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Camilla: A Centaur reconnaissance and impact mission concept

Howell, Samuel H. and Chou, Luoth and Thompson, Michelle and Bouchard, Michael C. and Cusson, Sarah and Marcus, Matthew L. and Smith, Harrison B. and Bhattaru, Srinivasa and Blalock, John J. and Brueshaber, Shawn and Eggi, Siegfried and Jawin, Erica R. and Miller, Kelly and Rizzo, Maxime and Steakley, Kathryn and Thomas, Nancy H. and Trent, Kimberly and Ugelow, Melissa and Budney, Charles J. and Mitchell, Karl L. and Lowes, Leslie (2018) Camilla: A Centaur reconnaissance and impact mission concept. Planetary and Space Science, 164 . pp. 184-193. ISSN 0032-0633. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2018.07.008.

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Centaurs, minor planets with a semi-major axis between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune (5–30 AU), are thought to be among the most diverse small bodies in the solar system. These important targets for future missions may have recently been Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), which are thought to be chemically and physically primitive remnants of the early solar system. While the Kuiper Belt spans distances of 30–50 AU, making direct observations difficult, Centaurs' proximity to the Earth and Sun make them more accessible targets for robotic missions. Thus, we outline a mission concept designed to reconnoiter 10199 Chariklo, the largest Centaur and smallest ringed body yet discovered. Named for a legendary Centaur tamer, the conceptual Camilla mission is designed to fit under the cost cap of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) New Frontiers program, leveraging a conservative payload to support a foundational scientific investigation to these primitive bodies. Specifically, the single flyby encounter utilizes a combined high-resolution camera/VIS-IR mapping spectrometer, a sub-mm point spectrometer, and a UV mapping spectrometer. In addition, the mission concept utilizes a kinetic impactor, which would provide the first opportunity to sample the composition of potentially primitive subsurface material beyond Saturn, thus providing key insights into solar system origins. Such a flyby of the Chariklo system would provide a linchpin in the understanding of small body composition, evolution, and transport of materials in the solar system.

Item Type:Article
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Blalock, John J.0000-0002-7460-1074
Thomas, Nancy H.0000-0003-1989-4860
Additional Information:© 2018 Elsevier. Received 14 April 2018, Revised 5 June 2018, Accepted 17 July 2018, Available online 20 July 2018. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We wish to thank L. Lowes and J. Armijo for their programmatic support of PSSS, and the volunteer panel that reviewed our mission concept. Further, we wish to thank W. Smythe for his guidance, D. Landau for his aid in mission trajectory design and software support, and the members of TeamX for their aid in producing this mission concept. Finally, we thank J. Castillo for her informal review of an earlier draft of this manuscript.
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Subject Keywords:Centaur; 10199 Chariklo; Mission concept; Kuiper belt object; Small bodies; Rings
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180720-095208227
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Official Citation:Samuel M. Howell, Luoth Chou, Michelle Thompson, Michael C. Bouchard, Sarah Cusson, Matthew L. Marcus, Harrison B. Smith, Srinivasa Bhattaru, John J. Blalock, Shawn Brueshaber, Siegfried Eggl, Erica R. Jawin, Kelly Miller, Maxime Rizzo, Kathryn Steakley, Nancy H. Thomas, Kimberly R. Trent, Melissa Ugelow, Charles J. Budney, Karl L. Mitchell, Leslie Lowes, Camilla: A centaur reconnaissance and impact mission concept, Planetary and Space Science, Volume 164, 2018, Pages 184-193, ISSN 0032-0633, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88051
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Jul 2018 14:41
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:23

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