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Spacecraft Conceptual Design for Returning Entire Near-Earth Asteroid

Brophy, John R. and Oleson, Steven R. (2012) Spacecraft Conceptual Design for Returning Entire Near-Earth Asteroid. In: 48th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit and 10th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, July 29 - August 1, 2012, Atlanta, GA.

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In situ resource utilization (ISRU) in general, and asteroid mining in particular are ideas that have been around for a long time, and for good reason. It is clear that ultimately human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit will have to utilize the material resources available in space. Historically, the lack of sufficiently capable in-space transportation has been one of the key impediments to the harvesting of near-Earth asteroid resources. With the advent of high-power (or order 40 kW) solar electric propulsion systems, that impediment is being removed. High-power solar electric propulsion (SEP) would be enabling for the exploitation of asteroid resources. The design of a 40-kW end-of-life SEP system is presented that could rendezvous with, capture, and subsequently transport a 1,000-metric-ton near-Earth asteroid back to cislunar space. The conceptual spacecraft design was developed by the Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) team at the Glenn Research Center in collaboration with the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) team assembled to investigate the feasibility of an asteroid retrieval mission. Returning such an object to cislunar space would enable astronaut crews to inspect, sample, dissect, and ultimately determine how to extract the desired materials from the asteroid. This process could jump-start the entire ISRU industry

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Additional Information:The research described in this paper was sponsored by the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC). The conceptual spacecraft configuration was developed by the Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) team at NASA GRC in cooperation with the KISS study team. The KISS study was performed by the following people and their contributions to this work are gratefully acknowledged: Luis Friedman, Carlton Allen, David Baughman, Julie Bellerose, Bruce Betts, Mike Brown, Michael Busch, John Casani, Marcello Coradini, Fred Culick, John Dankanich, Paul Dimotakis, Martin Elvis, Ian Garrick-Bethel, Bob Gershman, Tom Jones, Damon Landau, Chris Lewicki, John Lewis, Mark Lupisella, Pedro Llanos, Dan Mazanek, Prakhar Mehrotra, Joe Nuth, Kevin Parkin, Nathan Strange, Guru Singh, Marco Tantardini, Rusty Schweickart, Brian Wilcox, Colin Williams, Willie Williams, and Don Yeomans. The authors also thank Raymond (Gabe) Merrill at LaRC for estimating the size of the chemical propulsion systems needed to return 2008 HU4 without electric propulsion.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
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Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
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AIAA Paper2012-4067
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160223-162922118
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Official Citation:John Brophy and Steven Oleson. "Spacecraft Conceptual Design for Returning Entire Near-Earth Asteroids", 48th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, Joint Propulsion Conferences.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64701
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:24 Feb 2016 18:38
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:34

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