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Asteroid retrieval feasibility

Brophy, John R. and Friedman, Louis and Culick, Fred (2012) Asteroid retrieval feasibility. In: 2012 IEEE Aerospace Conference. IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1-16. ISBN 978-1-4577-0556-4.

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This paper describes the interim results of a study sponsored by the Keck Institute for Space Studies to investigate the feasibility of identifying, robotically capturing, and returning an entire Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) to the vicinity of the Earth by the middle of the next decade. The feasibility hinges on finding an overlap between the smallest NEAs that can be reasonably discovered and characterized and the largest NEAs that can be captured and transported in a reasonable flight time. This overlap appears to be centered on NEAs with a nominal diameter of roughly 7 m corresponding to masses in the range of 250,000 kg to 1,000,000 kg. Trajectory analysis based on asteroid 2008HU4 suggests that such an asteroid could be returned to a high-Earth orbit using a single Atlas V-class launch vehicle and a 40-kW solar electric propulsion system by 2026. The return of such an object could serve as a testbed for human operations in the vicinity of an asteroid. It would provide a wealth of scientific and engineering information and would enable detailed evaluation of its resource potential, determination of its internal structure and other aspects important for planetary defense activities.

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Additional Information:© 2012 IEEE. The research described in this paper was sponsored by the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) and was carried out in part at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The people and organizations listed below participated in the KISS-sponsored study. It is their work that is summarized in this paper and the authors gratefully acknowledge their contributions. In addition, the Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) team at NASA GRC performed a study of the Asteroid Retrieval Mission concept resulting in conceptual flight system configuration and mass estimate. Their work is also gratefully acknowledged by the authors.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies, GALCIT
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Earth, Extraterrestrial measurements, Laser radar, Object recognition, Orbits, Space vehicles
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160223-163750505
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64705
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:24 Feb 2016 00:59
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:34

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