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Approach to exploring interstellar objects and long-period comets

Castillo-Rogez, Julie C. and Meech, Karen and Chung, Soon-Jo and Landau, Damon (2019) Approach to exploring interstellar objects and long-period comets. In: Spaceflight Mechanics 2019. Advances in the Astronautical Sciences. No.168. American Astronautical Society , San Diego, CA, pp. 2115-2128. ISBN 9780877036593.

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This paper aims to identify the best approaches for exploring planetary bodies with very long orbital periods, i.e., bodies that approach Earth only once in a lifetime. This includes long-period comets (LPCs), and the newly discovered classes of Manx comets and interstellar objects (ISOs). Long-period comets are high scientific value targets, as indicated in the current Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Interstellar objects open the fascinating possibility to sample exoplanetary systems. Manxes hold the key to resolving long-time questions about the early history of our solar system. Specific strategies need to be implemented in order to approach bodies whose orbital properties are at the same time extreme and unpredictable. As ground-based telescope capabilities are greatly improving, it will soon become possible to detect LPCs more than ten years before they reach perihelion. On the other hand, the non- or weakly active Manx comets and ISOs require reactive exploration strategies. All of these bodies offer many challenges for close proximity observations that can be addressed by the deployment of multi-spacecraft architectures. We describe several concepts that leverage the many advantages offered by distributed sensors, fractionated payload, and various mother-daughter configurations to achieve high impact science within the reach of low-cost missions.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Table of Contents
Meech, Karen0000-0002-2058-5670
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Additional Information:© 2019 Published for the American Astronautical Society by Univelt, Incorporated. AAS 19-436. Part of this work is being carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. This work is supported in part by the W.M. Keck Institute for Space Studies. K.J.M acknowledges support through NSF award AST-1617015 and support by the NASA SSO Near Earth Object Observations program 80NSSC18K0853. This study was initiated as part of a study hosted by the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS).
Group:GALCIT, Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Issue or Number:168
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191205-094833503
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100202
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Dec 2019 18:33
Last Modified:02 Jun 2020 17:49

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