR from the ground and with Spitzer. An increase in the sample size of radar-detected asteroids has provided additional insight into M and W asteroids. New meteorite classes have been delimited and characterized, some of which are of direct relevance to the M asteroid population. Discoveries of binary M-class asteroids have allowed densities to be measured Finally, the Rosetta spacecraft will fly by the M (W) asteroid 21 Lutetia in 2010. I will discuss the M/W asteroid class in the context of all of these new data. Thanks to the NASA PAST and PGG programs.

  9. Software Development for Asteroid and Variable Star Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweckard, Teaghen; Clason, Timothy; Kenney, Jessica; Wuerker, Wolfgang; Palser, Sage; Giles, Tucker; Linder, Tyler; Sanchez, Richard

    2018-01-01

    The process of collecting and analyzing light curves from variable stars and asteroids is almost identical. In 2016 a collaboration was created to develop a simple fundamental way to study both asteroids and variable stars using methods that would allow the process to be repeated by middle school and high school students.Using robotic telescopes at Cerro Tololo (Chile), Yerkes Observatory (US), and Stone Edge Observatory (US) data were collected on RV Del and three asteroids. It was discovered that the only available software program which could be easily installed on lab computers was MPO Canopus. However, after six months it was determined that MPO Canopus was not an acceptable option because of the steep learning curve, lack of documentation and technical support.Therefore, the project decided that the best option was to design our own python based software. Using python and python libraries we developed code that can be used for photometry and can be easily changed to the user's needs. We accomplished this by meeting with our mentor astronomer, Tyler Linder, and in the beginning wrote two different programs, one for asteroids and one for variable stars. In the end, though, we chose to combine codes so that the program would be capable of performing photometry for both moving and static objects.The software performs differential photometry by comparing the magnitude of known reference stars to the object being studied. For asteroids, the image timestamps are used to obtain ephemeris of the asteroid from JPL Horizons automatically.

  10. Castalia: A European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snodgrass, Colin; Castalia mission science Team

    2013-10-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified population, with stable asteroid-like orbits in the outer main belt and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Water ice is the only volatile expected to survive, and only when buried under an insulating surface. Excavation by impact could bring the water ice (closer) to the surface and trigger the start of MBC activity. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly detect water in the asteroid belt 4. Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth’s water 5. Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for some months, arriving before the active period begins for mapping before directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of ‘hovering’ autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The straw-man instrument payload is made up of: - Visible and near-infrared spectral imager - Thermal infrared imager - Radio science - Dust impact detector - Dust composition analyzer - Neutral/ion mass spectrometer - Magnetometer - Plasma package In addition to this, the option of a surface science package is being considered. At the moment MBC 133P/Elst-Pizarro is the best-known target for such a mission. A design study for the Castalia mission has been carried out in partnership between the science team, DLR and OHB Systems. This study looked at

  11. Physical Properties of Asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, a Potential Spacecraft Target, from Spitzer Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael; Harris, A. W.

    2006-09-01

    We report on results from recent Spitzer observations of near-Earth asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, which is among the lowest-ranking objects in terms of the specific momentum Δv required to reach it from Earth. It was originally considered as a target for Hayabusa and is now under consideration as a target of the planned ESA mission Don Quijote. Unfortunately, little is known about the physical properties of 1989 ML, in particular its size and albedo are unknown. Its exhibits an X type reflection spectrum, so depending on its albedo, 1989 ML may be an E, M, or P type asteroid. Provisional results from thermal-infrared observations carried out with Spitzer indicate that the albedo of 1989 ML is compatible with an M- or E-type classification. We will discuss our results and their implications for the physical properties and the rotation period of 1989 ML, and its importance as a potential spacecraft target. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.

  12. Dust arcs in the region of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaodong; Schmidt, Jürgen

    2018-01-01

    Aims: The surfaces of the Trojan asteroids are steadily bombarded by interplanetary micrometeoroids, which releases ejecta of small dust particles. These particles form the faint dust arcs that are associated with asteroid clouds. Here we analyze the particle dynamics and structure of the arc in the region of the L4 Trojan asteroids. Methods: We calculate the total cross section of the L4 Trojan asteroids and the production rate of dust particles. The motion of the particles is perturbed by a variety of forces. We simulate the dynamical evolution of the dust particles, and explore the overall features of the Trojan dust arc. Results: The simulations show that the arc is mainly composed of grains in the size range 4-10 microns. Compared to the L4 Trojan asteroids, the dust arc is distributed more widely in the azimuthal direction, extending to a range of [30, 120] degrees relative to Jupiter. The peak number density does not develop at L4. There exist two peaks that are azimuthally displaced from L4.

  13. Solar-phase-angle effects on the taxonomic classification of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvano, J.; Davallos, J.

    2014-07-01

    Asteroid taxonomy is the effort of grouping asteroids into classes based on similarities of a number of their observational properties. The most used properties include measurements of their spectral reflectance (by means of low-resolution spectra, spectro-photometry, or colors), and geometric albedo. The usefulness of asteroid taxonomic classes derived in this way relies on the assumption that the classes bear some correspondence to the mineralogy of the asteroids, and on the fact that such classification can be made using types of observations that presently are available to a large number of asteroids. Therefore, asteroid taxonomy can be used to infer trends in the distribution of compositions in the main belt and other populations, as an additional parameter in defining asteroid families, and as a selection tool to identify candidates for more detailed observations. However, the fact that the correspondence between taxonomic class and composition is far from perfect is still sometimes overlooked in the literature. Indeed, although a taxonomic classification narrows down the possible mineralogies of a given asteroid, it will seldom point univocally to one particular mineralogy. This happens for a number of reasons, some linked to the intrinsic difficulty involved in the remote characterization of the mineralogy of an asteroid, since it depends on the presence of absorption bands in its reflectance spectrum which may be absent or not completely sampled by the observations used to derive taxonomy. Other problem here is the exposure of the material on the surface of the asteroid to space-weathering effects, such as solar wind implantation and micro-meteorite bombardment, which can change the optical properties of the material. Finally, the overall shape of the reflectance spectrum of an asteroid is also affected by the geometry of the observation, as well as by its shape. In this work, we analyze how the classification of asteroids observed by the Sloan Digital Sky

  14. Asteroids Dynamic Site-AstDyS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knezevic, Zoran; Milani, Andrea

    2012-08-01

    The AstDyS online information service (http://hamilton.dm.unipi.it/astdys/) contains data on numbered and multi - opposition asteroids, including orbital elements, their uncertainty, proper elements, ephemerides with uncertainty, and more. AstDyS also provides additional scientific output computed from the raw observational data. This value added currently includes: more accurate orbits computed with advanced dynamical and observational error model s; their uncertainty, as expressed by the covariance matrix formalism; ephemerides computed on request for each observer, with uncertainty; mean and proper orbital elements (for this output, AstDyS is the primary source worldwide); statistical quality control, providing a rigorous observational error model. All this is available with a sophisticated web interface, providing multiple search functions and online computations as well as complete orbital and residual files. There are several ways in which the A stDyS service could be expanded and improved in the next future, like the explicit classification of asteroids into asteroid families, the classification of resonant asteroids, and an updated self - consistent population model (to be used, e.g., for survey simulations). The IAU Division I endorsed the proposal for AstDyS to become an IAU (permanent) service, which would include the IAU supervision of the AstDyS system, keeping under control the quality of the work and the continuous update under conditions of scientific competition.

  15. Desert RATS 2011: Near-Earth Asteroid Human Exploration Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercromby, Andrew; Gernhardt, Michael L.; Chappel, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) 2011 field test involved the planning and execution of a series of exploration scenarios under operational conditions similar to those that would be expected during a human exploration mission to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA). The focus was on understanding the operations tempo during simulated NEA exploration and the implications of communications latency and limited data bandwidth. Anchoring technologies and sampling techniques were not evaluated due to the immaturity of those technologies and the inability to meaningfully test them at D-RATS. Reduced gravity analogs and simulations are being used to fully evaluate Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV) and extravehicular (EVA) operations and interactions in near-weightlessness at a NEA as part of NASA s integrated analogs program. Hypotheses were tested by planning and performing a series of 1-day simulated exploration excursions comparing test conditions all of which involved a single Deep Space Habitat (DSH) and either zero, one, or two MMSEVs; three or four crewmembers; one of two different communications bandwidths; and a 100-second roundtrip communications latency between the field site and Houston. Excursions were executed at the Black Point Lava Flow test site with a Mission Control Center and Science Support Room at Johnson Space Center (JSC) being operated with 100-second roundtrip communication latency to the field. Crews were composed of astronauts and professional field geologists and teams of Mission Operations, Science, and Education & Public Outreach (EPO) experts also supported the mission simulations each day. Data were collected separately from the Crew, Mission Operations, Science, and EPO teams to assess the test conditions from multiple perspectives. For the operations tested, data indicates practically significant benefits may be realized by including at least one MMSEV and by including 4 versus 3 crewmembers in the NEA exploration

  16. Launch and Assembly Reliability Analysis for Human Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cates, Grant; Gelito, Justin; Stromgren, Chel; Cirillo, William; Goodliff, Kandyce

    2012-01-01

    NASA's future human space exploration strategy includes single and multi-launch missions to various destinations including cis-lunar space, near Earth objects such as asteroids, and ultimately Mars. Each campaign is being defined by Design Reference Missions (DRMs). Many of these missions are complex, requiring multiple launches and assembly of vehicles in orbit. Certain missions also have constrained departure windows to the destination. These factors raise concerns regarding the reliability of launching and assembling all required elements in time to support planned departure. This paper describes an integrated methodology for analyzing launch and assembly reliability in any single DRM or set of DRMs starting with flight hardware manufacturing and ending with final departure to the destination. A discrete event simulation is built for each DRM that includes the pertinent risk factors including, but not limited to: manufacturing completion; ground transportation; ground processing; launch countdown; ascent; rendezvous and docking, assembly, and orbital operations leading up to trans-destination-injection. Each reliability factor can be selectively activated or deactivated so that the most critical risk factors can be identified. This enables NASA to prioritize mitigation actions so as to improve mission success.

  17. Association between meteor showers and asteroids using multivariate criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumitru, B. A.; Birlan, M.; Popescu, M.; Nedelcu, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    Context. Meteoroid streams are fragments of matter produced by comets or asteroids which intersects the orbit of Earth. Meteor showers are produced when Earth intersects these streams of matter. The discoveries of active asteroids and extinct comets open a new view of the relation between these objects as possible parent bodies at the origin of meteor showers. Aims: The aim of this work is to identify the asteroids that can produce or re-populate meteoroid streams by determining the similarity of their orbits and orbital evolution over 10 000 yr. Methods: The identification was carried out by evaluating several well known D-criteria metrics, the orbits being taken from the IAU Meteor Data Center database and from IAU Minor Planet Center. Finally, we analyzed the physical properties and the orbital stability (in the Lyapunov time sense) of the candidates as well as their possible relationship with meteorites. Results: 206 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) were associated as possible parent bodies with 28 meteor showers, according to at least two of the criterion used. 50 of them satisfied all the criteria. Notable finds are: binary asteroid 2000UG11 associated with Andromedids (AND), while the tumbling asteroid (4179)Toutatis could be associated with October Capricornids (OCC). Other possible good candidates are 2004TG10, 2008EY5, 2010CF55, 2010TU149 and 2014OY1. These objects have low albedo, therefore can be primitive objects. Asteroid 2007LW19 which is a fast rotator and most probably has monolithic structure and so its physical characteristic does not support the association found based on the dynamical criteria.

  18. Assessment of the Gaussian Covariance Approximation over an Earth-Asteroid Encounter Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattern, Daniel W.

    2017-01-01

    In assessing the risk an asteroid may pose to the Earth, the asteroids state is often predicted for many years, often decades. Only by accounting for the asteroids initial state uncertainty can a measure of the risk be calculated. With the asteroids state uncertainty growing as a function of the initial velocity uncertainty, orbit velocity at the last state update, and the time from the last update to the epoch of interest, the asteroids position uncertainties can grow to many times the size of the Earth when propagated to the encounter risk corridor. This paper examines the merits of propagating the asteroids state covariance as an analytical matrix. The results of this study help to bound the efficacy of applying different metrics for assessing the risk an asteroid poses to the Earth. Additionally, this work identifies a criterion for when different covariance propagation methods are needed to continue predictions after an Earth-encounter period.

  19. Surface Properties of Asteroids from Mid-Infrared Observations and Thermophysical Modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael

    The subject of this work is the physical characterization of asteroids, focusing on the thermal inertia of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Thermal inertia governs the Yarkovsky effect, a non-gravitational force which significantly alters the orbits of asteroids up to \\sim 20 km in diameter. Yet, very

  20. 52-COLOR ASTEROID SURVEY

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains 52-color IR data of asteroids, taken using a double circularly variable filter. The short wavelength portion of the CVF covered the octave...

  1. Modeling Asteroid Dynamics using AMUSE: First Test Cases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frantseva, Kateryna; Mueller, Michael; van der Tak, Floris; Helmich, Frank P.

    2015-01-01

    We are creating a dynamic model of the current asteroid population. The goal is to reproduce measured impact rates in the current Solar System, from which we'll derive delivery rates of water and organic material by tracing low-albedo C-class asteroids (using the measured albedo distribution from

  2. Earth-approaching asteroids: Populations, origin, and compositional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Helin, E. F.

    1978-01-01

    Origin, physical properties, and discovery history of smaller asteroids are reviewed. They appear to link the main belt objects, namely the comets and meteorites. Physical observations suggest that a wide variety of compositional types are represented among the near-earth asteroids; the apparent rarity of carbonaceous objects is stated.

  3. Asteroids Lightcurves Analysis: 2016 November - 2017 June

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbognani, Albino; Bacci, Paolo; Buzzi, Luca

    2018-01-01

    Twelve near-Earth asteroids were observed from 2016 November through 2017 June to find the synodic rotation period and lightcurve amplitudes for each asteroid. Results are reported for 2329 Orthos, (138846) 2000 VJ61, (326683) 2002 WP, (489337) 2006 UM, (494706) 2005 GL9, 2005 TF, 2017 BJ30, 2017 BQ6, 2017 CS, 2017 DC36, 2017 GK4, and 2017 JA2.

  4. Human Expeditions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Barbee, Brent; Landis, Rob; Johnson, Lindley; Yeomans, Don; Reeves, David; Drake, Bret; Friedensen, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth- Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. The scientific and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a mission to a NEA using NASA s proposed exploration systems a compelling endeavor.

  5. Asteroid families, dynamics and astrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, J.G.; Gibson, J.

    1987-01-01

    The proper elements and family assignments for the 1227 Palomar-Leiden Survey asteroids of high quality were tabulated. In addition to the large table, there are also auxiliary tables of Mars crossers and commensurate objects, histograms of the proper element distributions, and a discussion. Probably the most important part of the discussion describes the Mars crossing boundary, how the closest distances of approach to Mars and Jupiter are calculated, and why the observed population of Mars crossers should bombard that planet episodically rather than uniformly. Analytical work was done to derive velocity distributions of family forming events from proper element distributions subject to assumptions which may be appropriate for cratering events. Software was developed for a microcomputer to permit plotting of the proper elements. Three orthogonal views are generated and stereo pairs can be printed when desired. This program was created for the study of asteroid families. The astrometry task is directed toward measuring and reducing positions on faint comets and the minor planets with less common orbits. The observational material is CCD frames taken with the Palomar 1.5 m telescope. Positions of 10 comets and 16 different asteroids were published on the Minor Planet Circulars

  6. Planetary protection considerations for sample-return missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J.

    The analysis on Earth of materials returned from other solar system bodies, and beyond, is likely one of the most effective ways for us to learn about the origins, history, and present state of the universe outside of our home planet. In the past, the Apollo missions were able to return large quantities of material from the Moon, while missions currently flying (Genesis and Stardust) intend to return much smaller quantities of material. Planned and conceptualized future missions (cf., MUSES-C) intend to return a wide variety of samples such as those from a near-Earth asteroid, the surface and atmosphere of Mars , and perhaps once more from the Earth's Moon. In some cases, the bodies targeted for sample return missions may have the capability of harboring indigenous life, while in other cases there is scant possibility of that. Considerations in determining the potential for extraterrestrial contamination from sample return missions have been studied, and include such factors as the availability of liquid water in or on the target body, the availability of m tabolicallye useful energy sources, the likelihood that organic matter was available, and the overall temperature and radiation history of the sampled areas. Also of note is the potential that the natural influx to Earth of that materials in question (e.g., meteorites, etc.) might overwhelm the ability of a targeted sample-return mission to contribute something novel to the Earth's environment. Missions thought to pose a risk of extraterrestrial biological contamination are subject to a containment provision that may be very difficult to implement on a single, moderate-cost mission, but such steps are necessary to protect both our own planet and the health of solar-system exploration missions and the science they can do.

  7. Near Earth Asteroid Scout

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout, is a 6U CubeSat developed jointly between NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA...

  8. 24-COLOR ASTEROID SURVEY

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This dataset is comprised of asteroid flux data measured in 26 filters using the McCord dual beam photometer, and covering the range 0.32 - 1.08 microns for 285...

  9. Discovery and dynamical characterization of the Amor-class asteroid 2012 XH16

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wlodarczyk, I.; Cernis, K.; Boyle, R. P.; Laugalys, V.

    2014-03-01

    The near-Earth asteroid belt is continuously replenished with material originally moving in Amor-class orbits. Here, the orbit of the dynamically interesting Amor-class asteroid 2012 XH16 is analysed. This asteroid was discovered with the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) at the Mt Graham International Observatory as part of an ongoing asteroid survey focused on astrometry and photometry. The orbit of the asteroid was computed using 66 observations (57 obtained with VATT and 9 from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory-Spacewatch II project) to give a = 1.63 au, e = 0.36, i = 3.76°. The absolute magnitude of the asteroid is 22.3 which translates into a diameter in the range 104-231 m, assuming the average albedos of S-type and C-type asteroids, respectively. We have used the current orbit to study the future dynamical evolution of the asteroid under the perturbations of the planets and the Moon, relativistic effects, and the Yarkovsky force. Asteroid 2012 XH16 is locked close to the strong 1:2 mean motion resonance with the Earth. The object shows stable evolution and could survive in near-resonance for a relatively long period of time despite experiencing frequent close encounters with Mars. Moreover, results of our computations show that the asteroid 2012 XH16 can survive in the Amor region at most for about 200-400 Myr. The evolution is highly chaotic with a characteristic Lyapunov time of 245 yr. Jupiter is the main perturber but the effects of Saturn, Mars and the Earth-Moon system are also important. In particular, secular resonances with Saturn are significant.

  10. The CASLEO Polarimetric Survey of Main Belt Asteroids: Updated results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Hutton, R.; Cellino, A.; Cañada-Assandri, M.

    2011-10-01

    We present updated results of the polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (Casleo), San Juan, Argentina, using the 2.15 m telescope and the Torino and CASPROF polarimeters. The goals of this survey are to increase the database of asteroid polarimetry, to estimate diversity in polarimetric properties of asteroids belonging to different taxonomic classes, and to search for objects that exhibit anomalous polarimetric properties. The survey began in 2003, and data for a sample of more than 170 asteroids have been obtained, most of them having been polarimetrically observed for the first time. Using these data we find phase-polarization curves and polarimetric parameters for several taxonomic classes.

  11. On the construction of the Kolmogorov normal form for the Trojan asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Gabern, F; Locatelli, U

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we focus on the stability of the Trojan asteroids for the planar Restricted Three-Body Problem (RTBP), by extending the usual techniques for the neighbourhood of an elliptic point to derive results in a larger vicinity. Our approach is based on the numerical determination of the frequencies of the asteroid and the effective computation of the Kolmogorov normal form for the corresponding torus. This procedure has been applied to the first 34 Trojan asteroids of the IAU Asteroid Catalog, and it has worked successfully for 23 of them. The construction of this normal form allows for computer-assisted proofs of stability. To show it, we have implemented a proof of existence of families of invariant tori close to a given asteroid, for a high order expansion of the Hamiltonian. This proof has been successfully applied to three Trojan asteroids.

  12. Concept designs for NASA's Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcguire, Melissa L.; Hack, Kurt J.; Manzella, David H.; Herman, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Multiple Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission were developed to assess vehicle performance and estimated mission cost. Concepts ranged from a 10,000 kilogram spacecraft capable of delivering 4000 kilogram of payload to one of the Earth Moon Lagrange points in support of future human-crewed outposts to a 180 kilogram spacecraft capable of performing an asteroid rendezvous mission after launched to a geostationary transfer orbit as a secondary payload. Low-cost and maximum Delta-V capability variants of a spacecraft concept based on utilizing a secondary payload adapter as the primary bus structure were developed as were concepts designed to be co-manifested with another spacecraft on a single launch vehicle. Each of the Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission concepts developed included an estimated spacecraft cost. These data suggest estimated spacecraft costs of $200 million - $300 million if 30 kilowatt-class solar arrays and the corresponding electric propulsion system currently under development are used as the basis for sizing the mission concept regardless of launch vehicle costs. The most affordable mission concept developed based on subscale variants of the advanced solar arrays and electric propulsion technology currently under development by the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate has an estimated cost of $50M and could provide a Delta-V capability comparable to much larger spacecraft concepts.

  13. Spectral reflectance "deconstruction" of the Murchison CM2 carbonaceous chondrite and implications for spectroscopic investigations of dark asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloutis, Edward A.; Pietrasz, Valerie B.; Kiddell, Cain; Izawa, Matthew R. M.; Vernazza, Pierre; Burbine, Thomas H.; DeMeo, Francesca; Tait, Kimberly T.; Bell, James F.; Mann, Paul; Applin, Daniel M.; Reddy, Vishnu

    2018-05-01

    Carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) are important materials for understanding the early evolution of the solar system and delivery of volatiles and organic material to the early Earth. Presumed CC-like asteroids are also the targets of two current sample return missions: OSIRIS-REx to asteroid Bennu and Hayabusa-2 to asteroid Ryugu, and the Dawn orbital mission at asteroid Ceres. To improve our ability to identify and characterize CM2 CC-type parent bodies, we have examined how factors such as particle size, particle packing, and viewing geometry affect reflectance spectra of the Murchison CM2 CC. The derived relationships have implications for disc-resolved examinations of dark asteroids and sampleability. It has been found that reflectance spectra of slabs are more blue-sloped (reflectance decreasing toward longer wavelengths as measured by the 1.8/0.6 μm reflectance ratio), and generally darker, than powdered sample spectra. Decreasing the maximum grain size of a powdered sample results in progressively brighter and more red-sloped spectra. Decreasing the average grain size of a powdered sample results in a decrease in diagnostic absorption band depths, and redder and brighter spectra. Decreasing porosity of powders and variations in surface texture result in spectral changes that may be different as a function of viewing geometry. Increasing thickness of loose dust on a denser powdered substrate leads to a decrease in absorption band depths. Changes in viewing geometry lead to different changes in spectral metrics depending on whether the spectra are acquired in backscatter or forward-scatter geometries. In backscattered geometry, increasing phase angle leads to an initial increase and then decrease in spectral slope, and a general decrease in visible region reflectance and absorption band depths, and frequent decreases in absorption band minima positions. In forward scattering geometry, increasing phase angle leads to small non-systematic changes in spectral slope

  14. Dust bands in the asteroid belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sykes, M.V.; Greenberg, R.; Dermott, S.F.; Nicholson, P.D.; Burns, J.A.

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes the original IRAS observations leading to the discovery of the three dust bands in the asteroid belt and the analysis of data. Special attention is given to an analytical model of the dust band torus and to theories concerning the origin of the dust bands, with special attention given to the collisional equilibrium (asteroid family), the nonequilibrium (random collision), and the comet hypotheses of dust-band origin. It is noted that neither the equilibrium nor nonequilibrium models, as currently formulated, present a complete picture of the IRAS dust-band observations. 32 refs

  15. Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Some types of meteorites - most irons, stony irons, some achondrites - hail from asteroids that were heated to the point where magmatism occurred within a very few million years of the formation of the earliest solids in the solar system. The largest clan of achondrites, the howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorites, represent the crust of their parent asteroid]. Diogenites are cumulate harzburgites and orthopyroxenites from the lower crust whilst eucrites are basalts, diabases and cumulate gabbros from the upper crust. Howardites are impact-engendered breccias mostly of diogenites and eucrites. There remains only one large asteroid with a basaltic crust, 4 Vesta, which is thought to be the source of the HED clan. Differentiation models for Vesta are based on HED compositions. Proto-Vesta consisted of chondritic materials containing Al-26, a potent, short-lived heat source. Inferences from compositional data are that Vesta was melted to high degree (=50%) allowing homogenization of the silicate phase and separation of a metallic core. Convection of the silicate magma ocean allowed equilibrium crystallization, forming a harzburgitic mantle. After convective lockup occurred, melt collected between the mantle and the cool thermal boundary layer and underwent fractional crystallization forming an orthopyroxene-rich (diogenite) lower crust. The initial thermal boundary layer of chondritic material was replaced by a mafic upper crust through impact disruption and foundering. The mafic crust thickened over time as additional residual magma intrudes and penetrates the mafic crust forming plutons, dikes, sills and flows of cumulate and basaltic eucrite composition. This magmatic history may have taken only 2-3 Myr. This magma ocean scenario is at odds with a model of heat and magma transport that indicates that small degrees of melt would be rapidly expelled from source regions, precluding development of a magma ocean. Constraints from radiogenic Mg-26 distibutions

  16. Volume and mass distribution in selected families of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wlodarczyk, I.; Leliwa-Kopystynski, J.

    2014-07-01

    Members of five asteroid families (Vesta, Eos, Eunomia, Koronis, and Themis) were identified using the Hierarchical Clustering Method (HCM) for a data set containing 292,003 numbered asteroids. The influence of the choice of the best value of the parameter v_{cut} that controls the distances of asteroids in the proper elements space a, e, i was investigated with a step as small as 1 m/s. Results are given in a set of figures showing the families on the planes (a, e), (a, i), (e, i). Another form for the presentation of results is related to the secular resonances in the asteroids' motion with the giant planets, mostly with Saturn. Relations among asteroid radius, albedo, and absolute magnitude allow us to calculate the volumes of individual members of an asteroid family. After summation, the volumes of the parent bodies of the families were found. This paper presents the possibility and the first results of using a combined method for asteroid family identifications based on the following items: (i) Parameter v_{cut} is established with precision as high as 1 m/s; (ii) the albedo (if available) of the potential members is considered for approving or rejecting the family membership; (iii) a color classification is used for the same purpose as well. Searching for the most reliable parameter values for the family populations was performed by means of a consecutive application of the HCM with increasing parameter v_{cut}. The results are illustrated in the figure. Increasing v_{cut} in steps as small as 1 m/s allowed to observe the computational strength of the HCM: the critical value of the parameter v_{cut} (see the breaking-points of the plots in the figure) separates the assemblage of potential family members from 'an ocean' of background asteroids that are not related to the family. The critical values of v_{cut} vary from 57 m/s for the Vesta family to 92 m/s for the Eos family. If the parameter v_{cut} surpasses its critical value, the number of HCM

  17. Radar observations of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ostro, S.J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes echoes from 33 main-belt asteroids (MBAs) and 19 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have provided a wealth of new information about these objects such as sizes, shapes, spin vectors, and such surface characteristics as decimeter-scale morphology, topographic relief, regolith porosity and metal concentrations. On average, small NEAs are much rougher at decimeter scales than MBAs, comets or terrestrial planets. Some of the largest MBAs (e.g., 1 Ceres and 2 Pallas ) are smoother than the moon at decimeter scales but much rougher than the Moon at some much larger scale. There is at least a five-fold variation in the radar albedos of MBAs, implying substantial variations in the surface porosities or metal concentrations of these objects. The highest MBA albedo estimate, for 16 Psyche, is consistent with a metal concentration near unity and lunar porosities

  18. Towing Asteroids with Gravity Tractors Enhanced by Tethers and Solar Sails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Haijun; Roithmayr, Carlos M.

    2015-01-01

    Material collected from an asteroid's surface can be used to increase gravitational attraction between the asteroid and a Gravity Tractor (GT); the spacecraft therefore operates more effectively and is referred to as an Enhanced Gravity Tractor (EGT). The use of tethers and solar sails to further improve effectiveness and simplify operations is investigated. By employing a tether, the asteroidal material can be placed close to the asteroid while the spacecraft is stationed farther away, resulting in a better safety margin and improved thruster efficiency. A solar sail on a spacecraft can naturally provide radial offset and inter-spacecraft separation required for multiple EGTs.

  19. The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS): Project Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Polishook, David; Thomas, Cristina; Willman, Mark; DeMeo, Francesca; Mommert, Michael; Endicott, Thomas; Trilling, David; Binzel, Richard; Hinkle, Mary; Siu, Hosea; Neugent, Kathryn; Christensen, Eric; Person, Michael; Burt, Brian; Grundy, Will; Roe, Henry; Abell, Paul; Busch, Michael

    2014-11-01

    The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS) began in August 2013 as a multi-year physical characterization survey that was awarded survey status by NOAO. MANOS will target several hundred mission-accessible NEOs across visible and near-infrared wavelengths, ultimately providing a comprehensive catalog of physical properties (astrometry, light curves, spectra). Particular focus is paid to sub-km NEOs, for which little data currently exists. These small bodies are essential to understanding the link between meteorites and asteroids, pose the most immediate impact hazard to the Earth, and are highly relevant to a variety of planetary mission scenarios. Accessing these targets is enabled through a combination of classical, queue, and target-of-opportunity observations carried out at 1- to 8-meter class facilities in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The MANOS observing strategy is specifically designed to rapidly characterize newly discovered NEOs before they fade beyond observational limits. MANOS will provide major advances in our understanding of the NEO population as a whole and for specific objects of interest. Here we present an overview of the survey, progress to date, and early science highlights including: (1) an estimate of the taxonomic distribution of spectral types for NEOs smaller than ~100 meters, (2) the distribution of rotational properties for approximately 100 previously unstudied objects, (3) models for the dynamical evolution of the overall NEO population over the past 0.5 Myr, and (4) progress in developing a new set of online tools at asteroid.lowell.edu that will enable near realtime public dissemination of our data while providing a portal to facilitate coordination efforts within the small body observer community.MANOS is supported through telescope allocations from NOAO and Lowell Observatory. We acknowledge funding support from an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship to N. Moskovitz and NASA NEOO grant

  20. Autonomous determination of orbit for probe around asteroids using unscented Kalman filter

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔平远; 崔祜涛; 黄翔宇; 栾恩杰

    2003-01-01

    The observed images of the asteroid and the asteroid reference images are used to obtain the probe-to-asteroid direction and the location of the limb features of the asteroid in the inertial coordinate. These informa-tion in combination with the shape model of the asteroid and attitude information of the probe are utilized to ob-tain the position of the probe. The position information is then input to the UKF which determines the real-timeorbit of the probe. Finally, the autonomous orbit determination algorithm is validated using digital simulation.The determination of orbit using UKF is compared with that using extended Kalman filter (EKF), and the resultshows that UKF is superior to EKF.

  1. Moving an asteroid with electric solar wind sail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merikallio, S.; Janhunen, P.

    2010-12-01

    The electric solar wind sail (E-Sail) is a new propulsion method for interplanetary travel which was invented in 2006 and is currently under development. The E-Sail uses charged tethers to extract momentum from the solar wind particles to obtain propulsive thrust. According to current estimates, the E-Sail is 2-3 orders of magnitude better than traditional propulsion methods (chemical rockets and ion engines) in terms of produced lifetime-integrated impulse per propulsion system mass. Here we analyze the problem of using the E-Sail for directly deflecting an Earth-threatening asteroid. The problem then culminates into how to attach the E-Sail device to the asteroid. We assess alternative attachment strategies, namely straightforward direct towing with a cable and the gravity tractor method which works for a wider variety of situations. We also consider possible techniques to scale up the E-Sail force beyond the baseline one Newton level to deal with more imminent or larger asteroid or cometary threats. As a baseline case we consider an asteroid of effective diameter of 140 m and mass of 3 million tons, which can be deflected with a baseline 1 N E-Sail within 10 years. With a 5 N E-Sail the deflection could be achieved in 5 years. Once developed, the E-Sail would appear to provide a safe and reasonably low-cost way of deflecting dangerous asteroids and other heavenly bodies in cases where the collision threat becomes known several years in advance.

  2. Example Solar Electric Propulsion System asteroid tours using variational calculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows, R. R.

    1985-01-01

    Exploration of the asteroid belt with a vehicle utilizing a Solar Electric Propulsion System has been proposed in past studies. Some of those studies illustrated multiple asteroid rendezvous with trajectories obtained using approximate methods. Most of the inadequacies of those approximations are overcome in this paper, which uses the calculus of variations to calculate the trajectories and associated payloads of four asteroid tours. The modeling, equations, and solution techniques are discussed, followed by a presentation of the results.

  3. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

    Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites provides students, researchers, and general readers with the most up-to-date information on this fascinating field. From the days of the dinosaurs to our modern environment, this book explores all aspects of these cosmic invaders.

  4. TDEM for Martian in situ resource prospecting missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Tacconi

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a TDEM (Time Domain Electromagnetic Methods application, addressed to the search for water on Mars. In this context, the opportunities for a TDEM system as payload in a future mission are investigated for different in situ exploration scenarios. The TDEM sounding capability is evaluated with respect to the expected Martian environment, and some considerations are made about the many unknown variables (above all the background EM noise and the subsoil composition altogether with the limited resources availability (mission constraints in mass, time and power and the way they could represent an obstacle for operations and measurements.

  5. Determination of pole orientations and shapes of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magnusson, P.; Barucci, M.A.; Drummond, J.D.; Lumme, K.; Surdej, J.

    1989-01-01

    The principles of asteroid lightcurve inversion and the information available from photometry are reviewed. General tools as well as specific techniques for shape and pole determinations are summarized and their advantages and shortcomings are discussed. The authors present the results obtained so far in this very active field and discuss their significance in the general context of asteroid research and planetary formation

  6. Mothe-Diniz Asteroid Dynamical Families V1.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mothe-Diniz, T.; Roig, F.; Carvano, J. M.

    2006-03-01

    This dataset contains an updated compilation of asteroid families and clusters, resulting from the application of the Hierarchical Clustering Method (HCM) on a set of around 120,000 asteroids with available proper elements. Whenever available, the classification in the Bus taxonomy is provided for family members, based on spectra from the SMASS, SMASS2 and S3OS2 spectroscopic surveys.

  7. THE PUZZLING MUTUAL ORBIT OF THE BINARY TROJAN ASTEROID (624) HEKTOR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchis, F.; Cuk, M. [Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Durech, J. [Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic); Castillo-Rogez, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Vachier, F.; Berthier, J. [IMCCE-Obs de Paris, F-75014 Paris (France); Wong, M. H.; Kalas, P.; Duchene, G. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Van Dam, M. A. [Flat Wavefronts, Christchurch 8140 (New Zealand); Hamanowa, H. [Hamanowa Observatory, Motomiya, Fukushima 969-1204 (Japan); Viikinkoski, M., E-mail: fmarchis@seti.org [Tampere University of Technology, FI-33101 Tampere (Finland)

    2014-03-10

    Asteroids with satellites are natural laboratories to constrain the formation and evolution of our solar system. The binary Trojan asteroid (624) Hektor is the only known Trojan asteroid to possess a small satellite. Based on W. M. Keck adaptive optics observations, we found a unique and stable orbital solution, which is uncommon in comparison to the orbits of other large multiple asteroid systems studied so far. From lightcurve observations recorded since 1957, we showed that because the large Req = 125 km primary may be made of two joint lobes, the moon could be ejecta of the low-velocity encounter, which formed the system. The inferred density of Hektor's system is comparable to the L5 Trojan doublet (617) Patroclus but due to their difference in physical properties and in reflectance spectra, both captured Trojan asteroids could have a different composition and origin.

  8. THE PUZZLING MUTUAL ORBIT OF THE BINARY TROJAN ASTEROID (624) HEKTOR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marchis, F.; Cuk, M.; Durech, J.; Castillo-Rogez, J.; Vachier, F.; Berthier, J.; Wong, M. H.; Kalas, P.; Duchene, G.; Van Dam, M. A.; Hamanowa, H.; Viikinkoski, M.

    2014-01-01

    Asteroids with satellites are natural laboratories to constrain the formation and evolution of our solar system. The binary Trojan asteroid (624) Hektor is the only known Trojan asteroid to possess a small satellite. Based on W. M. Keck adaptive optics observations, we found a unique and stable orbital solution, which is uncommon in comparison to the orbits of other large multiple asteroid systems studied so far. From lightcurve observations recorded since 1957, we showed that because the large Req = 125 km primary may be made of two joint lobes, the moon could be ejecta of the low-velocity encounter, which formed the system. The inferred density of Hektor's system is comparable to the L5 Trojan doublet (617) Patroclus but due to their difference in physical properties and in reflectance spectra, both captured Trojan asteroids could have a different composition and origin

  9. Discovery of M class objects among the near-earth asteroid population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Edward F.; Gradie, Jonathan

    1987-01-01

    Broadband colorimetry, visual photometry, near-infrared photometry, and 10 and 20 micron radiometry of the near-earth asteroids (NEAs) 1986 DA and 1986 EB are used to show that these objects belong to the M class of asteroids. The similarity among the distributions of taxonomic classes among the 38 NEAs to the abundances found in the inner astoroid belt between the 3:1 and 5:2 resonances suggests that NEAs have their origins among asteroids in the vicinity of these resonances. The implied mineralogy of 1986 DA and 1986 EB is mostly nickel-iron metal; if this is indeed the case, then current models for meteorite production based on strength-related collisional processes on asteroidal surfaces predict that these two objects alone should produce about one percent of all meteorite falls. Iron meteorites derived from these near-earth asteroids should have low cosmic-ray exposure ages.

  10. Asteroid families from cratering: Detection and models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, A.; Cellino, A.; Knežević, Z.; Novaković, B.; Spoto, F.; Paolicchi, P.

    2014-07-01

    A new asteroid families classification, more efficient in the inclusion of smaller family members, shows how relevant the cratering impacts are on large asteroids. These do not disrupt the target, but just form families with the ejecta from large craters. Of the 12 largest asteroids, 8 have cratering families: number (2), (4), (5), (10), (87), (15), (3), and (31). At least another 7 cratering families can be identified. Of the cratering families identified so far, 7 have >1000 members. This imposes a remarkable change from the focus on fragmentation families of previous classifications. Such a large dataset of asteroids believed to be crater ejecta opens a new challenge: to model the crater and family forming event(s) generating them. The first problem is to identify which cratering families, found by the similarity of proper elements, can be formed at once, with a single collision. We have identified as a likely outcome of multiple collisions the families of (4), (10), (15), and (20). Of the ejecta generated by cratering, only a fraction reaches the escape velocity from the surviving parent body. The distribution of velocities at infinity, giving to the resulting family an initial position and shape in the proper elements space, is highly asymmetric with respect to the parent body. This shape is deformed by the Yarkovsky effect and by the interaction with resonances. All the largest asteroids have been subjected to large cratering events, thus the lack of a family needs to be interpreted. The most interesting case is (1) Ceres, which is not the parent body of the nearby family of (93). Two possible interpretations of the low family forming efficiency are based on either the composition of Ceres with a significant fraction of ice, protected by a thin crust, or with the larger escape velocity of ~500 m/s.

  11. Asteroid Observations with NCSFCT’s AZT-8 Telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kozhukhov, O.M.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The asteroid observations of the small Solar System bodies were carried out with the AZT-8 telescope (D=0.7 m, f/4 of the National Center of Space Facilities Control and Testing (NCSFCT during 2010-2013. The telescope is located near Yevpatoria, the observatory code according IAU is B17. The observational program included perturbed main belt asteroids and NEO’s for the GAIA FUN-SSO Company. The MPC database contains more than 4500 asteroids positions and magnitudes obtained during this period at AZT-8 telescope. The article presents analysis of the positional accuracy of B17 observations obtained from the comparison with the JPL HORIZONS ephemeris, and data from AstDyS-2 and NEODyS-2 web services.

  12. OBSERVED ASTEROID SURFACE AREA IN THE THERMAL INFRARED

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugent, C. R. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E.; Sonnett, S. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Wright, E. L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2017-02-01

    The rapid accumulation of thermal infrared observations and shape models of asteroids has led to increased interest in thermophysical modeling. Most of these infrared observations are unresolved. We consider what fraction of an asteroid’s surface area contributes the bulk of the emitted thermal flux for two model asteroids of different shapes over a range of thermal parameters. The resulting observed surface in the infrared is generally more fragmented than the area observed in visible wavelengths, indicating high sensitivity to shape. For objects with low values of the thermal parameter, small fractions of the surface contribute the majority of thermally emitted flux. Calculating observed areas could enable the production of spatially resolved thermal inertia maps from non-resolved observations of asteroids.

  13. Methods of determination of periods in the motion of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bien, R.; Schubart, J.

    Numerical techniques for the analysis of fundamental periods in asteroidal motion are evaluated. The specific techniques evaluated were: the periodogram analysis procedure of Wundt (1980); Stumpff's (1937) system of algebraic transformations; and Labrouste's procedure. It is shown that the Labrouste procedure permitted sufficient isolation of single oscillations from the quasi-periodic process of asteroidal motion. The procedure was applied to the analysis of resonance in the motion of Trojan-type and Hilda-type asteroids, and some preliminary results are discussed.

  14. Thermal Inertia of near-Earth Asteroids and Strength of the Yarkovsky Effect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delbo, Marco; Dell'Oro, A.; Harris, A. W.; Mottola, S.; Mueller, M.

    2006-01-01

    Thermal inertia is the physical parameter that controls the temperature distribution over the surface of an asteroid. It affects the strength of the Yarkovsky effect, which causes orbital drift of km-sized asteroids and is invoked to explain the delivery of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) from the main

  15. Collisional history of asteroids - evidence from Vesta and the Hirayama families

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, D.R.; Chapman, C.R.; Weidenschilling, S.J.; Greenberg, R.

    1985-01-01

    Numerical simulations of the collisional evolution of hypothetical initial asteroid populations have been run which are subject to three constraints: they must evolve to the current asteroid size distribution, preserve Vesta's basaltic crust, and produce at least the observed number of major Hirayama families. A runaway growth initial asteroid population distribution is found to best satisfy these constraints, and a model is developed for the calculation of fragment size distribution in the disruption of large, gravitationally bound bodies in which the material strength is enhanced by hydrostatic self-compression. This model predicts that large asteroids behave as intrinsically strong bodies despite histories of collisional fracture. 51 references

  16. An interstellar origin for Jupiter's retrograde co-orbital asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namouni, F.; Morais, M. H. M.

    2018-06-01

    Asteroid (514107) 2015 BZ509 was discovered recently in Jupiter's co-orbital region with a retrograde motion around the Sun. The known chaotic dynamics of the outer Solar system have so far precluded the identification of its origin. Here, we perform a high-resolution statistical search for stable orbits and show that asteroid (514107) 2015 BZ509 has been in its current orbital state since the formation of the Solar system. This result indicates that (514107) 2015 BZ509 was captured from the interstellar medium 4.5 billion years in the past as planet formation models cannot produce such a primordial large-inclination orbit with the planets on nearly coplanar orbits interacting with a coplanar debris disc that must produce the low-inclination small-body reservoirs of the Solar system such as the asteroid and Kuiper belts. This result also implies that more extrasolar asteroids are currently present in the Solar system on nearly polar orbits.

  17. Asteroid families - Physical properties and evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chapman, C.R.; Paolicchi, P.; Zappala, V.; Binzel, R.P.; Bell, J.F.

    1989-01-01

    Asteroid families are considered to be fragments from collisional destruction of precursor bodies. However, results available on the inferred mineralogy, size distributions, and spins of family members do not confirm the expectations of the traditional model. Only a handful of nearly 100 proposed families, most of them populous, have distributions of inferred mineralogies consistent with simple cosmochemical models for parent bodies. It is suggested that most catastrophic collisions may not result in observable families, but rather in a spray of smaller particles, thus accounting for the small number of confirmed and consistent families, despite evidence for extensive collisional evolution of asteroids. 52 refs

  18. NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations: Science Operations Development for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Mary S.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission 16 in 2012 was to evaluate and compare the performance of a defined series of representative near-Earth asteroid (NEA) extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks under different conditions and combinations of work systems, constraints, and assumptions considered for future human NEA exploration missions. NEEMO 16 followed NASA's 2011 Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS), the primary focus of which was understanding the implications of communication latency, crew size, and work system combinations with respect to scientific data quality, data management, crew workload, and crew/mission control interactions. The 1-g environment precluded meaningful evaluation of NEA EVA translation, worksite stabilization, sampling, or instrument deployment techniques. Thus, NEEMO missions were designed to provide an opportunity to perform a preliminary evaluation of these important factors for each of the conditions being considered. NEEMO 15 also took place in 2011 and provided a first look at many of the factors, but the mission was cut short due to a hurricane threat before all objectives were completed. ARES Directorate (KX) personnel consulted with JSC engineers to ensure that high-fidelity planetary science protocols were incorporated into NEEMO mission architectures. ARES has been collaborating with NEEMO mission planners since NEEMO 9 in 2006, successively building upon previous developments to refine science operations concepts within engineering constraints; it is expected to continue the collaboration as NASA's human exploration mission plans evolve.

  19. Stability Analysis of Spacecraft Motion in the Vicinity of Asteroids

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of my proposal is to determine the stability of a spacecraft when in the vicinity of an asteroid. Orbiting an asteroid is a difficult task. The unique...

  20. Spin states of asteroids in the Eos collisional family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanuš, J.; Delbo', M.; Alí-Lagoa, V.; Bolin, B.; Jedicke, R.; Ďurech, J.; Cibulková, H.; Pravec, P.; Kušnirák, P.; Behrend, R.; Marchis, F.; Antonini, P.; Arnold, L.; Audejean, M.; Bachschmidt, M.; Bernasconi, L.; Brunetto, L.; Casulli, S.; Dymock, R.; Esseiva, N.; Esteban, M.; Gerteis, O.; de Groot, H.; Gully, H.; Hamanowa, Hiroko; Hamanowa, Hiromi; Krafft, P.; Lehký, M.; Manzini, F.; Michelet, J.; Morelle, E.; Oey, J.; Pilcher, F.; Reignier, F.; Roy, R.; Salom, P. A.; Warner, B. D.

    2018-01-01

    Eos family was created during a catastrophic impact about 1.3 Gyr ago. Rotation states of individual family members contain information about the history of the whole population. We aim to increase the number of asteroid shape models and rotation states within the Eos collision family, as well as to revise previously published shape models from the literature. Such results can be used to constrain theoretical collisional and evolution models of the family, or to estimate other physical parameters by a thermophysical modeling of the thermal infrared data. We use all available disk-integrated optical data (i.e., classical dense-in-time photometry obtained from public databases and through a large collaboration network as well as sparse-in-time individual measurements from a few sky surveys) as input for the convex inversion method, and derive 3D shape models of asteroids together with their rotation periods and orientations of rotation axes. We present updated shape models for 15 asteroids and new shape model determinations for 16 asteroids. Together with the already published models from the publicly available DAMIT database, we compiled a sample of 56 Eos family members with known shape models that we used in our analysis of physical properties within the family. Rotation states of asteroids smaller than ∼ 20 km are heavily influenced by the YORP effect, whilst the large objects more or less retained their rotation state properties since the family creation. Moreover, we also present a shape model and bulk density of asteroid (423) Diotima, an interloper in the Eos family, based on the disk-resolved data obtained by the Near InfraRed Camera (Nirc2) mounted on the W.M. Keck II telescope.

  1. Objectives of a prospective Ukrainian orbiter mission to the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkuratov, Yu. G.; Lytvynenko, L. M.; Shulga, V. M.; Yatskiv, Ya. S.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Kislyulk, V. S.

    2003-06-01

    Ukraine has launch vehicles that are able to deliver about 300 kg to lunar orbit. A future Ukrainian lunar program may propose a polar orbiter. This orbiter should fill principal information gaps in our knowledge about the Moon after the Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions and future missions like Smart-1, Lunar-A, and Selene. We consider that this can be provided by radar studies of the Moon with supporting optical photopolarimetric observations from lunar polar orbit. These experiments allow one to better understand global structure of the lunar surface at a wide range of scales, from microns to kilometers. We propose three instruments for the prospective lunar orbiter. They are a synthetic aperture imaging radar, ground-penetrating radar, and imaging UV-spectropolarimeter. The main purpose of the synthetic aperture imaging radar experiment is to study with high-resolution (50 m) permanently shadowed sites in the lunar polar regions. These sites are cold traps for volatiles, and have a potential for resource utilization. Possible presence of water ice in the regolith in the sites makes them interesting for long-term manned bases on the Moon. Radar and optical imaging and mapping of other interesting regions could be also planned. Multi-frequency, multi-polarization sounding of the lunar surface with ground-penetrating radar can provide data about internal structure of the lunar surface from meters to several hundred meters deep. The ground-penetrating radar can be used for measuring megaregolith properties, detection of cryptomaria, and studies of internal structure of the largest craters. Modest spatial resolution (50 m) of the imaging UV-spectropolarimeter should provide total coverage (or coverage of a large portion) of the lunar surface in oblique viewing at large phase angles. Polarization degree at large (>90°) phase angles bears information about characteristic size of the regolith particles. Additional experiments could use the synthetic aperture

  2. Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids in Polarized Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afanasiev, V. L.; Ipatov, A. V.

    2018-04-01

    We report the results of position, photometric, and polarimetric observations of two near-Earth asteroids made with the 6-m telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 1.2-hour measurements of the photometric variations of the asteroid 2009 DL46 made onMarch 8, 2016 (approximately 20m at a distance of about 0.23 AU from the Earth) showed a 0.m2-amplitude flash with a duration of about 20 minutes. During this time the polarization degree increased from the average level of 2-3% to 14%. The angle of the polarization plane and the phase angle were equal to 113° ± 1° and 43°, respectively. Our result indicates that the surface of the rotating asteroid (the rotation period of about 2.5 hours) must be non-uniformly rough. Observations of another asteroid—1994 UG—whose brightness was of about 17m and which was located at a geocentric distance of 0.077 AU, were carried out during the night of March 6/7, 2016 in two modes: photometric and spectropolarimetric. According to the results of photometric observations in Johnson's B-, V-, and R-band filters, over one hour the brightness of the asteroid remained unchanged within the measurement errors (about 0.m02). Spectropolarimetric observations in the 420-800 nm wavelength interval showed the polarization degree to decrease from 8% in the blue part of the spectrum to 2% in the red part with the phase angle equal to 44°, which is typical for S-type near-Earth asteroids.

  3. Extending the McDonald Observatory Serendipitous Survey of UV/Blue Asteroid Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, Faith; Cochran, A. L.

    1999-01-01

    Moderate resolution asteroid spectra in the 350 - 650 nm spectral range acquired randomly over many years (Cochran and Vilas, Icarus v 127, 121, 1997) identified absorption features in spectra of some of the asteroids. A feature centered at 430 nm was identified in the spectra of some low-albedo asteroids (C class and subclass), similar to the feature identified by Vilas et al. (Icarus, v. 102, 225,1993) in other low-albedo asteroid spectra and attributed to a ferric iron spin-forbidden transition in iron alteration minerals such as jarosite. Features at 505 nm and 430 nm were identified in the spectrum of 4 Vesta. The 505-nm feature is highly diagnostic of the amount and form of calcium in pyroxenes. This suggested further research on the sharpness and spectral placement of this feature in the spectra of Vesta and Vestoids (e.g., Cochran and Vilas, Icarus v. 134, 207, 1998). In 1997 and 1998, additional UV/blue spectra were obtained at the 2.7-m Harlan J. Smith telescope with a facility cassegrain spectrograph. These included spectra of low-albedo asteroids, the R-class asteroid 349 Dembowska, and the M-class asteroid 135 Hertha. These spectra will be presented and identified features will be discussed.

  4. Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT): Science in a CubeSat Centrifuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, V.; Cotto-Figueroa, D.; Noviello, J.; Asphaug, E.; Morris, M.

    2015-01-01

    Both the study of primary accretion and the surface properties of asteroids are important for the field of planetary science. The Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT) will help study these subjects by creating a long duration microgravity laboratory.

  5. Exploring the collisional evolution of the asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bottke, W.; Broz, M.; O'Brien, D.; Campo Bagatin, A.; Morbidelli, A.

    2014-07-01

    The asteroid belt is a remnant of planet-formation processes. By modeling its collisional and dynamical history, and linking the results to constraints, we can probe how the planets and small bodies formed and evolved. Some key model constraints are: (i) The wavy shape of the main-belt size distribution (SFD), with inflection points near 100-km, 10--20-km, 1 to a few km, and ˜0.1-km diameter; (ii) The number of asteroid families created by the catastrophic breakup of large asteroid bodies over the last ˜ 4 Gy, with the number of disrupted D > 100 km bodies as small as ˜20 or as large as 60; (iii) the flux of small asteroids derived from the main belt that have struck the Moon over the last 3.5 Ga --- crater SFDs on lunar terrains with known ages suggest the D 100 km bodies have been significantly battered, but only a fraction have been catastrophically disrupted. Conversely, most small asteroids today are byproducts of fragmentation events. These results are consistent with growing evidence that most of the prominent meteorite classes were produced by young asteroid families. The big question is how to use what we know to determine the main belt's original size and state. This work is ongoing, but dynamical models hint at many possibilities, including both the late arrival and late removal of material from the main belt. In addition, no model has yet properly accounted for the bombardment of the primordial main belt by leftover planetesimals in the terrestrial planet region. It is also possible to use additional constraints, such as the apparent paucity of Vesta-like or V-type objects in the outer main belt, to argue that the primordial main belt at best only 3--4 its current mass at its start. In our talk, we will review what is known, what has been predicted, and some intriguing directions for the future.

  6. The Chelyabinsk superbolide: a fragment of asteroid 2011 EO40?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente Marcos, C.; de la Fuente Marcos, R.

    2013-11-01

    Bright fireballs or bolides are caused by meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed. Some have a cometary origin, a few may have originated within the Venus-Earth-Mars region as a result of massive impacts in the remote past but a relevant fraction is likely the result of the break-up of asteroids. Disrupted asteroids produce clusters of fragments or asteroid families and meteoroid streams. Linking a bolide to a certain asteroid family may help to understand its origin and pre-impact dynamical evolution. On 2013 February 15, a superbolide was observed in the skies near Chelyabinsk, Russia. Such a meteor could be the result of the decay of an asteroid and here we explore this possibility applying a multistep approach. First, we use available data and Monte Carlo optimization (validated using 2008 TC3 as template) to obtain a robust solution for the pre-impact orbit of the Chelyabinsk impactor (a = 1.62 au, e = 0.53, i = 3.82°, Ω = 326.41° and ω = 109.44°). Then, we use this most probable orbit and numerical analysis to single out candidates for membership in, what we call, the Chelyabinsk asteroid family. Finally, we perform N-body simulations to either confirm or reject any dynamical connection between candidates and impactor. We find reliable statistical evidence on the existence of the Chelyabinsk cluster. It appears to include multiple small asteroids and two relatively large members: 2007 BD7 and 2011 EO40. The most probable parent body for the Chelyabinsk superbolide is 2011 EO40. The orbits of these objects are quite perturbed as they experience close encounters not only with the Earth-Moon system but also with Venus, Mars and Ceres. Under such conditions, the cluster cannot be older than about 20-40 kyr.

  7. Rock legends the asteroids and their discoverers

    CERN Document Server

    Murdin, Paul

    2016-01-01

    This book relates the history of asteroid discoveries and christenings, from those of the early pioneering giants of Hersehel and Piazzi to modern-day amateurs. Moving from history and anecdotal information to science, the book's structure is provided by the names of the asteroids, including one named after the author. Free from a need to conform to scientific naming conventions, the names evidence hero-worship, sycophancy, avarice, vanity, whimsy, erudition and wit, revealing the human side of astronomers, especially where controversy has followed the christening. Murdin draws from extensive historical records to explore the debate over these names. Each age reveals its own biases and preferences in the naming process. < Originally regarded as “vermin of the skies,” asteroids are minor planets, rocky scraps left over from the formation of the larger planets, or broken fragments of worlds that have collided. Their scientific classification as “minor” planets makes them seem unimportant, but over th...

  8. The kilometer-sized Main Belt asteroid population revealed by Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, E. L.; Mizuno, D. R.; Shenoy, S. S.; Woodward, C. E.; Carey, S. J.; Noriega-Crespo, A.; Kraemer, K. E.; Price, S. D.

    2015-06-01

    Aims: Multi-epoch Spitzer Space Telescope 24 μm data is utilized from the MIPSGAL and Taurus Legacy surveys to detect asteroids based on their relative motion. Methods: Infrared detections are matched to known asteroids and average diameters and albedos are derived using the near Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) for 1865 asteroids ranging in size from 0.2 to 169 km. A small subsample of these objects was also detected by IRAS or MSX and the single wavelength albedo and diameter fits derived from these data are within the uncertainties of the IRAS and/or MSX derived albedos and diameters and available occultation diameters, which demonstrates the robustness of our technique. Results: The mean geometric albedo of the small Main Belt asteroids in this sample is pV = 0.134 with a sample standard deviation of 0.106. The albedo distribution of this sample is far more diverse than the IRAS or MSX samples. The cumulative size-frequency distribution of asteroids in the Main Belt at small diameters is directly derived and a 3σ deviation from the fitted size-frequency distribution slope is found near 8 km. Completeness limits of the optical and infrared surveys are discussed. Tables 1-3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/578/A42

  9. Orbits of the Asteroids Discovered at the Molėtai Observatory in 2000–2004

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Černis K.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents statistics of the asteroids observed and discovered at the Molėtai Observatory, Lithuania in 2000–2004 within the project for astrometric observations of the near-Earth objects (NEOs, the main belt asteroids and comets. CCD observations of asteroids were obtained with the 35/51 cm Maksutov-type meniscus telescope and the 1.65 m Ritchey-Chretien reflector. In the Minor Planet Circulars and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (2000–2004 we published 6629 astrometric positions of 1114 asteroids. Among them 78 were newly discovered asteroids at Molėtai, a few NEOs were found by our team independently. For the 67 asteroids discovered at Molėtai the precise orbits were calculated. Because of small number of observations, a few asteroids have low-precision orbits and some asteroids have been lost. For seven objects we present their ephemerides for 2015.

  10. Redox effects in ordinary chondrites and implications for asteroid spectrophotometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcsween, Harry Y., Jr.

    1992-01-01

    The sensitivity of reflectance spectra to mean ferrous iron content and olivine and pyroxene proportion enhancements in the course of metamorphic oxidation is presently used to examine whether metamorphically-induced ranges in mineralogy, and corresponding spectral parameters, may explain the observed variations in S-asteroid rotational spectra. The predicted spectral variations within any one chondrite class are, however, insufficient to account for S-asteroid rotational spectra, and predicted spectral-range slopes have a sign opposite to the rotational measurements. Metamorphic oxidation is found unable to account for S-asteroid rotational spectra.

  11. Formation and Evolution of Binary Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, K. J.; Jacobson, S. A.

    Satellites of asteroids have been discovered in nearly every known small-body population, and a remarkable aspect of the known satellites is the diversity of their properties. They tell a story of vast differences in formation and evolution mechanisms that act as a function of size, distance from the Sun, and the properties of their nebular environment at the beginning of solar system history and their dynamical environment over the next 4.5 G.y. The mere existence of these systems provides a laboratory to study numerous types of physical processes acting on asteroids, and their dynamics provide a valuable probe of their physical properties otherwise possible only with spacecraft. Advances in understanding the formation and evolution of binary systems have been assisted by (1) the growing catalog of known systems, increasing from 33 to ~250 between the Merline et al. (2002) chapter in Asteroids III and now; (2) the detailed study and long-term monitoring of individual systems such as 1999 KW4 and 1996 FG3, (3) the discovery of new binary system morphologies and triple systems, (4) and the discovery of unbound systems that appear to be end-states of binary dynamical evolutionary paths. Specifically for small bodies (diameter smaller than 10 km), these observations and discoveries have motivated theoretical work finding that thermal forces can efficiently drive the rotational disruption of small asteroids. Long-term monitoring has allowed studies to constrain the system's dynamical evolution by the combination of tides, thermal forces, and rigid-body physics. The outliers and split pairs have pushed the theoretical work to explore a wide range of evolutionary end-states.

  12. DISINTEGRATING ASTEROID P/2013 R3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David; Li, Jing [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Agarwal, Jessica [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany); Weaver, Harold [The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); Mutchler, Max [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Larson, Stephen, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States)

    2014-03-20

    Splitting of the nuclei of comets into multiple components has been frequently observed but, to date, no main-belt asteroid has been observed to break up. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we find that main-belt asteroid P/2013 R3 consists of 10 or more distinct components, the largest up to 200 m in radius (assumed geometric albedo of 0.05) each of which produces a coma and comet-like dust tail. A diffuse debris cloud with total mass ∼2 × 10{sup 8} kg further envelopes the entire system. The velocity dispersion among the components, ΔV ∼ 0.2-0.5 m s{sup –1}, is comparable to the gravitational escape speeds of the largest members, while their extrapolated plane-of-sky motions suggest a break up between 2013 February and September. The broadband optical colors are those of a C-type asteroid. We find no spectral evidence for gaseous emission, placing model-dependent upper limits to the water production rate ≤1 kg s{sup –1}. Breakup may be due to a rotationally induced structural failure of the precursor body.

  13. Asteroid named after CAS scientist

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ An asteroid has been named after CAS astronomy historian XI Zezong with the approval of the International Minor Planet Nomenclature Committee (IMPNC), announced China's National Astronomical Observatories at CAS (NAOC) on 17 August.

  14. Trojan and Hilda asteroid lightcurves. I - Anomalously elongated shapes among Trojans (and Hildas?)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, William K.; Binzel, Richard P.; Tholen, David J.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Goguen, Jay

    1988-01-01

    A comparison of the available sample of lightcurves for 26 Trojan and Hilda asteroids with belt asteroid lightcurves shows the former to be distinguished by a higher incidence of high amplitudes rgan belt asteroids of comparable size, suggesting more elongated shapes; they currently have, moreover, only a few percent of the main-belt asteroids' collision frequency. A more modest collisional evolution that may have affected the relative degree of fragmentation of these bodies, and thus their shapes, is inferred.

  15. Veritas Asteroid Family Still Holds Secrets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakovic, B.

    2012-12-01

    Veritas asteroid family has been studied for about two decades. These studies have revealed many secrets, and a respectable knowledge about this family had been collected. Here I will present many of these results and review the current knowledge about the family. However, despite being extensively studied, Veritas family is still a mystery. This will be illustrated through the presentation of the most interesting open problems. Was there a secondary collision within this family? Does asteroid (490) Veritas belong to the family named after it? How large was the parent body of the family? Finally, some possible directions for future studies that aims to address these questions are discussed as well.

  16. Psyche Mission: Scientific Models and Instrument Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polanskey, C. A.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Bell, J. F., III; Lawrence, D. J.; Marchi, S.; Park, R. S.; Russell, C. T.; Weiss, B. P.

    2017-12-01

    NASA has chosen to explore (16) Psyche with their 14th Discovery-class mission. Psyche is a 226-km diameter metallic asteroid hypothesized to be the exposed core of a planetesimal that was stripped of its rocky mantle by multiple hit and run collisions in the early solar system. The spacecraft launch is planned for 2022 with arrival at the asteroid in 2026 for 21 months of operations. The Psyche investigation has five primary scientific objectives: A. Determine whether Psyche is a core, or if it is unmelted material. B. Determine the relative ages of regions of Psyche's surface. C. Determine whether small metal bodies incorporate the same light elements as are expected in the Earth's high-pressure core. D. Determine whether Psyche was formed under conditions more oxidizing or more reducing than Earth's core. E. Characterize Psyche's topography. The mission's task was to select the appropriate instruments to meet these objectives. However, exploring a metal world, rather than one made of ice, rock, or gas, requires development of new scientific models for Psyche to support the selection of the appropriate instruments for the payload. If Psyche is indeed a planetary core, we expect that it should have a detectable magnetic field. However, the strength of the magnetic field can vary by orders of magnitude depending on the formational history of Psyche. The implications of both the extreme low-end and the high-end predictions impact the magnetometer and mission design. For the imaging experiment, what can the team expect for the morphology of a heavily impacted metal body? Efforts are underway to further investigate the differences in crater morphology between high velocity impacts into metal and rock to be prepared to interpret the images of Psyche when they are returned. Finally, elemental composition measurements at Psyche using nuclear spectroscopy encompass a new and unexplored phase space of gamma-ray and neutron measurements. We will present some end

  17. Asteroid proper elements from an analytical second order theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knezevic, Z.; Milani, A.

    1989-01-01

    The authors have computed by a fully analytical method a new set of proper elements for 3322 numbered main-belt asteroids. They are presented in the following format: asteroid number, proper semimajor axis (AU), proper eccentricity, sine of proper inclination and quality code (see below). This new set is significantly more accurate than all the previous ones at low to moderate eccentricities and inclinations, and especially near the main mean-motion resonances (e.g., the Themis region). This is because the short periodic perturbations are rigorously removed, and the main effects of the second-order (containing the square of the ratio [the mass of Jupiter/mass of the Sun]) are accounted for. Effects arising from the terms in the Hamiltonian of degree up to four in the eccentricity and inclination of both the asteroid and Jupiter are taken into account, and the fundamental frequencies g (for the perihelion) and s(for the node) of the asteroid are computed with a interative algorithm consistent with the basic results of modern dynamics (e.g., Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser theory)

  18. Colorimetry and magnitudes of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowell, E.; Lumme, K.

    1979-01-01

    In the present paper, 1500 UBV observations are analyzed by a new rather general multiple scattering theory which provided clear insight into previously poorly-recognized optical nature of asteroid surfaces. Thus, phase curves are shown to consist of a surface-texture controlled component, due to singly scattered light, and a component due to multiple scattering. Phase curve shapes can be characterized by a single parameter, the multiple scattering factor, Q. As Q increases, the relative importance of the opposition effect diminishes. Asteroid surfaces are particulate and strikingly similar to texture, being moderately porous and moderately rough on a scale greater than the wavelength of light. In concequence, Q (and also the phase coefficient) correlate well with geometric albedo, and there exists a purely photometric means of determining albedos and diameters.

  19. A Parameter Study on the Effect of Impactor Size for NASA’s DART Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truitt, Amanda; Weaver, Robert; Gisler, Galen

    2018-06-01

    We have modeled the impact of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft into the binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos. While the primary object is approximately 800 meters across, its secondary body (“moonlet” Didymoon) has a diameter of 150 meters, which is thought to be a much more typical size for the kind of asteroid that would pose a hazard to Earth. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impact technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space, an important consideration for understanding our capabilities in planetary defense of Near-Earth Asteroids. Recent modeling of this impact has used full-density solid aluminum spheres with a mass of approximately 500 kg. Many of the published scaling laws for crater size and diameter as well as ejecta modeling assume this type of impactor, although the actual spacecraft shape being considered for the DART Mission impact is not solid and does not contain a solid dedicated kinetic impactor – rather, the spacecraft itself is considered the impactor. Since the 500 kg hollow spacecraft is significantly larger (~100 x 100 x 200 cm) in size than a solid aluminum sphere (radius ~ 36 cm) the resulting impact dynamics are quite different. Here we have modeled both types of impacts and compare the results of the simulations for crater size, depth, and ejecta for a solid sphere (R = 36 cm) and cylindrical spacecraft (R = 20, 50, and 100 cm), while maintaining a constant mass and material density. This work will allow for a more robust comparison of the momentum enhancement β-factor, which describes the gain in a momentum transfer exerted by the impacting spacecraft on a Near-Earth Object due to ejecta momentum escape. (LA-UR-18-21571)

  20. Families Among High-Inclination Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakovic, B.; Cellino, A.; Knezevic, Z.

    2012-05-01

    We review briefly the most important results of the classification of high-inclination asteroids into families performed by Novakovic et al.(Icarus, 2011,216) and present some new results about a very interesting (5438) Lorre cluster.

  1. Looking into the evolution of granular asteroids in the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Paul; Scheeres, Daniel; Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Tardivel, Simon

    2017-06-01

    By now it has been accepted that most of the small asteroids in the Solar System are granular aggregates kept together by gravitational and possibly, cohesive forces. These aggregates can form, deform and disrupt over millennia subjected to different internal and external factors that would ultimately determine how they evolve over time. Parameters such as porosity, cohesive and tensile strength, angles of friction, particle size distributions, stress states, heterogeneity and yield criteria among others, determine how these granular systems will react when subjected to different, changing, external factors. These external factors include solar photon momentum, gravitational tides, micro- and macro-impacts and are believed to have produced and shaped the current asteroid population. In our research we use a combination of Soil Mechanics theory, Soft-Sphere Discrete Element Method (SSDEM) Simulations and Orbital Mechanics in order to understand how simulated, homogeneous and heterogeneous, ellipsoidal and spherical gravitational aggregates, a crude but useful representation of an asteroid, evolve when rotated to the point of disruption. Then, we compare our results to the shapes of observed asteroids as well as to the disruption patterns of a few active asteroids. Our results lead us to believe that the different shapes of observed asteroids as well as their unique disruption patterns could give us clues about their internal structure, strength and geophysical properties in general.

  2. On Possibility of Direct Asteroid Deflection by Electric Solar Wind Sail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merikallio, Sini; Janhunen, Pekka

    2010-05-01

    The Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) is a new propulsion method for interplanetary travel which was invented in 2006 and is currently under development. The E-sail uses charged tethers to extract momentum from the solar wind particles to obtain propulsive thrust. According to current estimates, the E-sail is 2-3 orders of magnitude better than traditional propulsion methods (chemical rockets and ion engines) in terms of produced lifetime-integrated impulse per propulsion system mass. Here we analyze the problem of using the E-sail for directly deflecting an Earth-threatening asteroid. The problem then culminates into how to attach the E-sail device to the asteroid. We assess a number of alternative attachment strategies and arrive at a recommendation of using the gravity tractor method because of its workability for a wide variety of asteroid types. We also consider possible techniques to scale up the E-sail force beyond the baseline one Newton level to deal with more imminent or larger asteroid or cometary threats. As a baseline case we consider a 3 million ton asteroid which can be deflected with a baseline 1 N E-sail in 5-10 years. Once developed, the E-sail would appear to provide a safe and reasonably low-cost way of deflecting dangerous asteroids and other heavenly bodies in cases where the collision threat becomes known several years in advance.

  3. Cratering statistics on asteroids: Methods and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C.

    2014-07-01

    Crater size-frequency distributions (SFDs) on the surfaces of solid-surfaced bodies in the solar system have provided valuable insights about planetary surface processes and about impactor populations since the first spacecraft images were obtained in the 1960s. They can be used to determine relative age differences between surficial units, to obtain absolute model ages if the impactor flux and scaling laws are understood, to assess various endogenic planetary or asteroidal processes that degrade craters or resurface units, as well as assess changes in impactor populations across the solar system and/or with time. The first asteroid SFDs were measured from Galileo images of Gaspra and Ida (cf., Chapman 2002). Despite the superficial simplicity of these studies, they are fraught with many difficulties, including confusion by secondary and/or endogenic cratering and poorly understood aspects of varying target properties (including regoliths, ejecta blankets, and nearly-zero-g rubble piles), widely varying attributes of impactors, and a host of methodological problems including recognizability of degraded craters, which is affected by illumination angle and by the ''personal equations'' of analysts. Indeed, controlled studies (Robbins et al. 2014) demonstrate crater-density differences of a factor of two or more between experienced crater counters. These inherent difficulties have been especially apparent in divergent results for Vesta from different members of the Dawn Science Team (cf. Russell et al. 2013). Indeed, they have been exacerbated by misuse of a widely available tool (Craterstats: hrscview.fu- berlin.de/craterstats.html), which incorrectly computes error bars for proper interpretation of cumulative SFDs, resulting in derived model ages specified to three significant figures and interpretations of statistically insignificant kinks. They are further exacerbated, and for other small-body crater SFDs analyzed by the Berlin group, by stubbornly adopting

  4. Weird comets and asteroids the strange little worlds of the sun's family

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

    This book concentrates on some of the odd aspects of comets and asteroids. Strange behavior of comets, such as outbursts and schisms, and how asteroids can temporally act as comets are discussed, together with the possible threat of Centaurs-class objects like the Taurid complex. Recent years have seen the distinction between comets and asteroids become less prominent. Comets in "asteroid" orbits and vice versa have become almost commonplace and a clearer view of the role of small bodies in the formation of the Solar System and their effect on Earth has become apparent. Seargent covers this development in detail by including new data and information from space probes. .

  5. Xenon Acquisition Strategies for High-Power Electric Propulsion NASA Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Daniel A.; Unfried, Kenneth G.

    2015-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) has been used for station-keeping of geostationary communications satellites since the 1980s. Solar electric propulsion has also benefitted from success on NASA Science Missions such as Deep Space One and Dawn. The xenon propellant loads for these applications have been in the 100s of kilograms range. Recent studies performed for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) have demonstrated that SEP is critically enabling for both near-term and future exploration architectures. The high payoff for both human and science exploration missions and technology investment from NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) are providing the necessary convergence and impetus for a 30-kilowatt-class SEP mission. Multiple 30-50- kilowatt Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission (SEP TDM) concepts have been developed based on the maturing electric propulsion and solar array technologies by STMD with recent efforts focusing on an Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM). Xenon is the optimal propellant for the existing state-of-the-art electric propulsion systems considering efficiency, storability, and contamination potential. NASA mission concepts developed and those proposed by contracted efforts for the 30-kilowatt-class demonstration have a range of xenon propellant loads from 100s of kilograms up to 10,000 kilograms. This paper examines the status of the xenon industry worldwide, including historical xenon supply and pricing. The paper will provide updated information on the xenon market relative to previous papers that discussed xenon production relative to NASA mission needs. The paper will discuss the various approaches for acquiring on the order of 10 metric tons of xenon propellant to support potential near-term NASA missions. Finally, the paper will discuss acquisitions strategies for larger NASA missions requiring 100s of metric tons of xenon will be discussed.

  6. Concerning the Charging of an Exploration Craft on and near a Small Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, T. L.; Zimmerman, M. I.; Farrell, W. M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: An object immersed in an airless plasma environment will experience a natural process of surface charging in order to acheieve current balance, or zero net electric current to the object. It has been shown in recent computer simulations that the small-body plasma environment is very complex [1], considering effects of photoemission, topography, and formation of a plasma wake. For this work we consider an exploration craft (or astronaut) immersed within a plasma environment near an asteroid, which exhibits widely varying solar wind and photoelectric particle fluxes and continuously evolving illumination conditions. Objective: We aim to determine how an explo-ration craft or astronaut suit accumulates charge while located in the "nightside" asteroid wake where the particle fluxes are reduced, and in the dayside near-surface photoelectron sheath, by combining an object charging model [2] with kinetic simulations of a near-asteroid plasma environment [1]. We consider an astronaut floating near the asteroid while not in contact with the surface, as well as an astronaut moving along the surface using their hands/gloves to crawl along. Results: The modeling results suggest that remediation of triboelectric charge via accumulation of plasma currents is an important factor to consider when designing future NEA mission infrastructure, especially if repeated and frequent contact with the surface is planned. In shadowed regions such as the location shown in Fig. 1a, the plasma currents are so low (and the effective charge-remediation timescale so long, e.g. minutes to hours) that repeated contact with the surface tribocharges the glove in an uncontrollable fashion, as shown for two representative electron temperatures in Fig. 2a. The resulting buildup of significant negative charge would eventually initiate some other "current of last resort" [4] such as transport of positively-charged dust, field-emission from the glove, or significant alteration of

  7. The planetary spatial data infrastructure for the OSIRIS-REx mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    DellaGiustina, D. N.; Selznick, S.; Nolan, M. C.; Enos, H. L.; Lauretta, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The primary objective of the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is to return a pristine sample of carbonaceous material from primitive asteroid (101955) Bennu. Understanding the geospatial context of Bennu is critical to choosing a sample-site and also linking the nature of the sample to the global properties of Bennu and the broader asteroid population. We established a planetary spatial data infrastructure (PSDI) support the primary objective of OSIRIS-REx. OSIRIS-REx is unique among planetary missions in that all remote sensing is performed to support the sample return objective. Prior to sampling, OSIRIS-REx will survey Bennu for nearly two years to select and document the most valuable primary and backup sample sites. During this period, the mission will combine coordinated observations from five science instruments into four thematic maps: deliverability, safety, sampleability, and scientific value. The deliverability map assesses the probability that the flight dynamics team can deliver the spacecraft to the desired location. The safety map indicates the probability that physical hazards are present at the sample-site. The sampleability map quantifies the probability that a sample can be successfully collected from the surface. Finally, the scientific value map shows the probability that the collected sample contains organics and volatiles and also places the sample site in a definitive geological context relative to Bennu's history. The OSIRIS-REx Science Processing and Operations Center (SPOC) serves as the operational PSDI for the mission. The SPOC is tasked with intake of all data from the spacecraft and other ground sources and assimilating these data into a single comprehensive system for processing and presentation. The SPOC centralizes all geographic data of Bennu in a relational database and ensures that standardization and provenance are maintained throughout proximity

  8. Desert Rats 2011 Mission Simulation: Effects of Microgravity Operational Modes on Fields Geology Capabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, Jacob E.; Hurtado, J. M., Jr.; Meyer, J. A.

    2012-01-01

    Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) is a multi-year series of NASA tests that deploy planetary surface hardware and exercise mission and science operations in difficult conditions to advance human and robotic exploration capabilities. DRATS 2011 (Aug. 30-Sept. 9, 2011) tested strategies for human exploration of microgravity targets such as near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Here we report the crew perspective on the impact of simulated microgravity operations on our capability to conduct field geology.

  9. UV Reflectance of Jupiter's Moon Europa and Asteroid (16) Psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, T. M.; Retherford, K. D.; Roth, L.; Hendrix, A.; McGrath, M. A.; Cunningham, N.; Feaga, L. M.; Saur, J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Walhund, J. E.; Molyneux, P.

    2017-12-01

    Surface reflectance observations of solar system objects in the UV are not only complimentary to longer wavelength observations for identifying surface composition, but can also reveal new and meaningful information about the surfaces of those bodies. On Europa, far-UV (FUV) spectral observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) show that the surface lacks a strong water ice absorption edge near 165 nm, which is intriguing because such a band has been detected on most icy satellites. This may suggest that radiolytic processing by Jupiter's magnetosphere has altered the surface, causing absorption at wavelengths longward of the H2O edge, masking this feature. Additionally, the FUV spectra are blue (increasing albedo with shorter wavelengths), and regions that are observed to be dark in the visible appear bright in the FUV. This spectral inversion, also observed on the Moon and some asteroids, may provide insight into the properties of the surface material and how they are processed.We also explore the UV reflectance spectra of the main belt asteroid (16) Psyche. This asteroid is believed to be the metallic remnant core of a differentiated asteroid, stripped of its mantle through collisions. However, there is speculation that the asteroid could have formed as-is from highly reduced metal-rich material near the Sun early in the formation of the solar system. Further, spectral observations in the infrared have revealed pyroxene and hydroxyl on the asteroid's surface, complicating the interpretation that (16) Psyche is a pure metallic object. Laboratory studies indicate that there are diagnostic spectral features in the UV that could be useful for determining the surface composition. We obtained HST observations of Psyche from 160 - 300 nm. Preliminary results show a featureless, red-sloped spectrum, inconsistent with significant amounts of pyroxene on the surface. We will present the spectra of Europa and the asteroid (16) Psyche and discuss the unique details

  10. Non-planetary Science from Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elvis, M.; Rabe, K.; Daniels, K.

    2015-12-01

    Planetary science is naturally focussed on the issues of the origin and history of solar systems, especially our own. The implications of an early turbulent history of our solar system reach into many areas including the origin of Earth's oceans, of ores in the Earth's crust and possibly the seeding of life. There are however other areas of science that stand to be developed greatly by planetary missions, primarily to small solar system bodies. The physics of granular materials has been well-studied in Earth's gravity, but lacks a general theory. Because of the compacting effects of gravity, some experiments desired for testing these theories remain impossible on Earth. Studying the behavior of a micro-gravity rubble pile -- such as many asteroids are believed to be -- could provide a new route towards exploring general principles of granular physics. These same studies would also prove valuable for planning missions to sample these same bodies, as techniques for anchoring and deep sampling are difficult to plan in the absence of such knowledge. In materials physics, first-principles total-energy calculations for compounds of a given stoichiometry have identified metastable, or even stable, structures distinct from known structures obtained by synthesis under laboratory conditions. The conditions in the proto-planetary nebula, in the slowly cooling cores of planetesimals, and in the high speed collisions of planetesimals and their derivatives, are all conditions that cannot be achieved in the laboratory. Large samples from comets and asteroids offer the chance to find crystals with these as-yet unobserved structures as well as more exotic materials. Some of these could have unusual properties important for materials science. Meteorites give us a glimpse of these exotic materials, several dozen of which are known that are unique to meteorites. But samples retrieved directly from small bodies in space will not have been affected by atmospheric entry, warmth or

  11. IMPaCT - Integration of Missions, Programs, and Core Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balacuit, Carlos P.; Cutts, James A.; Peterson, Craig E.; Beauchamp, Patricia M.; Jones, Susan K.; Hang, Winnie N.; Dastur, Shahin D.

    2013-01-01

    IMPaCT enables comprehensive information on current NASA missions, prospective future missions, and the technologies that NASA is investing in, or considering investing in, to be accessed from a common Web-based interface. It allows dependencies to be established between missions and technology, and from this, the benefits of investing in individual technologies can be determined. The software also allows various scenarios for future missions to be explored against resource constraints, and the nominal cost and schedule of each mission to be modified in an effort to fit within a prescribed budget.

  12. Trajectory Design Considerations for Exploration Mission 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawn, Timothy F.; Gutkowski, Jeffrey P.; Batcha, Amelia L.; Williams, Jacob; Pedrotty, Samuel M.

    2018-01-01

    Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) will be the first mission to send an uncrewed Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) to cislunar space in the fall of 2019. EM-1 was originally conceived as a lunar free-return mission, but was later changed to a Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO) mission as a precursor to the Asteroid Redirect Mission. To understand the required mission performance (i.e., propellant requirement), a series of trajectory optimization runs was conducted using JSC's Copernicus spacecraft trajectory optimization tool. In order for the runs to be done in a timely manner, it was necessary to employ a parallelization approach on a computing cluster using a new trajectory scan tool written in Python. Details of the scan tool are provided and how it is used to perform the scans and post-process the results. Initially, a scan of daily due east launched EM-1 DRO missions in 2018 was made. Valid mission opportunities are ones that do not exceed the useable propellant available to perform the required burns. The initial scan data showed the propellant and delta-V performance patterns for each launch period. As questions were raised from different subsystems (e.g., power, thermal, communications, flight operations, etc.), the mission parameters or data that were of interest to them were added to the scan output data file. The additional data includes: (1) local launch and landing times in relation to sunrise and sunset, (2) length of eclipse periods during the in-space portion of the mission, (3) Earth line of sight from cislunar space, (4) Deep Space Network field of view looking towards cislunar space, and (5) variation of the downrange distance from Earth entry interface to splashdown. Mission design trades can also be performed based on the information that the additional data shows. For example, if the landing is in darkness, but the recovery operations team desires a landing in daylight, then an analysis is performed to determine how to change the mission design

  13. Predictions of asteroid hazard to the Earth for the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, Nikita; Sokolov, Leonid; Polyakhova, Elena; Oskina, Kristina

    2018-05-01

    Early detection and investigation of possible collisions and close approaches of asteroids with the Earth are necessary to exept the asteroid-comet hazard. The difficulty of prediction of close approaches and collisions associated with resonant returns after encounters with the Earth due to loss of precision in these encounters. The main research object is asteroid Apophis (99942), for which we found many possible orbits of impacts associated with resonant returns. It is shown that the early orbit change of Apophis allows to avoid main impacts, associated with resonant returns. Such a change of the orbit, in principle, is feasible. We also study the possible impacts with the Ground asteroid 2015 RN35. We present 21 possible collisions in this century, including 7 collisions with large gaps presented in NASA website. The results of observations by the telescope ZA-320M at Pulkovo Obser-vatory of the three near-Earth asteroids, namely, 7822, 20826, 68216, two of which 7822 and 68216 are potentially hazardous, are presented.

  14. New Heating Mechanism of Asteroids in Protoplanetary Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Raymond L.; Roberge, W. G.

    2013-10-01

    Heating of asteroids in the early solar system has been mainly attributed to two mechanisms: the decay of short-lived radionuclides and the unipolar induction mechanism originally proposed in a classic series of papers by Sonett and collaborators. As originally conceived, unipolar induction heating is the result of the dissipation of current inside the body driven by a “motional electric field”, which appears in the asteroid’s reference frame when it is immersed in a fully-ionized, magnetized T-Tauri solar wind. However we point out a subtle conceptual error in the way that the electric field is calculated. Strictly speaking, the motional electric field used by Sonett et al. is the electric field in the free-streaming plasma far from the asteroid. For realistic assumptions about the plasma density in protoplanetary disks, the interaction between the plasma and asteroid cause the formation of a shear layer, in which the motional electric field decreases and even vanishes at the asteroid surface. We reexamine and improve the induction heating mechanism by: (1) correcting this conceptual error by using non-ideal multifluid MHD to self consistently calculate the velocity, magnetic, and electric fields in and around the shear layer; and (2) considering more realistic environments and scenarios that are consistent with current theories about protoplanetary disks. We present solutions for two highly idealized flows, which demonstrate that the electric field inside the asteroid is actually produced by magnetic field gradients in the shear layer, and can either vanish or be comparable to the fields predicted by Sonett et al. depending on the flow geometry. We term this new mechanism “electrodynamic heating”, calculate its possible upper limits, and compare them to heating generated by the decay of short-lived radionuclides.

  15. Delivery of organics to Mars through asteroid and comet impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frantseva, K.; Mueller, M.; van der Tak, F. F. S.; ten Kate, I. L.; Greenstreet, S.

    2017-01-01

    Preliminary results show that the asteroid-borne organic flux on Mars is comparable to the IPD rate; asteroids certainly cannot be neglected. Comets, on the other hand, contribute only 0.01% of the IDP-borne rate and can be neglected in the process of organic delivery to Mars.

  16. A six-part collisional model of the main asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cibulková, H.; Brož, M.; Benavidez, P. G.

    2014-10-01

    In this work, we construct a new model for the collisional evolution of the main asteroid belt. Our goals are to test the scaling law of Benz and Asphaug (Benz, W., Asphaug, E. [1999]. Icarus, 142, 5-20) and ascertain if it can be used for the whole belt. We want to find initial size-frequency distributions (SFDs) for the considered six parts of the belt (inner, middle, “pristine”, outer, Cybele zone, high-inclination region) and to verify if the number of synthetic asteroid families created during the simulation matches the number of observed families as well. We used new observational data from the WISE satellite (Masiero et al., 2011) to construct the observed SFDs. We simulate mutual collisions of asteroids with a modified version of the Boulder code (Morbidelli, A., et al. [2009]. Icarus, 204, 558-573), where the results of hydrodynamic (SPH) simulations of Durda et al. (Durda, D.D., et al. [2007]. Icarus, 498-516) and Benavidez et al. (Benavidez, P.G., et al. [2012]. 219, 57-76) are included. Because material characteristics can significantly affect breakups, we created two models - for monolithic asteroids and for rubble-piles. To explain the observed SFDs in the size range D=1 to 10 km we have t