Science.gov

Sample records for earth asteroid research

  1. Accessibility of near-Earth asteroids, 1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hulkower, Neal D.; Child, Jack B.

    1991-01-01

    Previous research which analyzed the accessibility of all known near-Earth asteroids is updated. Since then, many new near-Earth asteroids have been discovered, and 1928 DB, the most accessible asteroid at that time, has been recovered. Many of these recently discovered near-Earth asteroids have promising orbital characteristics. In addition to accessibility (as defined by minimum global delta v), ideal rendezvous opportunities are identified.

  2. Earth-approaching asteroid streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drummond, J. D.

    1991-01-01

    Three association patterns have been noted among 139 earth-approaching asteroids on the basis of current orbital similarity; these asteroid streams, consisting of two groups of five members and one of four, can be matched to three of the four meteorite-producing fireball streams determined by Halliday et al. (1990). If the asteroid streams are true nonrandom associations, the opportunity arises for studies of an 'exploded' asteroid in the near-earth environment. Near-earth asteroid-search projects are encouraged to search the mean orbit of the present streams in order to discover additional association members.

  3. Near Earth asteroid rendezvous

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The Spacecraft Design Course is the capstone design class for the M.S. in astronautics at the Naval Postgraduate School. The Fall 92 class designed a spacecraft for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission (NEAR). The NEAR mission uses a robotic spacecraft to conduct up-close reconnaissance of a near-earth asteroid. Such a mission will provide information on Solar System formation and possible space resources. The spacecraft is intended to complete a NEAR mission as a relatively low-budget program while striving to gather as much information about the target asteroid as possible. A complete mission analysis and detailed spacecraft design were completed. Mission analysis includes orbit comparison and selection, payload and telemetry requirements, spacecraft configuration, and launch vehicle selection. Spacecraft design includes all major subsystems: structure, electrical power, attitude control, propulsion, payload integration, and thermal control. The resulting spacecraft demonstrates the possibility to meet the NEAR mission requirements using existing technology, 'off-the-shelf' components, and a relatively low-cost launch vehicle.

  4. Near Earth Asteroid Rotational Analysis by Astronomical Research Institute: 2015 November thru 2016 August

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linder, Tyler R.; Puckett, Andrew; Holmes, Robert; Nowinski, Matt; Hardersen, Paul; Haislip, Josh; Reichart, Dan

    2017-04-01

    Photometric observations of six near-Earth asteroids (NEA) and one Mars-crosser (MC) were made in 2015 and 2016. We report on the analysis of the data obtained for NEAs (10150) 1994 PN, (88263) 2001 KQ1, (348400) 2005 JF21, (357024) 1999 YR14, (470510) 2008 CJ116, and 2016 LX48 and the Mars-crosser (41588) 2000 SC46.

  5. Near-Earth Asteroid Follow-up Observations from the Astronomical Research Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linder, Tyler R.

    2017-10-01

    The Astronomical Research Institute (ARI) operates eight telescopes ranging in size from 0.41m to 1.3m. These telescopes are dedicated to the astrometric recovery and arc-extension of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs). Four telescopes are located outside Westfield, Illinois, USA (0.61, 0.76, 0.81, 1.3m) while the other four telescopes are at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (0.41, 0.61, 0.61, 1.0m).The increase in NEA discovery from PanSTARRS and Catalina Sky Survey continues to escalate the nightly demand for newly discovered NEA follow-up. ARI has developed a new protocol which allows the discovery rate to increase fivefold without the need for additional telescopes.ARI’s new secondary priority is to provide spectra and spectrophotometry observations of the brightest newly discovered NEAs. Proposed methods and procedures will be discussed so that other NEA researchers may have access to the results without a peer-reviewed delay.

  6. Near-Earth Asteroid Returned Sample (NEARS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoemaker, Eugene M.; Cheng, Andrew F.

    1994-01-01

    The concept of the Near-Earth Asteroid Returned Sample (NEARS) mission is to return to Earth 10-100 g from each of four to six sites on a near-Earth asteroid and to perform global characterization of the asteroid and measure mass, volume, and density to ten percent. The target asteroid for the mission is 4660 Nereus, probably a primitive C-type asteroid, with the alternate target being 1989ML, an extremely accessible asteroid of unknown type. Launch dates will be 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004 on the Delta II-7925 launch vehicle. The mission objectives are three-fold. (1) Provide first direct and detailed petrological, chemical, age, and isotopic characterization of a near-Earth asteroid and relate it to terrestrial, lunar, and meteoritic materials. (2) Sample the asteroid regolith and characterize any exotic fragments. (3) Identify heterogeneity in the asteroid's isotopic properties, age, and elemental chemistry.

  7. Near-Earth Asteroid Scout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walden, Amy; Clardy, Dennon; Johnson, Les

    2015-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are easily accessible objects in Earth's vicinity. As NASA continues to refine its plans to possibly explore NEAs with humans, initial reconnaissance with comparatively inexpensive robotic precursors is necessary. Obtaining and analyzing relevant data about these bodies via robotic precursors before committing a crew to visit an NEA will significantly minimize crew and mission risk, as well as maximize exploration return potential. The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory are jointly developing the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout (NEAS) utilizing a low-cost CubeSat platform in response to the current needs for affordable missions with exploration science value. The mission is enabled by the use of an 85-sq m solar sail being developed by MSFC (figs. 1 and 2).

  8. Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Dervan, Jared; McNutt, Leslie

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing solar sail propulsion for a near-term Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) reconnaissance mission that will lay the groundwork for the future use of solar sails. The NEA Scout mission will use the sail as primary propulsion allowing it to survey and image one NEA's of interest for future human exploration. NEA Scout will launch on the first mission of the Space Launch System (SLS) in 2018. After its first encounter with the Moon, NEA Scout will enter the sail characterization phase by the 86 square meter sail deployment. A mechanical Active Mass Translation (AMT) system, combined with the remaining ACS propellant, will be used for sail momentum management. The spacecraft will perform a series of lunar flybys to achieve optimum departure trajectory before beginning its two year-long cruise. About one month before the asteroid flyby, NEA Scout will start its approach phase using optical navigation on top of radio tracking. The solar sail will provide NEA Scout continuous low thrust to enable a relatively slow flyby of the target asteroid under lighting conditions favorable to geological imaging. Once complete, NASA will have demonstrated the capability to fly low-cost, high delta V CubeSats to perform interplanetary missions.

  9. Search techniques for near-earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helin, E. F.; Dunbar, R. S.

    1990-01-01

    Knowledge of the near-earth asteroids (Apollo, Amor, and Aten groups) has increased enormously over the last 10 to 15 years. This has been due in large part to the success of programs that have systematically searched for these objects. These programs have been motivated by the apparent relationships of the near-earth asteroids to terrestrial impact cratering, meteorites, and comets, and their relative accessibility for asteroid missions. Discovery of new near-earth asteroids is fundamental to all other studies, from theoretical modeling of their populations to the determination of their physical characteristics by various remote-sensing techniques. The methods that have been used to find these objects are reviewed, and ways in which the search for near-earth asteroids can be expanded are discussed.

  10. Near-Earth Asteroid Scout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McNutt, Leslie; Johnson, Les; Clardy, Dennon; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Frick, Andreas; Jones, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are an easily accessible object in Earth's vicinity. Detections of NEAs are expected to grow in the near future, offering increasing target opportunities. As NASA continues to refine its plans to possibly explore these small worlds with human explorers, initial reconnaissance with comparatively inexpensive robotic precursors is necessary. Obtaining and analyzing relevant data about these bodies via robotic precursors before committing a crew to visit a NEA will significantly minimize crew and mission risk, as well as maximize exploration return potential. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are jointly examining a mission concept, tentatively called 'NEA Scout,' utilizing a low-cost CubeSats platform in response to the current needs for affordable missions with exploration science value. The NEA Scout mission concept would be a secondary payload on the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), the first planned flight of the SLS and the second un-crewed test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV).

  11. Tracking a Very Near Earth Asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruck, R.; Rashid, S.; Peppard, T.

    2013-09-01

    The potential effects of an asteroid passing within close proximity to the Earth were recently realized. During the February 16, 2013 event, Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed within an estimated 27,700 kilometers of the earth, well within the geosynchronous (GEO) orbital belt. This was the closest known approach of a planetoid of this size, in modern history. The GEO belt is a region that is filled with critical communications satellites which provide relays for essential government, business and private datum. On the day of the event, optical instruments at Detachment 3, 21OG, Maui GEODSS were able to open in marginal atmospheric conditions, locate and collect metric and raw video data on the asteroid as it passed a point of near heliocentric orbital propinquity to the Earth. Prior to the event, the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) used propagated trajectory data from NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to assess potential collisions with man-made objects in Earth orbit. However, the ability to actively track this asteroid through the populated satellite belt not only allowed surveillance for possible late orbital perturbations of the asteroid, but, afforded the ability to monitor possible strikes on all other orbiting bodies of anthropogenic origin either not in orbital catalogs or not recently updated in those catalogs. Although programmed only for tracking satellites in geocentric orbits, GEODSS was able to compensate and maintain track on DA14, collecting one hundred and fifty four metric observations during the event.

  12. Edge-on View of Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-16

    NEOWISE, the asteroid-hunting portion of NASA WISE mission, illustrates the differences between orbits of a typical near-Earth asteroid blue and a potentially hazardous asteroid, or PHA orange. PHAs are a subset of the near-Earth asteroids NEAs.

  13. Spacecraft Conceptual Design for Returning Entire Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Oleson, Steve

    2012-01-01

    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.

  14. Near Earth Asteroid Characteristics for Asteroid Threat Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dotson, Jessie

    2015-01-01

    Information about the physical characteristics of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) is needed to model behavior during atmospheric entry, to assess the risk of an impact, and to model possible mitigation techniques. The intrinsic properties of interest to entry and mitigation modelers, however, rarely are directly measureable. Instead we measure other properties and infer the intrinsic physical properties, so determining the complete set of characteristics of interest is far from straightforward. In addition, for the majority of NEAs, only the basic measurements exist so often properties must be inferred from statistics of the population of more completely characterized objects. We will provide an assessment of the current state of knowledge about the physical characteristics of importance to asteroid threat assessment. In addition, an ongoing effort to collate NEA characteristics into a readily accessible database for use by the planetary defense community will be discussed.

  15. Near-Earth Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Muirhead, Brian

    2013-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) concept brings together the capabilities of the science, technology, and the human exploration communities on a grand challenge combining robotic and human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit. This paper addresses the key aspects of this concept and the options studied to assess its technical feasibility. Included are evaluations of the expected number of potential targets, their expected discovery rate, the necessity to adequately characterize candidate mission targets, the process to capture a non-cooperative asteroid in deep space, and the power and propulsion technology required for transportation back to the Earth-Moon system. Viable options for spacecraft and mission designs are developed. Orbits for storing the retrieved asteroid that are stable for more than a hundred years, yet allow for human exploration and commercial utilization of a redirected asteroid, are identified. The study concludes that the key aspects of finding, capturing and redirecting an entire small, near-Earth asteroid to the Earth-Moon system by the first half of the next decade are technically feasible. The study was conducted from January 2013 through March 2013 by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in collaboration with Glenn Research Center (GRC), Johnson Space Center (JSC), Langley Research Center (LaRC), and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

  16. The Near Earth Asteroid Medical Conditions List

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barr, Yael R.; Watkins, S. D.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) element is one of six elements within NASA s Human Research Program (HRP) and is responsible for addressing the risk of "the inability to adequately recognize or treat an ill or injured crewmember" for exploration-class missions. The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Medical Conditions List, constructed by ExMC, is the first step in addressing the above-mentioned risk for the 13-month long NEA mission. The NEA mission is being designed by NASA's Human Space Flight Architecture Team (HAT). The purpose of the conditions list is to serve as an evidence-based foundation for determining which medical conditions could affect a crewmember during the NEA mission, which of those conditions would be of concern and require treatment, and for which conditions a gap in knowledge or technology development exists. This information is used to focus research efforts and technology development to ensure that the appropriate medical capabilities are available for exploration-class missions. Scope and Approach: The NEA Medical Conditions List is part of a broader Space Medicine Exploration Medical Conditions List (SMEMCL), which incorporates various exploration-class design reference missions (DRMs). The conditions list contains 85 medical conditions which could occur during space flight and which are derived from several sources: Long-Term Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH) in-flight occurrence data, The Space Shuttle (STS) Medical Checklist, The International Space Station (ISS) Medical Checklist, and subject matter expert opinion. Each medical condition listed has been assigned a clinical priority and a clinical priority rationale based on incidence, consequence, and mitigation capability. Implementation: The conditions list is a "living document" and as such, new conditions can be added to the list, and the priority of conditions on the list can be adjusted as the DRM changes, and as screening, diagnosis, or treatment capabilities

  17. WISE Revises Numbers of Asteroids Near Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-09-29

    Data from NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has led to revisions in the estimated population of near-Earth asteroids. The most accurate survey to date has allowed new estimates of the total numbers of objects in different size categories.

  18. Spacewatch discovery of near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gehrels, Tom

    1992-01-01

    Our overall scientific goal is to survey the solar system to completion - that is, to find the various populations and to study their statistics, interrelations, and origins. The practical benefit to SERC is that we are finding Earth-approaching asteroids that are accessible for mining. Our system can detect Earth-approachers in the 1-km size range even when they are far away, and can detect smaller objects when they are moving rapidly past Earth. Until Spacewatch, the size range of 6-300 meters in diameter for the near-Earth asteroids was unexplored. This important region represents the transition between the meteorites and the larger observed near-Earth asteroids. One of our Spacewatch discoveries, 1991 VG, may be representative of a new orbital class of object. If it is really a natural object, and not man-made, its orbital parameters are closer to those of the Earth than we have seen before; its delta V is the lowest of all objects known thus far. We may expect new discoveries as we continue our surveying, with fine-tuning of the techniques.

  19. Human Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul

    2013-01-01

    A major goal for NASA's human spaceflight program is to send astronauts to near-Earth asteroids (NEA) in the coming decades. Missions to NEAs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific examinations of these primitive objects. However, before sending human explorers to NEAs, robotic investigations of these bodies would be required to maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk. These precursor missions to NEAs would fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps concerning their physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration of these relatively unknown destinations. Dr. Paul Abell discussed some of the physical characteristics of NEOs that will be relevant for EVA considerations, reviewed the current data from previous NEA missions (e.g., Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker and Hayabusa), and discussed why future robotic and human missions to NEAs are important from space exploration and planetary defense perspectives.

  20. Near-Earth Asteroid Sample Return Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the Near-Earth Asteroid Sample Return Workshop, 11-12 Dec 2000. The Steering Committee consisted of Derek Sears, Chair, Dan Britt, Don Brownlee, Andrew Cheng, Benton Clark, Leon Gefert, Steve Gorevan, Marilyn Lindstrom, Carle Pieters, Jeff Preble, Brian Wilcox, and Don Yeomans. Logistical, administrative, and publications support were provided by the Publications and Program Services Department of the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

  1. Spacewatch search for near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gehreis, Tom

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the Spacewatch Program is to develop new techniques for the discovery of near-earth asteroids and to prove the efficiency of the techniques. Extensive experience was obtained with the 0.91-m Spacewatch Telescope on Kitt Peak that now has the largest CCD detector in the world: a Tektronix 2048 x 2048 with 27-micron pixel size. During the past year, software and hardware for optimizing the discovery of near-earth asteroids were installed. As a result, automatic detection of objects that move with rates between 0.1 and 4 degrees per day has become routine since September 1990. Apparently, one or two near-earth asteroids are discovered per month, on average. The follow up is with astrometry over as long an arc as the geometry and faintness of the object allow, typically three months following the discovery observations. During the second half of 1990, replacing the 0.91-m mirror with a larger one, to increase the discovery rate, was considered. Studies and planning for this switch are proposed for funding during the coming year. It was also proposed that the Spacewatch Telescope be turned on the sky, instead of having the drive turned off, in order to increase the rate of discoveries by perhaps a factor of two.

  2. Discovery: Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Veverka, Joseph

    1992-01-01

    The work carried out under this grant consisted of two parallel studies aimed at defining candidate missions for the initiation of the Discovery Program being considered by NASA's Solar System Exploration Division. The main study considered a Discover-class mission to a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA); the companion study considered a small telescope in Earth-orbit dedicated to ultra violet studies of solar system bodies. The results of these studies are summarized in two reports which are attached (Appendix 1 and Appendix 2).

  3. Near Earth asteroid orbit perturbation and fragmentation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.; Harris, Alan W.

    1992-01-01

    Collisions by near earth asteroids or the nuclei of comets pose varying levels of threat to man. A relatively small object, approximately 100 meter diameter, which might be found on an impact trajectory with a populated region of the Earth, could potentially be diverted from an Earth impacting trajectory by mass driver rocket systems. For larger bodies, such systems would appear to be beyond current technology. For any size object, nuclear explosions appear to be more efficient, using either the prompt blow-off from neutron radiation, the impulse from ejecta of near-surface explosion for deflection, or as a fragmenting charge. Practical deflections of bodies with diameters of 0.1, 1, and 10 km require interception, years to decades prior to earth encounter, with explosions a few kilotons, megatons, or gigatons, respectively, of equivalent TNT energy to achieve orbital velocity changes or destruction to a level where fragments are dispersed to harmless spatial densities.

  4. Discovery of a Satellite around a Near-Earth Asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  5. Trojan Asteroid Shares Orbit with Earth Artist Animation

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-27

    This artist concept illustrates the first known Earth Trojan asteroid, discovered by NEOWISE, the asteroid-hunting portion of NASA WISE mission. The asteroid is shown in gray and its extreme orbit is shown in green. Objects are not drawn to scale.

  6. Near Earth Asteroid Characterization for Threat Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dotson, Jessie; Mathias, Donovan; Wheeler, Lorien; Wooden, Diane; Bryson, Kathryn; Ostrowski, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Physical characteristics of NEAs are an essential input to modeling behavior during atmospheric entry and to assess the risk of impact but determining these properties requires a non-trivial investment of time and resources. The characteristics relevant to these models include size, density, strength and ablation coefficient. Some of these characteristics cannot be directly measured, but rather must be inferred from related measurements of asteroids and/or meteorites. Furthermore, for the majority of NEAs, only the basic measurements exist so often properties must be inferred from statistics of the population of more completely characterized objects. The Asteroid Threat Assessment Project at NASA Ames Research Center has developed a probabilistic asteroid impact risk (PAIR) model in order to assess the risk of asteroid impact. Our PAIR model and its use to develop probability distributions of impact risk are discussed in other contributions to PDC 2017 (e.g., Mathias et al.). Here we utilize PAIR to investigate which NEA characteristics are important for assessing the impact threat by investigating how changes in these characteristics alter the damage predicted by PAIR. We will also provide an assessment of the current state of knowledge of the NEA characteristics of importance for asteroid threat assessment. The relative importance of different properties as identified using PAIR will be combined with our assessment of the current state of knowledge to identify potential high impact investigations. In addition, we will discuss an ongoing effort to collate the existing measurements of NEA properties of interest to the planetary defense community into a readily accessible database.

  7. Near-earth asteroids - Possible sources from reflectance spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcfadden, L. A.; Gaffey, M. J.; Mccord, T. B.

    1985-01-01

    The diversity of reflectance spectra noted among near-earth asteroids that were compared with selected asteroids, planets and satellites to determine possible source regions is indicative of different mineralogical composition and, accordingly, of more than one source region. Spectral signatures that are similar to those of main belt asteroids support models deriving some of these asteroids from the 5:2 Kirkwood gap and the Flora family, by way of gravitational perturbations. The differences in composition found between near-earth asteroids and planetary and satellite surfaces are in keeping with theoretical arguments that such bodies should not be sources. While some near-earth asteroids furnish portions of the earth's meteorite flux, other sources must also contribute.

  8. Evidence for a near-Earth asteroid belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rabinowitz, D. L.; Gehrels, T.; Scotti, J. V.; Mcmillan, R. S.; Perry, M. L.; Wisniewski, W.; Larson, S. M.; Howell, E. S.; Mueller, B. E. A.

    1993-01-01

    In January 1991, the 0.9-m Spacewatch telescope made the first observation of an asteroid outside Earth's atmosphere but in the neighborhood of the Earth-moon system. Since then, more than 40 Earth-approaching asteroids have been discovered, including 13 smaller than 50 m. Using these data, one of us has shown that there is an excess of Earth-approaching asteroids with diameters less than 50 m, relative to the population inferred from the distribution of larger objects. Here we argue that these smaller objects - characterized by low eccentricities, widely ranging inclinations and unusual spectral properties - form a previously undetected asteroid belt concentrated near Earth. The recent discovery of additional small Earth-approaching asteroids supports this conclusion.

  9. Asteroid 2014 EC Flyby of Earth on March 6, 2014

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-03-06

    This graphic depicts the passage of asteroid 2014 EC past Earth on March 6, 2014. The asteroid closest approach is a distance equivalent to about one-sixth of the distance between Earth and the moon. The indicated times are in Universal Time.

  10. Near-Earth Asteroid Solar Sail Test Deployment

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-06-28

    NASA's Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, a small satellite the size of a shoebox designed to study asteroids close to Earth, performed a deployment test June 28 of the solar sail that will launch on Exploration Mission-1. The test was performed in an indoor clean room at the NeXolve facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

  11. Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul

    2013-01-01

    A major goal for NASA's human spaceflight program is to send astronauts to near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) in the coming decades. Missions to NEAs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific examinations of these primitive objects. However, prior to sending human explorers to NEAs, robotic investigations of these bodies would be required in order to maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk. These precursor missions to NEAs would fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps concerning their physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration of these relatively unknown destinations. Information obtained from a human investigation of a NEA, together with ground-based observations and prior spacecraft investigations of asteroids and comets, will also provide a real measure of ground truth to data obtained from terrestrial meteorite collections. Major advances in the areas of geochemistry, impact history, thermal history, isotope analyses, mineralogy, space weathering, formation ages, thermal inertias, volatile content, source regions, solar system formation, etc. can be expected from human NEA missions. Samples directly returned from a primitive body would lead to the same kind of breakthroughs for understanding NEAs that the Apollo samples provided for understanding the Earth-Moon system and its formation history. In addition, robotic precursor and human exploration missions to NEAs would allow the NASA and its international partners to gain operational experience in performing complex tasks (e.g., sample collection, deployment of payloads, retrieval of payloads, etc.) with crew, robots, and spacecraft under microgravity conditions at or near the surface of a small body. This would provide an important synergy between the worldwide Science and Exploration communities, which will be crucial for development of future

  12. Near-Earth asteroid discovery rate review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helin, Eleanor F.

    1991-01-01

    Fifteen to twenty years ago the discovery of 1 or 2 Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) per year was typical from one systematic search program, Palomar Planet Crossing Asteroid Survey (PCAS), and the incidental discovery from a variety of other astronomical program. Sky coverage and magnitude were both limited by slower emulsions, requiring longer exposures. The 1970's sky coverage of 15,000 to 25,000 sq. deg. per year led to about 1 NEA discovery every 13,000 sq. deg. Looking at the years from 1987 through 1990, it was found that by comparing 1987/1988 and 1989/1990, the world discovery rate of NEAs went from 20 to 43. More specifically, PCAS' results when grouped into the two year periods, show an increase from 5 discoveries in the 1st period to 20 in the 2nd period, a fourfold increase. Also, the discoveries went from representing about 25 pct. of the world total to about 50 pct. of discoveries worldwide. The surge of discoveries enjoyed by PCAS in particular is attributed to new fine grain sensitive emulsions, film hypering, more uniformity in the quality of the photograph, more equitable scheduling, better weather, and coordination of efforts. The maximum discoveries seem to have been attained at Palomar Schmidt.

  13. NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Scout Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; McNutt, Leslie; Castillo-Rogez, Julie

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing solar sail propulsion for a near-term Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) reconnaissance mission and laying the groundwork for their future use in deep space science and exploration missions. The 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 one or more 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 m2 solar sail and will weigh less than 14 kilograms. 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 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 3 microns thick. NEA Scout will launch on the Space Launch System (SLS) first mission in 2018 and deploy from the SLS after the Orion spacecraft is separated from the SLS upper stage. The NEA Scout spacecraft will stabilize its orientation after ejection using an onboard cold-gas thruster system. The same system provides the vehicle Delta-V sufficient for a lunar flyby. After its first encounter with the moon, the 86 m2 sail will deploy, and the sail characterization phase will begin. A mechanical Active Mass Translation (AMT) system, combined with the remaining ACS propellant, will be used for sail momentum management. Once the system is checked out, the spacecraft will perform a series of lunar flybys until it achieves optimum departure trajectory to the target asteroid. The spacecraft will then begin its two year-long cruise. About one month before the asteroid flyby, NEA Scout will pause to search for the target and start its approach phase using a combination of radio tracking and optical navigation. The solar sail will provide

  14. Compositional differences between meteorites and near-Earth asteroids.

    PubMed

    Vernazza, P; Binzel, R P; Thomas, C A; DeMeo, F E; Bus, S J; Rivkin, A S; Tokunaga, A T

    2008-08-14

    Understanding the nature and origin of the asteroid population in Earth's vicinity (near-Earth asteroids, and its subset of potentially hazardous asteroids) is a matter of both scientific interest and practical importance. It is generally expected that the compositions of the asteroids that are most likely to hit Earth should reflect those of the most common meteorites. Here we report that most near-Earth asteroids (including the potentially hazardous subset) have spectral properties quantitatively similar to the class of meteorites known as LL chondrites. The prominent Flora family in the inner part of the asteroid belt shares the same spectral properties, suggesting that it is a dominant source of near-Earth asteroids. The observed similarity of near-Earth asteroids to LL chondrites is, however, surprising, as this meteorite class is relatively rare ( approximately 8 per cent of all meteorite falls). One possible explanation is the role of a size-dependent process, such as the Yarkovsky effect, in transporting material from the main belt.

  15. Near-Earth Asteroids Astrometry with Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bancelin, D.; Hestroffer, D.; Thuillot, W.

    2011-05-01

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are Near-Earth Asteroids caraterised by a Minimum Orbital Intersection Distance (MOID) with Earth less to 0.05 A.U and an absolute magnitude H<22. Those objects have sometimes a so significant close approach with Earth that they can be put on a chaotic orbit. This kind of orbit is very sensitive for exemple to the initial conditions, to the planetary theory used (for instance JPL's model versus IMCCE's model) or even to the numerical integrator used (Lie Series, Bulirsch-Stoer or Radau). New observations (optical, radar, flyby or satellite mission) can improve those orbits and reduce the uncertainties on the Keplerian elements.The Gaia mission is an astrometric mission that will be launched in 2012 and will observe a large number of Solar System Objects down to magnitude V≤20. During the 5-year mission, Gaia will continuously scan the sky with a specific strategy: objects will be observed from two lines of sight separated with a constant basic angle. Five constants already fixed determinate the nominal scanning law of Gaia: The inertial spin rate (1°/min) that describe the rotation of the spacecraft around an axis perpendicular to those of the two fields of view, the solar-aspect angle (45°) that is the angle between the Sun and the spacecraft rotation axis, the precession period (63.12 days) which is the precession of the spin axis around the Sun-Earth direction. Two other constants are still free parameters: the initial spin phase, and the initial precession angle that will be fixed at the start of the nominal science operations. These latter are constraint by scientific outcome (e.g. possibility of performing test of fundamental physics) together with operational requirements (downlink to Earth windows). Several sets of observations of specific NEOs will hence be provided according to the initial precession angle. The purpose here is to study the statistical impact of the initial precession angle on the error

  16. Asteroid and comet flux in the neighborhood of the earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoemaker, Eugene M.; Shoemaker, Carolyn S.; Wolfe, Ruth F.

    1988-01-01

    Significant advances in the knowledge and understanding of the flux of large solid objects in the neighborhood of Earth have occurred. The best estimates of the collision rates with Earth of asteroids and comets and the corresponding production of impact craters are presented. Approximately 80 Earth-crossing asteroids were discovered through May 1988. Among 42 new Earth-crossing asteroids found in the last decade, two-thirds were discovered from observations at Palomar Observatory and 15 were discovered or independently detected in dedicated surveys with the Palomar Observatory and 15 were discovered or independently detected in dedicated surveys with the Palomar 46 cm Schmidt. Probabilities of collision with Earth have been calculated for about two-thirds of the known Earth-crossing asteroids. When multiplied by the estimated population of Earth-crossers, this yields an estimated present rate of collision about 65 pct higher than that previously reported. Spectrophotometric data obtained chiefly in the last decade show that the large majority of obvserved Earth-crossers are similar to asteroids found in the inner part of the main belt. The number of discovered Earth-crossing comets is more than 4 times greater than the number of known Earth-crossing asteroids, but reliable data on the sizes of comet nuclei are sparse. The flux of comets almost certainly was highly variable over late geologic time, owing to the random perturbation of the Oort comet cloud by stars in the solar neighborhood.

  17. Seven Near-Earth Asteroids at Asteroids Observers (OBAS) - MMPD: 2017 Jan-May

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornas, Gonzalo; Carreño, Alfonso; Arce, Enrique; Flores, Angel; Mas, Vincente; Rodrigo, Onofre; Brines, Pedro; Fornas, Alvaro; Herrero, David; Lozano, Juan

    2018-01-01

    We report on the photometric analysis result of seven near-Earth asteroids (NEA) by Asteroides Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database effort 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.

  18. Antimatter applied for Earth protection from asteroid collision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  19. Properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    Environments and surface properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids are discussed. Topics include gravity, atmospheres, surface properties, surface compositions, seismicity, radiation environment, degradation, use of robotics, and environmental impacts. Gravity fields vary from large fractions of the earth's field such as 1/3 on Mars and 1/6 on the moon to smaller fractions of 0.0004 g on an asteroid 1 km in diameter. Spectral data and the analogy with meteor compositions suggest that near-earth asteroids may contain many resources such as water-rich carbonaceous materials and iron-rich metallic bodies. It is concluded that future mining and materials processing operations from extraterrestrial bodies require an investment now in both (1) missions to the moon, Mars, Phobos, Deimos, and near-earth asteroids and (2) earth-based laboratory research in materials and processing.

  20. Survey and Risk Assessment of Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, H. B.

    2010-07-01

    In 1994, 21 fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter with a velocity of about 60 km/s, which is the first grand collision between celestial bodies observed by human beings. The impact makes us informed definitely that the earth is faced with the small but serious threat of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Chinese scientists of Purple Mountain Observatory proposed a plan of Chinese Near Earth Object Survey (CNEOS) in the conference on NEOs held in the building of the World Headquarters of United Nations, New York in 1995. This project started in 1998. During the past 7 years, CNEOS proceeded in selecting observational site, manufacturing telescope and CCD detector, carrying out observation, reducing mass data, and assessing impact risk from NEOs. Will those so-called potential hazardous asteroids be the terminator of mankind? In 2007, NASA proposed the Spaceguard goal to detect, track, catalogue and characterize 90% of the potentially hazardous objects with diameters greater than 140 m. This dissertation reviews the current situation of research on asteroids and NEOs, which will greatly enhance our understanding of the planetary sciences. The project of CNEOS, including selecting observational site, manufacturing telescope and CCD detector, had been put in practice since 1998. The telescope of CNEOS is a 1.04/1.20/1.80 m Schmidt telescope, equipped with a 4096 by 4096 CCD detector which has drift-scanning function. In this dissertation, the advantage and disadvantage of drift-scanning and corresponding observational method are discussed. This dissertation discusses residential district of asteroids and distribution of visual magnitudes of asteroids. As a result, we draw three principles of observational plan. This dissertation also develops algorithms of pretreatment of astronomical image, extracting objects, and cross-identification, then discusses the methods of identifying and classifying of move objects, establishes software to realize the reduction of the

  1. Near Earth Asteroid Scout Thrust and Torque Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaton, Andrew; Ahmad, Naeem; Miller, Kyle

    2017-01-01

    The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout is a solar sail mission whose objective is to scout at least one Near Earth Asteroid in preparation for manned missions to asteroids. NEA Scout will use a solar sail as the primary means of propulsion. Thus it is important for mission planning to accurately characterize the thrust of the sail. Additionally, the solar sail creates a relatively large solar disturbance torque that must be mitigated. For early mission design studies a flat plate model of the solar sail with a fixed center of pressure was adequate, but as mission concepts and the sail design matured, greater fidelity was required. Here we discuss the progress to a three-dimensional sail model that includes the effects of tension and thermal deformation that has been derived from a large structural Finite Element Model (FEM) developed by the Langley Research Center. We have found that the deformed sail membrane affects torque relatively much more than thrust. We have also found that other than uncertainty over the precise shape, the effect of small (approximately millimeter scale) wrinkles on the diffusivity of the sail is the leading remaining source of uncertainty. We demonstrate that millimeter-scale wrinkles can be modeled analytically as a change in the fraction of specular reflection. Finally we discuss the implications of these results for the NEA Scout mission.

  2. The size distribution of the earth-approaching asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  3. Origin and evolution of Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morbidelli, A.

    Our current understanding of the origin and evolution of NEAs is the result of several research steps done essentially over the last 30 years. J. G. Williams and J. Wisdom have been the pioneer researchers who showed that some resonances may increase the eccentricity of the asteroids, thus transporting them from the main belt to terrestrial planets crossing orbits. G. Wetherill with a large number of sophisticated Monte Carlo simulations, designed a scenario for the origin and evolution of NEAs. Furthermore, Farinella and collaborators found that a typical end-state for NEAs is the collision with the Sun and Gladman and collaborators showed, with a large number of numerical simulations, that these collisions make the dynamical lifetime of the NEAs one order of magnitude shorter than previously believed. Even more recently, Migliorini and collaborators brought attention to the fact that asteroids can leave the main belt and reach Mars-crossing orbits also under the action of numerous weak mean motion resonances and that this mechanism could account for the origin of several among the multi-kilometer NEAs. The state of the art is still in rapid evolution. It should be possible in the close future to quantify the relative importance of the different escape routes from the main belt, and to better understand the mechanisms by which the transporting resonances are resupplied of bodies.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westfall, Richard

    1991-01-01

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  6. Earth-approaching asteroids: Populations, origin, and compositional types

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Direct and indirect capture of near-Earth asteroids in the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Minghu; McInnes, Colin; Ceriotti, Matteo

    2017-09-01

    Near-Earth asteroids have attracted attention for both scientific and commercial mission applications. Due to the fact that the Earth-Moon L1 and L2 points are candidates for gateway stations for lunar exploration, and an ideal location for space science, capturing asteroids and inserting them into periodic orbits around these points is of significant interest for the future. In this paper, we define a new type of lunar asteroid capture, termed direct capture. In this capture strategy, the candidate asteroid leaves its heliocentric orbit after an initial impulse, with its dynamics modeled using the Sun-Earth-Moon restricted four-body problem until its insertion, with a second impulse, onto the L2 stable manifold in the Earth-Moon circular restricted three-body problem. A Lambert arc in the Sun-asteroid two-body problem is used as an initial guess and a differential corrector used to generate the transfer trajectory from the asteroid's initial obit to the stable manifold associated with Earth-Moon L2 point. Results show that the direct asteroid capture strategy needs a shorter flight time compared to an indirect asteroid capture, which couples capture in the Sun-Earth circular restricted three-body problem and subsequent transfer to the Earth-Moon circular restricted three-body problem. Finally, the direct and indirect asteroid capture strategies are also applied to consider capture of asteroids at the triangular libration points in the Earth-Moon system.

  8. Elongated Asteroid Will Safely Pass Earth on Christmas Eve

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-12-23

    The elongated asteroid in this radar image, named 2003 SD220, will safely fly past Earth on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers). The image was taken on Dec. 22 by scientists using NASA's 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, when the asteroid was approaching its flyby distance. This asteroid is at least 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) long. In 2018, it will safely pass Earth at a distance of 1.8 million miles (2.8 million kilometers). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20280

  9. Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McNutt, Leslie; Johnson, Les; Kahn, Peter; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Frick, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are the most easily accessible bodies in the solar system, and detections of NEAs are expected to grow exponentially in the near future, offering increasing target opportunities. As NASA continues to refine its plans to possibly explore these small worlds with human explorers, initial reconnaissance with comparatively inexpensive robotic precursors is necessary. Obtaining and analyzing relevant data about these bodies via robotic precursors before committing a crew to visit a NEA will significantly minimize crew and mission risk, as well as maximize exploration return potential. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are jointly examining a potential mission concept, tentatively called 'NEAScout,' utilizing a low-cost platform such as CubeSat in response to the current needs for affordable missions with exploration science value. The NEAScout mission concept would be treated as a secondary payload on the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), the first planned flight of the SLS and the second un-crewed test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV).

  10. Radar observations of near-Earth asteroids from Arecibo Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Rodriguez-Ford, Linda A.; Zambrano Marin, Luisa Fernanda; Virkki, Anne; Aponte Hernandez, Betzaida

    2016-10-01

    The Arecibo S-Band (2.38 GHz, 12.6 cm, 1 MW) planetary radar system at the 305-m William E. Gordon Telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico is the most active and most sensitive planetary radar facility in the world. Since October 2015, we have detected 56 near-Earth asteroids, of which 17 are classified as potentially hazardous to Earth and 22 are compliant with the Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Target Study (NHATS) as possible future robotic- or human-mission destinations. We will present a sampling of the asteroid zoo observed by the Arecibo radar since the 2015 DPS meeting. This includes press-noted asteroids 2015 TB145, the so-called "Great Pumpkin", and 2003 SD220, the so-called "Christmas Eve asteroid".

  11. The hazard of near-Earth asteroid impacts on earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, Clark R.

    2004-05-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have struck the Earth throughout its existence. During epochs when life was gaining a foothold ˜4 Ga, the impact rate was thousands of times what it is today. Even during the Phanerozoic, the numbers of NEAs guarantee that there were other impacts, possibly larger than the Chicxulub event, which was responsible for the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinctions. Astronomers have found over 2500 NEAs of all sizes, including well over half of the estimated 1100 NEAs >1 km diameter. NEAs are mostly collisional fragments from the inner half of the asteroid belt and range in composition from porous, carbonaceous-chondrite-like to metallic. Nearly one-fifth of them have satellites or are double bodies. When the international telescopic Spaceguard Survey, which has a goal of discovering 90% of NEAs >1 km diameter, is completed, perhaps as early as 2008, nearly half of the remaining impact hazard will be from land or ocean impacts by bodies 70-600 m diameter. (Comets are expected to contribute only about 1% of the total risk.) The consequences of impacts for civilization are potentially enormous, but impacts are so rare that worldwide mortality from impacts will have dropped to only about 150 per year (averaged over very long durations) after the Spaceguard goal has, presumably, ruled out near-term impacts by 90% of the most dangerous ones; that is, in the mid-range between very serious causes of death (disease, auto accidents) and minor but frightening ones (like shark attacks). Differences in perception concerning this rather newly recognized hazard dominate evaluation of its significance. The most likely type of impact events we face are hyped or misinterpreted predicted impacts or near-misses involving small NEAs.

  12. Radar Discovery and Characterization of Binary Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margot, J. L.; Nolan, M. C.; Benner, L. A. M.; Ostro, S. J.; Jurgens, R. F.; Giorgini, J. D.; Slade, M. A.; Howell, E. S.; Campbell, D. B.

    2002-01-01

    The radar instruments at Arecibo and Goldstone recently provided the first confirmed discoveries of binary asteroids in the near-Earth population. The physical and orbital properties of four near-Earth binary systems are described in detail. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. Ground-based observation of near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaffey, Michael J.

    1992-01-01

    An increased ground-based observation program is an essential component of any serious attempt to assess the resource potential of near-Earth asteroids. A vigorous search and characterization program could lead to the discovery and description of about 400 to 500 near-Earth asteroids in the next 20 years. This program, in conjunction with meteorite studies, would provide the data base to ensure that the results of a small number of asteroid-rendezvous and sample-return missions could be extrapolated with confidence into a geological base map of the Aten, Apollo, and Amor asteroids. Ground-based spectral studies of nearly 30 members of the Aten/Apollo/Amor population provide good evidence that this class includes bodies composed of silicates, metal-silicates, and carbonaceous assemblages similar to those found in meteorites. The instruments that are being used or could be used to search for near-Earth asteroids are listed. Techniques useful in characterizing asteroids and the types of information obtainable using these techniques are listed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  15. Asteroid team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  16. Deflection and fragmentation of near-earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.; Harris, Alan W.

    1992-01-01

    The collision with earth of near-earth asteroids or comet nuclei poses a potential threat to mankind. Objects about 100 m in diameter could be diverted from an earth-crossing trajectory by the impact of a rocket-launched mass, but for larger bodies nuclear explosions seem to be the only practical means of deflection. Fragmentation of the body by nuclear charges is less efficient or secure.

  17. Arecibo Radar Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Virkki, Anne; Saran Bhiravarasu, Sriram; Venditti, Flaviane; Zambrano-Marin, Luisa Fernanda; Aponte-Hernandez, Betzaida

    2017-10-01

    The Arecibo S-Band (2.38 GHz, 12.6 cm; 1 MW) planetary radar system at the 305-m William E. Gordon Telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico is the most active, most powerful, and most sensitive planetary radar facility in the world. As such, Arecibo is vital for post-discovery characterization and orbital refinement of near-Earth asteroids. Since August 2016, the program has observed 100 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), of which 38 are classified as potentially hazardous to Earth and 31 are compliant with the NASA Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS). Arecibo observations are critical for identifying NEAs that may be on a collision course with Earth in addition to providing detailed physical characterization of the objects themselves in terms of size, shape, spin, and surface properties, which are valuable for assessing impact mitigation strategies. Here, we will present a sampling of the asteroid zoo observed by Arecibo, including press-noted asteroids 2014 JO25 and the (163693) Atira binary system.

  18. Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail Thrust and Torque Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaton, Andy; Ahmad, Naeem; Miller, Kyle

    2017-01-01

    The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout is a solar sail mission whose objective is to scout at least one Near Earth Asteroid to help prepare for human missions to Near Earth Asteroids. NEA Scout will launch as a secondary payload on the first SLS-Orion mission. NEA Scout will perform a small trim maneuver shortly after deploy from the spent SLS upper stage using a cold gas propulsion system, but from that point on will depend entirely on the solar sail for thrust. As such, it is important to accurately characterize the thrust of the sail in order to achieve mission success. Additionally, the solar sail creates a relatively large solar disturbance torque that must be mitigated. For early mission design studies a flat plate model of the solar sail with a fixed center of pressure was adequate, but as mission concepts and the sail design matured, greater fidelity was required. Here we discuss the progress to a three-dimensional sail model that includes the effects of tension and thermal deformation that has been derived from a large structural Finite Element Model (FEM) developed by the Langley Research Center. We have found that the deformed sail membrane affects torque relatively much more than thrust; a flat plate model could potentially model thrust well enough to close mission design studies, but a three-dimensional solar sail is essential to control system design. The three-dimensional solar sail model revealed that thermal deformations of unshielded booms would create unacceptably large solar disturbance torques. The original large FEM model was used in control and mission simulations, but was resulted in simulations with prohibitive run times. This led us to adapt the Generalized Sail Model (GSM) of Rios-Reyes. A design reference sail model has been baselined for NEA Scout and has been used to design the mission and control system for the sailcraft. Additionally, since NEA Scout uses reaction wheels for attitude pointing and control, the solar torque model is

  19. Design of Landing PODS for Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frampton, R. V.; Ball, J. M.; Pellz, L.

    2014-06-01

    Boeing has been developing design for a set of small landing PODS that could be deployed from a spacecraft bus orbiting a NEA to address the set of SKGs for investigation prior to crewed missions to Near Earth Asteroids or the moons of Mars.

  20. Rotational Period Determination for 12 Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monteiro, Filipe; Arcoverde, Plicida; Medeiros, Hissa; Rondon, Eduardo; Souza, Roberto; Rodrigues, Tersinha; Lazzaro, Daniela

    2018-07-01

    Rotational periods for 12 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) were determined from lightcurves acquired at the Observatório Astronômico do Sertão de Itaparica (MPC Y28, OASI) between May 2016 and 2017 August.

  1. Initial Results of a Survey of Earth's L4 Point for Possible Earth Trojan Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connors, M.; Veillet, C.; Wiegert, P.; Innanen, K.; Mikkola, S.

    2000-10-01

    Using the Canada-France-Hawaii 3.6 m telescope and the new CFH12k wide-field CCD imager, a survey of the region near Earth's L4 (morning) Lagrange Point was conducted in May and July/August 2000, in hopes of finding asteroids at or near this point. This survey was motivated by the dynamical interest of a possible Earth Trojan asteroid (ETA) population and by the fact that they would be the easiest asteroids to access from Earth. Recent calculations (Wiegert, Innanen and Mikkola, 2000, Icarus v. 145, 33-43) indicate stability of objects in ETA orbits over a million year timescale and that their on-sky density would be greatest roughly five degrees sunward of the L4 position. An optimized search technique was used, with tracking at the anticipated rate of the target bodies, near real-time scanning of images, and duplication of fields to aid in detection and permit followup. Limited time is available on any given night to search near the Lagrange points, and operations must be conducted at large air mass. Approximately 9 square degrees were efficiently searched and two interesting asteroids were found, NEA 2000 PM8 and our provisionally named CFZ001. CFZ001 cannot be excluded from being an Earth Trojan although that is not the optimal solution for the short arc we observed. This object, of R magnitude 22, was easily detected, suggesting that our search technique worked well. This survey supports the earlier conclusion of Whitely and Tholen (1998, Icarus v. 136, 154-167) that a large population of several hundred meter diameter ETAs does not exist. However, our effective search technique and the discovery of two interesting asteroids suggest the value of completing the survey with approximately 10 more square degrees to be searched near L4 and a comparable search to be done at L5. Funding from Canada's NSERC and HIA and the Academic Research Fund of Athabasca University is gratefully acknowledged.

  2. Collision lifetimes and impact statistics of near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bottke, W. F., Jr.; Nolan, M. C.; Greenberg, R.

    1993-01-01

    We have examined the lifetimes of Near-Earth asteroids (NEA's) by directly computing the collision probabilities with other asteroids and with the terrestrial planets. We compare these to the dynamical lifetimes, and to collisional lifetimes assumed by other workers. We discuss the implications of the differences. The lifetimes of NEA's are important because, along with the statistics of craters on the Earth and Moon, they help us to compute the number of NEA's and the rate at which new NEA's are brought to the vicinity of the Earth. Assuming that the NEA population is in steady-state, the lifetimes determine the flux of new bodies needed to replenish the population. Earlier estimates of the lifetimes ignored (or incompletely accounted for) the differences in the velocities of asteroids as they move in their orbits, so our results differ from (for example) Greenberg and Chapman (1983, Icarus 55, 455) and Wetherill (1988, Icarus 76, 1) by factors of 2 to 10. We have computed the collision rates and relative velocities of NEA's with each other, the main-belt asteroids, and the terrestrial planets, using the corrected method described by Bottke et. al. (1992, GRL, in press). We find that NEA's typically have shorter collisional lifetimes than do main-belt asteroids of the same size, due to their high eccentricities, which typically give them aphelia in the main belt. Consequently, they spend a great deal of time in the main belt, and are moving much slower than the bodies around them, making them 'sitting ducks' for impacts with other asteroids. They cross the paths of many objects, and their typical collision velocities are much higher (10-15 km/s) than the collision velocities (5 km/s) among objects within the main belt. These factors combine to give them substantially shorter lifetimes than had been previously estimated.

  3. Dormant Comets in the Near-Earth Asteroid Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mommert, Michael; Harris, Alan W.; Mueller, Michael; Hora, Joseph L.; Trilling, David E.; Knight, Matthew; Bottke, William F.; Thomas, Cristina; Delbo', Marco; Emery, Josh P.; Fazio, Giovanni; Smith, Howard A.

    2015-11-01

    The population of near-Earth objects comprises active comets and asteroids, covering a wide range of dynamical parameters and physical properties. Dormant (or extinct) comets, masquerading as asteroids, have long been suspected of supplementing the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. We present a search for asteroidal objects of cometary origin based on dynamical and physical considerations. Our study is based on albedos derived within the ExploreNEOs program and is extended by adding data from NEOWISE and the Akari asteroid catalog. We use a statistical approach to identify asteroids on orbits that resemble those of short-period near-Earth comets using the Tisserand parameter with respect to Jupiter, the aphelion distance, and the minimum orbital intersection distance with respect to Jupiter. We identify a total of 23 near-Earth asteroids from our sample that are likely to be dormant short-period near-Earth comets and, based on a de-biasing procedure applied to the cryogenic NEOWISE survey, estimate both magnitude-limited and size-limited fractions of the NEA population that are dormant short-period comets. We find that 0.3-3.3% of the NEA population with H <= 21, and 9(+2/-5)% of the population with diameters d >= 1 km, are dormant short-period near-Earth comets. We also present an observation program that utilizes the 1.8m Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) on Mt. Graham, AZ, to identify dormant comet candidates and search for activity in these objects. Our targets are NEAs on comet-like orbits, based on the dynamical criteria derived in the above study, that are accessible with the VATT (V <= 22). We identify dormant comets based on their optical spectral slope, represented by V-R color measurements, as albedo measurements for most of these objects are not available. For each target we measure and monitor its V magnitude in order to reveal activity outbreaks. We also search for extended emission around our targets using deep imaging and a point

  4. Low Thrust Mission Trajectories to Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saripalli, Pratik; Cardiff, Eric

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of 2016 HO3 and its classification as a quasi-satellite has sparked a stronger interest towards Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs). This work presents low-thrust low-power mission designs to various NEAs using an EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA). A global trajectory optimizer (EMTG) was used to generate mission solutions to a select 13 NEAs using a 200 watt BHT-200 thruster as a proof of concept. The missions presented here demonstrate that a low-cost electric propulsion ESPA mission to NEAs is a feasible concept for many asteroids.

  5. PHAROS: Shedding Light on the Near-Earth Asteroid Apophis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, Jonathan; Lafleur, Jarret; Barron, Kreston; Townley, Jonathan; Shah, Nilesh; Apa, Jillian

    2007-01-01

    The Pharos mission to asteroid Apophis provides the first major opportunity to enhance orbital state and scientific knowledge of the most threatening Earth-crossing asteroid that has ever been tracked. Pharos aims to accomplish concrete and feasible orbit determination and scientific objectives while achieving balance among mission cost, nsk,and schedule. Similar to its ancient Egyptian namesake, Pharos acts as a beacon shedding light not only on the physical characteristics of Apophis, but also on its state as it travels through the solar system.

  6. The Orbital Evolution of Near-Earth Asteroid 3753

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiegert, Paul A.; Innanen, Kimmo A.; Mikkola, Seppo

    1998-06-01

    Asteroid 3753 (1986 TO) is in a 1:1 mean motion resonance with Earth, on a complex horseshoe-type orbit. Numerical experiments are performed to determine its medium-term stability and the means by which it may have entered its current orbit. Though 3753 moves primarily under the influence of the Sun and Earth, the giant planets (and Jupiter especially) play an important role by influencing, through torque-induced precession, the position of the asteroid's nodes. Variations in the nodal distance strongly affect the interaction of 3753 with Earth and may change or destroy the horseshoe-like behavior currently seen. This precession of the nodes provides a mechanism for placing minor planets into, or removing them from, a variety of horseshoe-type orbits. The chaotic nature of this asteroid's orbit makes predictions difficult on timescales longer than its Lyapunov time (~150 yr); therefore, ensembles of particles on orbits near that of 3753 are considered. The asteroid has a high probability of passing close to Venus and/or Mars on 10^4 yr timescales, pointing to a dynamical age much shorter than that of the solar system.

  7. Mass driver retrievals of earth-approaching asteroids. [earth orbit capture for mining purposes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleary, B.

    1977-01-01

    Mass driver tugs can be designed to move Apollo and Amor asteroids at opportunities of low velocity increment to the vicinity of the earth. The cost of transferring asteroids through a velocity interval of 3 km/sec by mass driver is about 16 cents per kilogram amortized over 10 years, about ten times less than that required to retrieve lunar resources during the early phases of a program of space manufacturing. About 22 per cent of a 200-meter diameter asteroid could be transferred to high earth orbit by an automated 100 megawatt solar-powered mass driver in a period of five years for a cost of approximately $1 billion. Estimates of the total investment of a space manufacturing program could be reduced twofold by using asteroidal instead of lunar resources; such a program could begin several years sooner with minimal concurrent development if asteroidal search programs and mass driver development are immediately accelerated.

  8. The Mission Accessibility of Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  9. Astrometric Research of Asteroidal Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikwaya, J.-B.; Thuillot, W.; Rocher, P.; Vieira Martins, R.; Arlot, J.-E.; Angeli, Cl.

    2002-09-01

    Several observational methods have been applied in order to detect asteroidal satellites. Some of them were rather successful, such as the stellar occultations and mutual eclipse methods. Recently other techniques such as the space imaging, the adaptive optics and the radar imaging inferred a great improvement in the search for these objects. However several limitations appear in the type of data that each of them allow us to access. We propose to apply an astrometric method in order as well to detect new asteroidal satellites as to get complementary data of some already detected objects (mainly their orbital period). This method is founded on the search of the reflex effect of the primary object due to the orbital motion of a possible satellite. Such an astrometric signature, already searched by Monet & Monet (1998), may reach several tens of MAS. Only a spectral analysis could then detect this signal under good conditions of signal/noise ratio and thanks to high quality astrometric measurements and coverage by different sites of observation. We have applied such a method for several asteroids. A preliminary result is obtained thanks to 377 CCD observations of 146 Lucina made at the Haute-Provence Observatory in South of France. A periodical signal appears in this analysis, leading to data compatible with a first detection of a probable satellite made previously (Arlot et al. 1985) by the occultation method.

  10. Dangerous Near-Earth Asteroids and Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.; Grigoryan, A. E.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs; Astreoids and Meteorites) is discussed. To have an understanding on the probablity of encounters with such objects, one may use two different approaches: 1) historical, based on the statistics of existing large meteorite craters on the Earth, estimation of the source meteorites size and the age of these craters to derive the frequency of encounters with a given size of meteorites and 2) astronomical, based on the study and cataloging of all medium-size and large bodies in the Earth's neighbourhood and their orbits to estimate the probability, angles and other parameters of encounters. Therefore, we discuss both aspects and give our present knowledge on both phenomena. Though dangerous NEOs are one of the main source for cosmic catastrophes, we also focus on other possible dangers, such as even slight changes of Solar irradiance or Earth's orbit, change of Moon's impact on Earth, Solar flares or other manifestations of Solar activity, transit of comets (with impact on Earth's atmosphere), global climate change, dilution of Earth's atmosphere, damage of ozone layer, explosion of nearby Supernovae, and even an attack by extraterrestrial intelligence.

  11. Predictions of asteroid hazard to the Earth for the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. Long-Lived Near-Earth Asteroid 2013 RB6

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emel'yanenko, V. V.; Emel'yanenko, N. Yu.

    2018-01-01

    The search for asteroids that maintain stable motion in the zone between the Earth and Mars has been performed. The near-Earth object 2013 RB6, which has avoided close encounters with the planets for a long period of time, has been found. Integration of the equations of motion of the object shows that its dynamical lifetime in the zone between the Earth and Mars significantly exceeds 100 Myr. 2013 RB6 moves away from orbital resonances with the planets, but is in the secular resonance ν5. Solving the question of its origin requires further observations.

  13. Thermal History of Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Springmann, Alessondra; Lauretta, Dante S.

    2016-10-01

    The connection between orbital and temperature history of small Solar System bodies has only been studied through modeling. The upcoming OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission provides an opportunity to connect thermal modeling predictions with laboratory studies of meteorites to predict past heating and thus dynamical histories of bodies such as OSIRIS-REx mission target asteroid (101955) Bennu. Bennu is a desirable target for asteroid sample return due to its inferred primitive nature, likely 4.5 Gyr old, with chemistry and mineralogy established in the first 10 Myr of solar system history (Lauretta et al. 2015). Delbo & Michel (2011) studied connections between the temperature and orbital history of Bennu. Their results suggest that the surface of Bennu (assuming no regolith turnover) has a 50% probability of being heated to 500 K in the past. Further, the Delbo & Michel simulations show that the temperature within the asteroid below the top layer of regolith could remain at temperatures ~100 K below that of the surface. The Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism on OSIRIS-REx could access both the surface and near surface regolith, collecting primitive asteroid material for study in Earth-based laboratories in 2023. To quantify the effects of thermal metamorphism on the Bennu regolith, laboratory heating experiments on carbonaceous chondrite meteorites with compositions likely similar to that of Bennu were conducted from 300-1200 K. These experiments show mobilization and volatilization of a suite of labile elements (sulfur, mercury, arsenic, tellurium, selenium, antimony, and cadmium) at temperatures that could be reached by asteroids that cross Mercury's orbit. We are able to quantify element loss with temperature for several carbonaceous chondrites and use these results to constrain past orbital histories of Bennu. When OSIRIS-REx samples arrive for analysis we will be able to measure labile element loss in the material, determine maximum past

  14. Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids in Polarized Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. Detectability of Boulders on Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Kevin J.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Magri, Christopher; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.

    2014-11-01

    Boulders are seen on spacecraft images of near-Earth asteroids Eros and Itokawa. Radar images often show bright pixels or groups of pixels that travel consistently across the surface as the object rotates, which may be indicative of similar boulders on other near-Earth asteroids. Examples of these bright pixels were found on radar observations of 2005 YU55 and 2006 VV2 (Benner et al. 2014). Nolan et al. (2013) also identify one large possible boulder on the surface of Bennu, target of the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission. We explore the detectability of boulders by adding synthetic features on asteroid models, and then simulating radar images. These synthetic features were added using BLENDER ver. 2.70, a free open-source 3-D animation suite. Starting with the shape model for Bennu (diameter ~500 m), spherical 'boulders' of 10 m, 20 m, and 40 m diameter were placed at latitudes between 0 and 90 deg. Simulated radar observations of these models indicated that spherical boulders smaller than 10 m may not be visible in observations but that larger ones should be readily seen. Boulders near the sub-Earth point can be hidden in the bright region near the leading edge, but as the asteroid's rotation moves them towards the terminator, they become visible again, with no significant dependence on the latitude of the boulder. These simulations suggest that we should detect large boulders under most circumstances in high-quality radar images, and we have a good estimate of the occurrence of such features on near-Earth objects. Results of these simulations will be presented.

  16. Constraining the Bulk Density of 10m-Class Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 LA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mommert, Michael; Hora, Joseph; Farnocchia, Davide; Trilling, David; Chesley, Steve; Harris, Alan; Mueller, Migo; Smith, Howard

    2016-08-01

    The physical properties of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) provide important hints on their origin, as well as their past physical and orbital evolution. Recent observations seem to indicate that small asteroids are different than expected: instead of being monolithic bodies, some of them instead resemble loose conglomerates of smaller rocks, so called 'rubble piles'. This is surprising, since self-gravitation is practically absent in these bodies. Hence, bulk density measurements of small asteroids, from which their internal structure can be estimated, provide unique constraints on asteroid physical models, as well as models for asteroid evolution. We propose Spitzer Space Telescope observations of 10 m-sized NEA 2012 LA, which will allow us to constrain the diameter, albedo, bulk density, macroporosity, and mass of this object. We require 30 hrs of Spitzer time to detect our target with a minimum SNR of 3 in CH2. In order to interpret our observational results, we will use the same analysis technique that we used in our successful observations and analyses of tiny asteroids 2011 MD and 2009 BD. Our science goal, which is the derivation of the target's bulk density and its internal structure, can only be met with Spitzer. Our observations will produce only the third comprehensive physical characterization of an asteroid in the 10m size range (all of which have been carried out by our team, using Spitzer). Knowledge of the physical properties of small NEAs, some of which pose an impact threat to the Earth, is of importance for understanding their evolution and estimating the potential of destruction in case of an impact, as well as for potential manned missions to NEAs for either research or potential commercial uses.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  18. Steve Ostro and the Near-Earth Asteroid Impact Hazard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, Clark R.

    2009-09-01

    The late Steve Ostro, whose scientific interests in Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) primarily related to his planetary radar research in the 1980s, soon became an expert on the impact hazard. He quickly realized that radar provided perspectives on close-approaching NEAs that were both very precise as well as complementary to traditional astrometry, enabling good predictions of future orbits and collision probabilities extending for centuries into the future. He also was among the few astronomers who considered the profound issues raised by this newly recognized hazard and by early suggestions of how to mitigate the hazard. With Carl Sagan, Ostro articulated the "deflection dilemma" and other potential low-probability but real dangers of mitigation technologies that might be more serious than the low-probability impact hazard itself. Yet Ostro maintained a deep interest in developing responsible mitigation technologies, in educating the public about the nature of the impact hazard, and in learning more about the population of threatening bodies, especially using the revealing techniques of delay-doppler radar mapping of NEAs and their satellites.

  19. Near Earth Asteroids- Prospection, Orbit Modification and Mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grandl, W.; Bazso, A.

    2014-04-01

    The number of known Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) has increased continuously during the last decades. Now we understand the role of asteroid impacts for the evolution of life on Earth. To ensure that mankind will survive in the long run, we have to face the "asteroid threat" seriously. On one hand we will have to develop methods of detection and deflection for Hazardous Asteroids, on the other hand we can use these methods to modify their orbits and exploit their resources. Rare-earth elements, rare metals like platinum group elements, etc. may be extracted more easily from NEAs than from terrestrial soil, without environmental pollution or political and social problems. In a first step NEAs, which are expected to contain resources like nickel-iron, platinum group metals or rare-earth elements, will be prospected by robotic probes. Then a number of asteroids with a minimum bulk density of 2 g/cm^3 and a diameter of 150 to 500 m will be selected for mining. Given the long duration of an individual mission time of 10-20 years, the authors propose a "pipeline" concept. While the observation of NEAs can be done in parallel, the precursor missions of the the next phase can be launched in short intervals, giving time for technical corrections and upgrades. In this way a continuous data flow is established and there are no idle times. For our purpose Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) seem to be a favorable choice for the following reasons: They have frequent closeencounters to Earth, their minimum orbit intersection distance is less than 0.05 AU (Astronomic Units) and they have diameters exceeding 150 meters. The necessary velocity change (delta V) for a spaceship is below 12 km/s to reach the PHA. The authors propose to modify the orbits of the chosen PHAs by orbital maneuvers from solar orbits to stable Earth orbits beyond the Moon. To change the orbits of these celestial bodies it is necessary to develop advanced propulsion systems. They must be able to deliver high

  20. Consequences of impacts of small asteroids and comets with Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hills, J. G.

    1994-01-01

    The fragmentation of a small asteroid in the atmosphere greatly increases its cross sections for aerodynamic braking and energy dissipation. At a typical impact velocity of 22 km/s, the atmosphere absorbs more than half the kinetic energy of stony meteoroids with diameters, D(sub m), less than 220 m and iron meteoroids with D(sub m) less than 80 m. The corresponding diameter for comets with impact velocity 50 km/s is D(sub m) less than 1600 m. Most of the atmospheric energy dissipation occurs in a fraction of a scale height, so large meteors appear to 'explode' or 'flare' at the end of their visible paths. This dissipation of energy in the atmosphere protects the earth from direct impact damage (e.g., craters), but it produces a blast wave that can do considerable damage. The area of destruction around the impact point in which the over-pressure in the blast wave exceeds 4 lb/sq in = 2.8 x 10(exp 5) dynes/cu cm, which is enough to knock over trees and destroy buildings, increases rapidly from zero for chondritic meteoroids less than 56 m in diameter (15 megatons) to about 200 sq km for those 80 m in diameter (48 megatons); the probable diameter of the tunguska impactor of 1908 is about 80 m. Crater formation and earthquakes are not significant in land impacts by stony asteroids less than about 200 m in diameter because of the air protection. A tsunami is probably the most devastating type of damage for asteroids 200 m to 1 km in diameter. An impact by an asteroid this size anywhere in the Atlantic would devastate coastal areas on both sides of the ocean. An asteroid a few kilometers across would produce a tsunami that would reach the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the upper half of the East Coast of the United States. Most of Florida is protected from a tsunami by the gradual slope of the ocean off its coast, which causes most of the tsunami energy to be reflected back into the Atlantic. The atmosphere plume produced by asteroids with diameters exceeding

  1. Mineralogies and source regions of near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Tasha L.; Burbine, Thomas H.; Bottke, William F.; Clark, John P.

    2013-01-01

    Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) offer insight into a size range of objects that are not easily observed in the main asteroid belt. Previous studies on the diversity of the NEA population have relied primarily on modeling and statistical analysis to determine asteroid compositions. Olivine and pyroxene, the dominant minerals in most asteroids, have characteristic absorption features in the visible and near-infrared (VISNIR) wavelengths that can be used to determine their compositions and abundances. However, formulas previously used for deriving compositions do not work very well for ordinary chondrite assemblages. Because two-thirds of NEAs have ordinary chondrite-like spectral parameters, it is essential to determine accurate mineralogies. Here we determine the band area ratios and Band I centers of 72 NEAs with visible and near-infrared spectra and use new calibrations to derive the mineralogies 47 of these NEAs with ordinary chondrite-like spectral parameters. Our results indicate that the majority of NEAs have LL-chondrite mineralogies. This is consistent with results from previous studies but continues to be in conflict with the population of recovered ordinary chondrites, of which H chondrites are the most abundant. To look for potential correlations between asteroid size, composition, and source region, we use a dynamical model to determine the most probable source region of each NEA. Model results indicate that NEAs with LL chondrite mineralogies appear to be preferentially derived from the ν6 secular resonance. This supports the hypothesis that the Flora family, which lies near the ν6 resonance, is the source of the LL chondrites. With the exception of basaltic achondrites, NEAs with non-chondrite spectral parameters are slightly less likely to be derived from the ν6 resonance than NEAs with chondrite-like mineralogies. The population of NEAs with H, L, and LL chondrite mineralogies does not appear to be influenced by size, which would suggest that ordinary

  2. International Asteroid Mission (IAM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaguchi, Ryuuji

    1991-07-01

    International Asteroid Mission (IAM) is a program aimed at developing resources of asteroids abundantly existing near the earth. This report describes the research results of design project of the International Space University (ISU) held in 1990 at Tront-York University. ISU research and asteroid survey results, and the manned asteroid mining mission are outlined. Classification of asteroids existing near the earth and asteroid resource processing and use analyses are conducted. Asteroid selection flow charts are introduced, and the 1982HR-Orpheus is selected as a candidate asteroid because it takes an approaching orbit toward the earth, requires small delta V, and possesses abundant carbonaceous chondrites. Characteristics of 1982HR-Orpheus are presented. Mission requirements, mission outlines, transportation systems, and mining and processing systems for manned asteroid mining missions are presented.

  3. Assessment of the Gaussian Covariance Approximation over an Earth-Asteroid Encounter Period

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mattern, Daniel

    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.

  4. Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids at Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krugly, Yurij; Ayvazyan, Vova; Inasaridze, Raguli; Zhuzhunadze, Vasili; Molotov, Igor; Voropaev, Victor; Rumyantsev, Vasilij; Baransky, Alexander

    Over the past five years physical properties of near-Earth asteroids are investigated in the Kharadze Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory. The work was launched in the collaboration with Kharkiv Institute of Astronomy within the Memorandum on scientific cooperation between Ilia State University (Georgia) and V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine) in 2011. In the framework of this study the regular observations of several dozen asteroids per year are carried out to determine the rotation periods, size and shape parameters of these celestial bodies. A broad international cooperation is involved in order to improve the efficiency of the study. Abastumani is included in the observatory network called the Gaia -FUN-SSO, which was created for the ground support of the ESA's Gaia space mission.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hills, J.G.

    1992-02-06

    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.more » 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.« less

  6. Near-Earth Asteroid Physical Observations: 1993-1995

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skiff, B. A.; Buie, M. W.; Bowell, E.

    1996-09-01

    In September 1993, we initiated a regular program of photometric observations of Near-Earth objects. Since that time we have been allocated 5-7 nights per month at the 42'' Hall telescope at Anderson Mesa. There are three goals of our observing program for each asteroid: (1) to obtain an accurate rotation period and characterization of the lightcurve, (2) to obtain the surface color, and (3) to measure the photometric parameters, H and G. All of the lightcurve observations are made in Kron-Cousins R and we always obtain a V-R color. Limited ECAS colors are also obtained when the objects are bright enough. We have secured periods for 9 asteroids, 1864 Daedalus, 1866 Sisyphus, 3200 Phaethon, 4954 Eric, 5693 (1993 EA), 5836 (1993 MF), 6489 (1991 JX), 1993 QP, and 1993 WD. Some of these periods are a confimation of an earlier result but most are new. We obtained colors for all these objects as well as four additional asteroids, 5407 (1992 AX), 1993 UC, 1993 VW, and 1994 LW. We have additional (as yet unreduced) observations of 2062 Aten, 2212 Hephaistos, 3752 Camillo, 5143 Heracles, 5863 (1983 RB), 6053 (1993 BW3), 7025 (1993 QA), 7092 (1992 LC), 1989 VA, 1992 TC, 1994 RC, and 1995 YA3. The fastest rotation period we find is 2.402 hours for 1866 Sisyphus and the slowest is 93QP at ~ 24 hours. The colors for these objects range from V-R=0.34 for 3200 Phaethon to V-R=0.49 for 1866 Sisyphus and 4954 Eric. Most colors fall near V-R=0.43. These observations should help to provide a more complete understanding of the surface properties and rotational states of the Near-Earth asteroids. This work was supported by NASA Grant NAGW-1470.

  7. Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT): First Year Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helin, E. F.; Rabinowitz, D. L.; Pravdo, S. H.; Lawrence, K. J.

    1997-07-01

    The successful detection of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) has been demonstrated by the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during its first year of operation. The NEAT CCD camera system is installed on the U. S. Air Force 1-m GEODSS telescope in Maui. Using state-of-the-art software and hardware, the system initiates nightly transmitted observing script from JPL, moves the telescopes for successive exposures of the selected fields, detects moving objects as faint as V=20.5 in 40 s exposures, determines their astrometric positions, and downloads the data for review at JPL in the morning. The NEAT system is detecting NEAs larger than 200m, comets, and other unique objects at a rate competitive with current operating systems, and bright enough for important physical studies on moderate-sized telescopes. NEAT has detected over 10,000 asteroids over a wide range of magnitudes, demonstrating the excellent capability of the NEAT system. Fifty-five percent of the detections are new objects and over 900 of them have been followed on a second night to receive designation from the Minor Planet Center. 14 NEAs (9 Amors, 4 Apollos, and 1 Aten) have been discovered since March 1996. Also, 2 long period comets and 1996 PW, an asteroidal object with an orbit of a long-period comet, with an eccentricity of 0.992 and orbital period of 5900 years. Program discoveries will be reviewed along with analysis of results pertaining to the discovery efficiency, distribution on the sky, range of orbits and magnitudes. Related abstract: Lawrence, K., et al., 1997 DPS

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  9. LINNAEUS: BOOSTING NEAR EARTH ASTEROID CHARACTERIZATION RATES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elvis, Martin; Beeson, C.; Galache, J.; DeMeo, F.; Evans, I.; Evans, J.; Konidaris, N.; Najita, J.; Allen, L.; Christensen, E.; Spahr, T.

    2013-10-01

    Near Earth objects (NEOs) are being discovered at a rate of about 1000 per year, and this rate is set to double by 2015. However, the physical characterization of NEOs is only ~100 per year for each type of follow-up observation. We have proposed the LINNAEUS program to NASA to raise the characterization rate of NEOs to the rate of their discovery. This rate matching is necessary as any given NEO is only available for a relatively short time (days to weeks), and they are usually fainter on subsequent apparitions. Hence follow-up observations must be initiated rapidly, without time to cherry-pick the optimum objects. LINNAEUS concentrates on NEO composition. Optical spectra, preferably extending into the near-infrared, provide compositions that can distinguish major compositional classes of NEOs with reasonable confidence (Bus and Binzel 2002, DeMeo et al. 2009). Armed with a taxonomic type the albedo, pV, of an NEO is better constrained, leading to more accurate sizes and masses. Time-resolved spectroscopy can give indications of period, axial ratio and surface homogeneity. A reasonable program of spectroscopy could keep pace with the NEO discovery rate. A ground-based telescope can observe faint NEOs about 210 nights a year, due to time lost due to weather, bright time, and equipment downtime (e.g. Gemini), for a total of ~2000 hours/year. At 1 hour per NEO spectrum, a well-run, dedicated, telescope could obtain almost 2000 spectra per year, about the rate required. If near-IR spectra are required then a 4 m or larger telescope is necessary to reach 20. However, if the Bus-Binzel taxomonmy suffices then only optical spectra are needed and a 2 meter class telescope is sufficient. LINNAEUS would use 50% of the KPNO 2.1 m telescope with an IFU spectrometer, the SED-machine (Ben-Ami et al. 2013), to obtain time-resolved optical spectra of 1200-2000 NEOs/year, or 4200-7000 in 3.5 years observing in an NEOO program. Robust pipeline analysis will release taxonomic types

  10. A Potpourri of Near-Earth Asteroid Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tholen, David J.; Ramanjooloo, Yudish; Fohring, Dora; Hung, Denise; Micheli, Marco

    2016-10-01

    Ongoing astrometric follow-up of near-Earth asteroids has yielded a variety of interesting results. In the limited space of a DPS abstract, three recently observed objects are worth mentioning.2008 HU4 is among the most accessible asteroids for a human space flight mission. We successfully recovered this object at a second opposition on 2016 April 26 despite the large ephemeris uncertainty. The small size of this asteroid makes it relatively easy to detect the departure from purely gravitational motion caused by solar radiation pressure, which can be used to estimate the density of the object. At the time of this writing, the object remains bright enough for additional observations, so we expect to improve on our five-sigma detection of a relatively low density (roughly similar to water, indicating a high porosity) between now and the DPS meeting.2016 HO3 is a newly-discovered co-orbital with the Earth. Our 2016 May 10-11 observations extended the observational arc by enough to permit backward extrapolation that led to prediscovery observations by Pan-STARRS in 2015, and then annually back to 2011, and ultimately to Sloan DSS observations in 2004. The 12-year arc is sufficient to examine the dynamical behavior of the object, which shows how it will remain in the vicinity of the Earth for decades, if not centuries. Our observations also revealed a rapid rotation (less than a half hour) with large brightness variation (in excess of 1 magnitude), which helps to explain why this object eluded discovery until this year.2011 YV62 is among the top 20 largest near-Earth asteroids with Earth impact solutions (in 2078 and 2080). At the time of this writing, the object is flagged as being "lost", but a re-examination of observations made in 2013 and 2015 finally yielded a successful recovery at a magnitude fainter than 24. We expect the new observations to eliminate the impact possibilities. The story behind this difficult recovery is fascinating.

  11. Mission options for rendezvous with the most accessible Near-Earth Asteroid - 1989 ML

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcadams, Jim V.

    1992-01-01

    The recent discovery of the Amor-class 1989 ML, the most accessible known asteroid for minimum-energy rendezvous missions, has expedited the search for frequent, low-cost Near-Earth Asteroid rendezvous and round-trip missions. This paper identifies trajectory characteristics and assesses mass performance for low Delta V ballistic rendezvous opportunities to 1989 ML during the period 1996-2010. This asteroid also offers occasional unique extended mission opportunities, such as the lowest known Delta V requirement for any asteroid sample return mission as well as pre-rendezvous asteroid flyby and post-rendezvous comet flyby opportunities requiring less than 5.25 km/sec total Delta V. This paper also briefly comments concerning mission opportunities for asteroid 1991 JW, which recently replaced other known asteroids as the most accessible Near-Earth Asteroid for fast rendezvous and round-trip missions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  13. Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroids Using KMTNET-SAAO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erasmus, N.; Mommert, M.; Trilling, D. E.; Sickafoose, A. A.; van Gend, C.; Hora, J. L.

    2017-10-01

    We present here VRI spectrophotometry of 39 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed with the Sutherland, South Africa, node of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). Of the 39 NEAs, 19 were targeted, but because of KMTNet’s large 2° × 2° field of view, 20 serendipitous NEAs were also captured in the observing fields. Targeted observations were performed within 44 days (median: 16 days, min: 4 days) of each NEA’s discovery date. Our broadband spectrophotometry is reliable enough to distinguish among four asteroid taxonomies and we were able to confidently categorize 31 of the 39 observed targets as either an S-, C-, X-, or D-type asteroid by means of a Machine Learning algorithm approach. Our data suggest that the ratio between “stony” S-type NEAs and “not-stony” (C+X+D)-type NEAs, with H magnitudes between 15 and 25, is roughly 1:1. Additionally, we report ∼1 hr light curve data for each NEA, and of the 39 targets, we were able to resolve the complete rotation period and amplitude for six targets and report lower limits for the remaining targets.

  14. Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroids Using KMTNET-SAAO

    SciTech Connect

    Erasmus, N.; Trilling, D. E.; Sickafoose, A. A.

    We present here VRI spectrophotometry of 39 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed with the Sutherland, South Africa, node of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). Of the 39 NEAs, 19 were targeted, but because of KMTNet’s large 2° × 2° field of view, 20 serendipitous NEAs were also captured in the observing fields. Targeted observations were performed within 44 days (median: 16 days, min: 4 days) of each NEA’s discovery date. Our broadband spectrophotometry is reliable enough to distinguish among four asteroid taxonomies and we were able to confidently categorize 31 of the 39 observed targets as either an S-, C-, X-, ormore » D-type asteroid by means of a Machine Learning algorithm approach. Our data suggest that the ratio between “stony” S-type NEAs and “not-stony” (C+X+D)-type NEAs, with H magnitudes between 15 and 25, is roughly 1:1. Additionally, we report ∼1 hr light curve data for each NEA, and of the 39 targets, we were able to resolve the complete rotation period and amplitude for six targets and report lower limits for the remaining targets.« less

  15. Asteroid 2014 OL339: yet another Earth quasi-satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Fuente Marcos, C.; de la Fuente Marcos, R.

    2014-12-01

    Our planet has one permanently bound satellite - the Moon - a likely large number of mini-moons or transient irregular natural satellites, and three temporary natural retrograde satellites or quasi-satellites. These quasi-moons - (164207) 2004 GU9, (277810) 2006 FV35 and 2013 LX28 - are unbound companions to the Earth. The orbital evolution of quasi-satellites may transform them into temporarily bound satellites of our planet. Here, we study the dynamical evolution of the recently discovered Aten asteroid 2014 OL339 to show that it is currently following a quasi-satellite orbit with respect to the Earth. This episode started at least about 775 yr ago and it will end 165 yr from now. The orbit of this object is quite chaotic and together with 164207 are the most unstable of the known Earth quasi-satellites. This group of minor bodies is, dynamically speaking, very heterogeneous but three of them exhibit Kozai-like dynamics: the argument of perihelion of 164207 oscillates around -90°, the one of 277810 librates around 180° and that of 2013 LX28 remains around 0°. Asteroid 2014 OL339 is not currently engaged in any Kozai-like dynamics.

  16. Designing Medical Support for a Near-Earth Asteroid Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watkins, S. D.; Charles, J. B.; Kundrot, C. E.; Barr, Y. R.; Barsten, K. N.; Chin, D. A.; Kerstman, E. L.; Otto, C.

    2011-01-01

    This panel will discuss the design of medical support for a mission to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) from a variety of perspectives. The panelists will discuss the proposed parameters for a NEA mission, the NEA medical condition list, recommendations from the NASA telemedicine workshop, an overview of the Exploration Medical System Demonstration planned for the International Space Station, use of predictive models for mission planning, and mission-related concerns for behavioral health and performance. This panel is intended to make the audience aware of the multitude of factors influencing medical support during a NEA mission.

  17. Architectures for Human Exploration of Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, Bret G.

    2011-01-01

    The presentation explores human exploration of Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) key factors including challenges of supporting humans for long-durations in deep-space, incorporation of advanced technologies, mission design constraints, and how many launches are required to conduct a round trip human mission to a NEA. Topics include applied methodology, all chemical NEA mission operations, all nuclear thermal propulsion NEA mission operations, SEP only for deep space mission operations, and SEP/chemical hybrid mission operations. Examples of mass trends between datasets are provided as well as example sensitivity of delta-v and trip home, sensitivity of number of launches and trip home, and expected targets for various transportation architectures.

  18. The Mission Accessibility of Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barbee, Brent W.; Abell, Paul A.; Adamo, Daniel R.; Mazanek, Daniel D.; Johnson, Lindley N.; Yeomans, Donald K.; Chodas, Paul W.; Chamberlin, Alan B.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Taylor, Patrick; hide

    2015-01-01

    Astrodynamical Earth departure dates; mission v; mission duration; stay time; etc. Physical I NEO size(?); rotation rate; dust satellites environment; chemistry; etc. Architectural Launch vehicle(s); crew vehicle(s); habitat module(s); budget; etc. Operational Operations experience; abort options profiles; etc. Astrodynamical Accessibility is the starting point for understanding the options and opportunities available to us. Here we shall focus on. Astrodynamical Accessibility.2 Earth departure date between 2015-01-01 and 2040-12-31 Earth departure C3 60 km2s2. Total mission v 12 kms. The total v includes (1) the Earth departure maneuver from a 400 km altitude circular parking orbit, (2) the maneuver to match the NEAs velocity at arrival, (3) the maneuver to depart the NEA and, (4) if necessary, a maneuver to control the atmospheric re-entry speed during Earth return. Total round trip mission duration 450 days. Stay time at the NEA 8 days Earth atmospheric entry speed 12 kms at an altitude of 125 km. A near-Earth asteroid (NEA) that offers at least one trajectory solution meeting those criteria is classified as NHATS-compliant.

  19. Tidal Distortion and Disruption of Earth-Crossing Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, D. C.; Bottke, W. F.

    1996-09-01

    There is mounting evidence that most km-sized objects in the solar system are ``rubble-piles'', fragile objects composed of loose collections of smaller components all held together by self-gravity rather than tensile strength. The evidence includes: (a) the paucity of fast rotating km-sized asteroids (Harris, 1996, LPSC 27, 977); (b) the tidal disruption of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) and observations of crater chains on the Moon and Galilean satellites (Schenk et al., 1996, Icarus 121, 149); (c) observations of extremely large craters on Phobos, Gaspra, and Ida; and (d) hydrocode models that realistically treat asteroid impacts (Love and Ahrens, 1996, Icarus, in press). Accordingly, we predict that Earth's tidal forces play a major role in the evolution of rubble-pile Earth-crossing objects (ECOs). By modeling close encounters between the Earth and our rubble-piles (for details, see Bottke et al., this issue), we found that Earth's tidal forces can make the progenitors undergo: (a) ``SL9-type'' disruption (formation of clumps of roughly equal size along the fragment train; this outcome may explain specific crater chains seen on the Moon); (b) mass shedding (over half of the primary remains intact; in many cases, the shed fragments go into orbit around the progenitor, producing binary asteroids, which could explain the population of doublet craters seen on the terrestrial planets (Bottke and Melosh, 1996, Nature 381, 51)); (c) reshaping accompanied by spin-up or spin-down (this mechanism could explain the large aspect ratio (2.76), unusual shape, and short rotation period (5.2 hours) of 1620 Geographos as well as the short rotation periods of many other ECOs). Mass shedding events for ECOs occur more frequently at low velocities relative to Earth than at high velocities, corresponding to low (e, i) values. Thus, Earth's tidal forces should be most effective at disrupting large ECOs (and producing small bodies) in this region. This localized disruption mechanism

  20. Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking with the Maui Space Surveillance System (NEAT/MSSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helin, Eleanor F.; Pravdo, Steven H.; Lawrence, Kenneth J.; Hicks, Michael D.

    2001-01-01

    Over the last year the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program has made significant progress and now consists of two simultaneously-operating, autonomous search systems on the 1.2-m (48") telescopes: on the Maui Space Surveillance System (NEAT/MSSS) and NEAT/Palomar on the Palomar Observatory's Oschin telescope. This paper will focus exclusively on the NEAT/MSSS system. NEAT/MSSS is operated as a partnership between NASA/JPL and the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), utilizing the AFRL 1.2-m telescope on the 3000-m summit of Haleakala, Maui, The USAF Space Command (SPCMD) contributed financial support to build and install the 'NEAT focal reducer' on the MSSS 1.2-m telescope giving it a large field of view (2.5 square degrees), suitable for the near-earth object (NEO),both asteroids and comets, survey. This work was completed in February 2000. AFRL has made a commitment to NEAT/MSSS that allows NEAT to operate full time with the understanding that AFRL participate as partners in NEAT/MSSS and have use of the NEAT camera system for high priority satellite observations during bright time (parts of 12 nights each month). Currently, NEAT has discovered 42 NEAs including 12 larger than 1-km, 5 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), 6 comets, and nearly 25,000 asteroid detections since March 2000.

  1. The cometary and asteroidal impactor flux at the earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.

    1988-01-01

    The cratering records on the Earth and the lunar maria provide upper limits on the total impactor flux at the Earth's orbit over the past 600 Myr and the past 3.3 Gyr, respectively. These limits can be compared with estimates of the expected cratering rate from observed comets and asteroids in Earth-crossing orbits, corrected for observational selection effects and incompleteness, and including expected temporal variations in the impactor flux. Both estimates can also be used to calculate the probability of large impacts which may result in biological extinction events on the Earth. The estimated cratering rate on the Earth for craters greater than 10 km-diameter, based on counted craters on dated surfaces is 2.2 + or - 1.1 x 10 to the minus 14th power km(-2) yr(-1) (Shoemaker et al., 1979). Using a revised mass distribution for cometary nuclei based on the results of the spacecraft flybys of Comet Halley in 1986, and other refinements in the estimate of the cometary flux in the terrestrial planets zone, it is now estimated that long-period comets account for 11 percent of the cratering on the Earth (scaled to the estimate above), and short-period comets account for 4 pct (Weissman, 1987). However, the greatest contribution is from large but infrequent, random cometary showers, accounting for 22 pct of the terrestrial cratering.

  2. Killer rocks and the celestial police - The search for near-earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    1991-01-01

    The discovery of asteroids near the earth as the result of search programs is detailed with attention given to methods for locating, tracking, and identifying asteroids. The concept of 'prediscovery' is discussed in which new asteroids are tracked backward in time through previous celestial observational data. The need for more comprehensive programs is identified in order to locate objects that present a clear danger of colliding with the earth.

  3. Rendezvous missions to temporarily captured near Earth asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Missions to rendezvous with or capture an asteroid present significant interest both from a geophysical and safety point of view. They are key to the understanding of our solar system and are stepping stones for interplanetary human flight. In this paper, we focus on a rendezvous mission with 2006 RH120, an asteroid classified as a Temporarily Captured Orbiter (TCO). TCOs form a new population of near Earth objects presenting many advantages toward that goal. Prior to the mission, we consider the spacecraft hibernating on a Halo orbit around the Earth-Moon's L2 libration point. The objective is to design a transfer for the spacecraft from the parking orbit to rendezvous with 2006 RH120 while minimizing the fuel consumption. Our transfers use indirect methods, based on the Pontryagin Maximum Principle, combined with continuation techniques and a direct method to address the sensitivity of the initialization. We demonstrate that a rendezvous mission with 2006 RH120 can be accomplished with low delta-v. This exploratory work can be seen as a first step to identify good candidates for a rendezvous on a given TCO trajectory.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  5. Near-Earth Asteroids: Destinations for Human Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  6. Asteroid surface mineralogy: Evidence from earth-based telescope observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccord, T. B.

    1978-01-01

    The interpretation of asteroid reflectance spectrophotometry in terms of mineralogical types gives inferred mineral assemblages for about 60 asteroids. Asteroid surface materials are compared with similar materials that make up many meteorites. The absence of asteroids with spectra that match identically the ordinary chondrites is noted.

  7. Data base on physical observations of near-Earth asteroids and establishment of a network to coordinate observations of newly discovered near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, D. R.; Chapman, C. R.; Campins, H.

    1990-01-01

    This program consists of two tasks: (1) development of a data base of physical observations of near-earth asteroids and establishment of a network to coordinate observations of newly discovered earth-approaching asteroids; and (2) a simulation of the surface of low-activity comets. Significant progress was made on task one and, and task two was completed during the period covered by this progress report.

  8. Small asteroids temporarily captured in the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jedicke, Robert; Bolin, Bryce; Bottke, William F.; Chyba, Monique; Fedorets, Grigori; Granvik, Mikael; Patterson, Geoff

    2016-01-01

    We present an update on our work on understanding the population of natural objects that are temporarily captured in the Earth-Moon system like the 2-3 meter diameter, 2006 RH120, that was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey. We use the term `minimoon' to refer to objects that are gravitationally bound to the Earth-Moon system, make at least one revolution around the barycenter in a co-rotating frame relative to the Earth-Sun axis, and are within 3 Earth Hill-sphere radii. There are one or two 1 to 2 meter diameter minimoons in the steady state population at any time, and about a dozen larger than 50 cm diameter. `Drifters' are also bound to the Earth-Moon system but make less than one revolution about the barycenter. The combined population of minimoons and drifters provide a new opportunity for scientific exploration of small asteroids and testing concepts for in-situ resource utilization. These objects provide interesting challenges for rendezvous missions because of their limited lifetime and complicated trajectories. Furthermore, they are difficult to detect because they are small, available for a limited time period, and move quickly across the sky.

  9. Small asteroids temporarily captured in the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jedicke, Robert; Bolin, Bryce; Bottke, William F.; Chyba, Monique; Fedorets, Grigori; Granvik, Mikael; Patterson, Geoff

    2015-08-01

    We will present an update on our work on understanding the population of natural objects that are temporarily captured in the Earth-Moon system, such as the 2-3 meter diameter 2006 RH120 that was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey. We use the term 'minimoon' to refer to objects that are gravitationally bound to the Earth-Moon system, make at least one revolution around the barycenter in a co-rotating frame relative to the Earth-Sun axis, and are within 3 Earth Hill-sphere radii. There are one or two 1 to 2 meter diameter minimoons in the steady state population at any time, and about a dozen larger than 50 cm diameter. `Drifters' are also bound to the Earth-Moon system but make less than one revolution about the barycenter. The combined population of minimoons and drifters provide a new opportunity for scientific exploration of small asteroids and testing concepts for in-situ resource utilization. These objects provide interesting challenges for rendezvous missions because of their limited lifetime and complicated trajectories. Furthermore, they are difficult to detect because they are small, available for a limited time period, and move quickly across the sky.

  10. JPL-20170630-ASTRDSf-0001-How Do We Spot Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-30

    Animation illustrates how near-Earth asteroids are detected by professional astronomers with the help of amateur astronomers and how our knowledge of their path is refined to determine if they might be a threat to Earth.

  11. Asteroid 1997 XF11 Could Collide with Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsden, B. G.

    1999-09-01

    Early in 1998, the 2-km asteroid 1997 XF11 became of interest as a possible danger to the earth because it would clearly pass within--possibly well within--the earth's sphere of influence on 2028 Oct. 26 (IAUC 6837). Given the usual model of the solar system, the 2028 passage was entirely predictable in that there was then no possibility of collision with the earth (IAUC 6879). Nevertheless, despite this predictability, several colleagues insisted on estimating impact probabilities, with results ranging from 10(-3) to 10(-1117) ; although this latter figure by Muinonen may be technically correct, it surely invites the imagination of bizarre scenarios that would increase it. Surprisingly, despite a stated desire for ``peer review'' of pronouncements of an asteroid hazard, there was no consideration that 1997 XF11 might have posed a danger to the earth a few years after 2028. Given the 88-day arc of observations, the uncertainty in the 2028 miss distance meant that the object's revolution period, currently 1.73 years, could subsequently have been anything from 1.53 to 1.99 years. Furthermore, the essentially linear annual change of 4000 km in the minimum distance between the earth's orbit and the object's descending node would reduce this distance to zero during the late 2030s. Given the possibility of a post-2028 earth-resonant period such as 5/3, 7/4, 9/5 or 12/7 years, it was also predictable that there existed trajectories for 1997 XF11, entirely consistent with the available observations, that would yield an earth impact during this timeframe. A possible deep impact in 2040, a grazing impact in 2037 and other passages within 2 or 3 earth radii were in fact found. Although the chaos induced in 2028 renders the calculation of impact probabilities rather difficult, a simplistic argument gives a value of about 10(-5) in at least one of the relevant years (albeit at a very specific time). This is larger than the estimated annual 10(-6) impact probability for unknown

  12. Spectral Classification of NEOWISE Observed Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desira, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) allow us to determine the properties of the smallest solar system bodies in the sub-kilometer size range. Large (>few km) NEAs have albedos which span a wide range from ~0.05 to ~0.3 and are known to correlate with asteroid composition, determined by analysing the shape of their optical reflectance spectra. It is, however, still unknown how this relationship extends into the sub-kilometer population.NEOWISE has performed a thermal infrared survey that provides the largest inventory to date of well-determined sizes and albedos for NEAs, including many in the sub-km population. This provides an opportunity to test the albedo-surface composition correlation in a new size regime. If it is found to hold, then a simple optical spectrum can give a well-constrained albedo and size estimate without the need for thermal IR measurements.The sizes and composition of many more sub-km sized NEAs are needed to aid in the understanding of the formation/evolution of the inner solar system and the characterisation of potentially hazardous objects, possible mission targets and even commercial mining operations.We obtained optical spectra of sub-kilometer NEOWISE-observed NEAs using the 1.5m Tillinghast telescope and the FAST spectrograph at the Whipple Observatory on Mt Hopkins, Arizona. We performed a taxonomic classification to identify their likely composition and combined this with NEOWISE data to look for known correlations between main belt asteroid spectral types and their optical albedos. Additionally, we tested the robustness of current data reduction methods in order to increase our confidence in the spectral classifications of NEAs.

  13. How well do you know The Earth, Asteroids, Comets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, C. J.; Lopez, J.; Barkus, R. C.; Angrum, A.

    2011-12-01

    The U.S. Rosetta Project is the NASA contribution to the International Rosetta Mission, an ESA cornerstone mission. The mission will arrive at its target, comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in 2014, and escort the comet around the Sun for the ensuing 17 months. Along the way, the mission has encountered two asteroids: 21/Lutetia, and 2867/Steins, and enjoyed gravity assists at Mars and several at the Earth. The challenge for outreach coordinators is to convey the excitement of the mission, the manner in which its experiments gather and interpret data, provide context for those interpretations, all in an engaging fashion, without heavy use of camera images -- the camera not being among the NASA contributed instruments. In other words, because the US Rosetta Project expects to present the data and results from: an ultraviolet spectrometer, a plasma instrument, and a microwave spectrometer, outreach is presented with the special challenges of engaging the public in data which at least visually is less accessible than that of camera images. The project has turned to online games, interactive simulations, animated cartoons, and virtual labs to provide a visually stimulating way to explain: how scientists determine the age of asteroids; the context of a timeline of Earth geologic history with which to understand the relative position of the ages of any given asteroid to some event on Earth; a model of the solar system that goes from our Sun to the next Star to understand the spatial distances covered by comets in their journey around the Sun; and a model of early solar system evolution in which to understand the possible scenarios of solar system evolution that comets can help us sort out. In this paper we will present these simulations, even if some of them remain in the beta-development phase at the time of the meeting itself. Work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, was supported by NASA. Rosetta is a joint collaboration between NASA

  14. Around 1500 near-Earth-asteroid orbits improved via EURONEAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Hudin, L.; Birlan, M.; Popescu, M.; Tudorica, A.; Toma, R.

    2014-07-01

    Born in 2006 in Paris, the European Near Earth Asteroids Research project (EURONEAR, euronear.imcce.fr) aims ''to study NEAs and PHAs using existing telescopes available to its network and hopefully in the future some automated dedicated 1--2 m facilities''. Although we believe the first aim is fulfilled, the second was not achieved yet, requiring serious commitment from the European NEA researchers and funding agencies. Mainly using free labor by about 30 students and amateur astronomers (from Romania, Chile, UK, France, etc), the PI backed up by his associates M. Birlan (IMCCE Paris) and J. Licandro (IAC Tenerife) and a few other astronomers of the EURONEAR network having access to a few telescopes are approaching around 1,500 observed NEAs whose orbits were improved based on our astrometric contributions. To achive this milestone, we used two main resources and a total of 15 facilities: i) Observing time obtained at 11 professional 1--4 m class telescopes (Chile, La Palma, France, Germany) plus 3 smaller 30--50 cm educational/public outreach telescopes (Romania and Germany) adding about 1,000 observed NEAs; and ii) astrometry obtained from data mining of 4 major image archives (ESO/MPG WFI, INT WFC, CFHTLS Megacam and Subaru SuprimeCam) adding about 500 NEAs recovered in archival images. Among the highlights, about 100 NEAs, PHAs and VIs were observed, recovered or precovered in archives at their second opposition (up to about 15 years away from discovery) or have their orbital arc much extended, and a few VIs and PHAs were eliminated. Incidentally, about 15,000 positions of almost 2,000 known MBAs were reported (mostly in the INT, ESO/MPG and Blanco large fields). About 40 new (one night) NEO candidates and more than 2,000 (one night) unknown MBAs were reported, including about 150 MBAs credited as EURONEAR discoveries. Based on the INT and Blanco data we derived some statistics about the MBA and NEA population observable with 2m and 4m telescopes, proposing a

  15. The Population of Near-Earth Asteroids Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Alan William

    2017-10-01

    I have been tracking progress of the surveys discovering Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) for more than 20 years, and have reported updates every few years at past meetings. Following my last report at a DPS and the published update two years ago (Harris and D’Abramo 2015, Icarus 257, 302-312), it came to light that these and previous estimates were affected by round-off of H magnitudes by the Minor Planet Center to 0.1 mag. While it is true that individual magnitudes are generally not even that accurate, statistically the round-off shifted the population estimate by ~6%. While this hardly matters in the small size range, for the largest asteroids the shift alters N(H<17.75), assumed equivalent to N(D>1km), from 990 ± 20 (Harris & D’Abramo 2015) to 934 ± 20. Since the number already discovered, 872, is the same for both solutions, the implied completion of the surveys shifts from 88% to 93%. Not only is this correction satisfying with regard to the “Spaceguard Goal” of discovering 90% of NEAs of D > 1 km, but it reduces the estimated number of large NEAs remaining to be discovered by nearly a factor of 2. In this presentation I will explain the correction to the round-off bias and present an updated population estimate and survey progress using discoveries up to July, 2017.

  16. Bias correction factors for near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benedix, Gretchen K.; Mcfadden, Lucy Ann; Morrow, Esther M.; Fomenkova, Marina N.

    1992-01-01

    Knowledge of the population size and physical characteristics (albedo, size, and rotation rate) of near-Earth asteroids (NEA's) is biased by observational selection effects which are functions of the population's intrinsic properties and the size of the telescope, detector sensitivity, and search strategy used. The NEA population is modeled in terms of orbital and physical elements: a, e, i, omega, Omega, M, albedo, and diameter, and an asteroid search program is simulated using actual telescope pointings of right ascension, declination, date, and time. The position of each object in the model population is calculated at the date and time of each telescope pointing. The program tests to see if that object is within the field of view (FOV = 8.75 degrees) of the telescope and above the limiting magnitude (V = +1.65) of the film. The effect of the starting population on the outcome of the simulation's discoveries is compared to the actual discoveries in order to define a most probable starting population.

  17. Olivine-rich asteroids in the near-Earth space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popescu, Marcel; Perna, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Fornasier, S.; Doressoundiram, A.; Lantz, C.; Merlin, F.; Belskaya, I. N.; Fulchignoni, M.

    2018-06-01

    In the framework of a 30-night spectroscopic survey of small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), we present new results regarding the identification of olivine-rich objects. The following NEAs were classified as A-type using visible spectra obtained with 3.6-m New Technology Telescope: (293726) 2007 RQ17, (444584) 2006 UK, 2012 NP, 2014 YS34, 2015 HB117, 2015 LH, 2015 TB179, 2015 TW144. We determined a relative abundance of 5.4 per cent (8 out of 147 observed targets) A-types at a 100-m size range of NEA population. The ratio is at least five times larger compared with the previously known A-types, which represent less than ˜ 1 per cent of NEAs taxonomically classified. By taking into account that part of our targets may not be confirmed as olivine-rich asteroids by their near-infrared spectra, or they can have a nebular origin, our result provides an upper-limit estimation of mantle fragments at size ranges below 300 m. Our findings are compared with the `battered-to-bits' scenario, claiming that at small sizes the olivine-rich objects should be more abundant when compared with basaltic and iron ones.

  18. Lightcurve Analysis for Two Near-Earth Asteroids Eclipsed by the Earth's Shadow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birtwhistle, Peter

    2018-07-01

    Photometry was obtained from Great Shefford Observatory of near-Earth asteroids 2012 XE54 in 2012 and 2016 VA in 2016 during close approaches. A superfast rotation period has been determined for 2012 XE54 and H-G magnitude system coefficients have been estimated for 2016 VA. While under observation, 2012 XE54 underwent a deep penumbral eclipse by the Earth's shadow and 2016 VA also experienced a total eclipse by the Earth's shadow. The dimming due to the eclipses is modeled taking into account solar limb darkening.

  19. Low-energy near Earth asteroid capture using Earth flybys and aerobraking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Minghu; McInnes, Colin; Ceriotti, Matteo

    2018-04-01

    Since the Sun-Earth libration points L1 and L2 are regarded as ideal locations for space science missions and candidate gateways for future crewed interplanetary missions, capturing near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) around the Sun-Earth L1/L2 points has generated significant interest. Therefore, this paper proposes the concept of coupling together a flyby of the Earth and then capturing small NEAs onto Sun-Earth L1/L2 periodic orbits. In this capture strategy, the Sun-Earth circular restricted three-body problem (CRTBP) is used to calculate target Lypaunov orbits and their invariant manifolds. A periapsis map is then employed to determine the required perigee of the Earth flyby. Moreover, depending on the perigee distance of the flyby, Earth flybys with and without aerobraking are investigated to design a transfer trajectory capturing a small NEA from its initial orbit to the stable manifolds associated with Sun-Earth L1/L2 periodic orbits. Finally, a global optimization is carried out, based on a detailed design procedure for NEA capture using an Earth flyby. Results show that the NEA capture strategies using an Earth flyby with and without aerobraking both have the potential to be of lower cost in terms of energy requirements than a direct NEA capture strategy without the Earth flyby. Moreover, NEA capture with an Earth flyby also has the potential for a shorter flight time compared to the NEA capture strategy without the Earth flyby.

  20. Desert RATS 2011: Near-Earth Asteroid Human Exploration Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  1. Spin Rate Diversity Amongst Ten-meter Class Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, William; Ryan, Eileen V.

    2016-10-01

    The spin rates of small asteroids can provide insight into their mechanical structure, origin, and subsequent evolution. This is of more than just scientific interest since these are also the objects that will hit the Earth most frequently. Early statistics [Pravec and Harris, 2000] for Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with diameters of ~100 meters or less had resulted in the conclusion that many are rotating more rapidly than feasible for a gravitationally bound system of constituent components (i.e, 'rubble piles'). However, more recent studies [Holsapple, 2007; Scheeres et al. 2010] have focused on how non-gravitational cohesion mechanisms do not necessarily rule out a rubble pile structure for fast spin rate bodies. To further study this issue, we will report on the recent spin rate results for the smallest asteroids observed as part of our ongoing NEA target-of-opportunity characterization research [Ryan and Ryan, 2016] conducted using the Magdalena Ridge Observatory's 2.4-meter telescope.Spin rates determined by this program plus results from the current lightcurve database [Warner et al. 2016] indicate that the very smallest NEAs with H>29 rotate with periods of minutes or less. This implies that these objects possess significant strength, hinting that they are likely examples of truly monolithic fragments. However, our observations also show a great diversity in rotation periods for asteroids that are only slightly larger. In particular, the H~28.6 asteroids 2016 CC136 and 2016 CG18 were observed to rotate with periods approaching or exceeding ~2 hours, with the latter showing a tumbling behavior. In a subset of our database that includes 22 asteroids with H~27.5 (~10 meters) or greater, a full range of periods from less than a minute to greater than 2 hours (close to the minimal period of a self-gravitating system), have been identified. Moreover, at least three of these are in a tumbling state with multiple periods clearly identified, implying constraints on

  2. Near-Earth Asteroids Astrometry with Gaia and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bancelin, D.; Hestroffer, D.; Thuillot, W.

    2010-05-01

    Gaia is an astrometric mission from the European Space Agency (ESA) that will be launched in Spring 2012. The Gaia telescope and spectrometer will operate in the visible wavelength scanning the whole sky during 5 years (nominal mission duration). It will observe about one billion stars and QSOs but also a large number of solar system bodies, mainly asteroids, and a few comets and planetary satellites. The unprecedented accuracy of the measures both astrometric and photometric (note that the spectroscopic observations are of little scientific value for Solar System objects science) will enable to significantly improve the knowledge of the dynamics and physical properties for a large number of asteroids. With a relatively limiting magnitude somewhat reduced to V≤20 (compared to other future or ongoing surveys) Gaia will mainly oserve main-belt asteroids (MBAs), and very few TNOs or Centaurs. The Gaia telescope will also be able to observe several thousands of Near- Earth Objects (NEOs) down to low solar elongation (observation of solar system objects are performed with elongation 45° ≤ L ≤ 135°). Gaia will not be a ''big'' NEO discover, however it can possibly discover inner-Earth orbiting objects (IEOs) or sub-Atens, from atmosphereless low solar-elongation observations. In the case of discovering a new NEO target, ground-based observations in network could be needed to avoid confusion in identifying the object in the database, or loss of the target. We are aiming to generate VO-alert for such eventuality. Ground-based observations of NEOs would also more generally enter into the operational centre in construction at the IMCCE that will deal with data mining, astrometric reduction, orbit computation, alerts, etc. On the other hand, in the framework of ESA Space Situational Awareness (SSA), ground-based astrometry, possibly complemented by Gaia data, is needed to refine the orbits and collision assessment of PHAs. High accuracy astrometric and colour

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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 (<10m) is captured by a spacecraft, which greatly increases the mass available as a kinetic impactor, without the need to bring all of the mass out of Earth's gravity well. The small asteroid is then deflected onto a collision course with a larger (approx. 100m) asteroid. This collision will deflect or disrupt the larger asteroid. To reduce the cost and complexity, an asteroid pair which has a natural close approach is selected.

  4. Space-based infrared near-Earth asteroid survey simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, Edward F.; Muinonen, Karri; Price, Stephan D.

    2000-08-01

    We demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of using a satellite-based sensor with visual and infrared focal plane arrays to search for that subclass of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) with orbits largely interior to the Earth's orbit. A space-based visual-infrared system could detect approximately 97% of the Atens and 64% of the IEOs (the, as yet hypothetical, objects with orbits entirely Interior to Earth's Orbit) with diameters greater than 1 km in a 5-year mission and obtain orbits, albedos and diameters for all of them; the respective percentages with diameters greater than 500 m are 90% and 60%. Incidental to the search for Atens and IEOs, we found that 70% of all Earth-Crossing Asteroids (ECAs) with diameters greater than 1 km, and 50% of those with diameters greater than 500 m, would also be detected. These are the results of a feasibility study; optimizing the concept presented would result in greater levels of completion. The cost of such a space-based system is estimated to be within a factor of two of the cost of a ground-based system capable of about 21st magnitude, which would provide only orbits and absolute magnitudes and require decades to reach these completeness levels. In addition to obtaining albedos and diameters for the asteroids discovered in the space-based survey, a space-based visual-infrared system would obtain the same information on virtually all NEOs of interest. A combined space-based and ground-based survey would be highly synergistic in that each can concentrate on what it does best and each complements the strengths of the other. The ground-based system would discover the majority of Amors and Apollos and provide long-term follow-up on all the NEOs discovered in both surveys. The space-based system would discover the majority of Atens and IEOs and provide albedos and diameters on all the NEOs discovered in both surveys and most previously discovered NEOs as well. Thus, an integrated ground- and space-based system could accomplish

  5. Asteroids and Meteorites from Venus? Only the Earth Goddess Knows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dones, Henry; Zahnle, Kevin J.; Alvarellos, José L.

    2018-04-01

    No meteorites from Venus have been found; indeed, some find theirexistence unlikely because of the perceived difficulty of launchingrocks at speeds above 10 km/s and traversing the planet's 93 baratmosphere. [1] Nonetheless, we keep hope alive, since cosmochemistssay they can identify Cytherean meteorites, should candidates be found[2]. Gladman et al. [3] modeled the exchange of impact ejecta betweenthe terrestrial planets, but did not consider meteorites launched fromVenus in any detail. At the time of Gladman's work, no asteroids thatremained entirely within Earth's orbit were known. 14 suchEarth-interior objects with good orbits have now been discovered, andare known as Atiras, for the Pawnee goddess of the Earth. The largestknown member of the class is 163693 Atira, a binary whose componentshave diameters of approximately 4.8 and 1 km. Discovery of Atiras isvery incomplete because they can only be seen at small solarelongations [4]. Greenstreet et al. [5] modeled the orbitaldistribution of Atiras from main-belt asteroidal and cometary sourceregions, while Ribeiro et al. [6] mapped the stability region ofhypothetical Atiras and integrated the orbits of clones of 12 realAtiras for 1 million years. 97% of the clones survived for 1 Myrimpact with Venus was the most common fate of those that met theirends. We have performed orbital integrations of 1000 clones of each ofthe known Atiras, and of hypothetical ejecta that escape Venus afterasteroid impacts, for 10-100 Myr. The latter calculations usetechniques like those of Alvarellos et al. [7] and Zahnle et al. [8]for transfer amongst Jupiter's galilean satellites. Our goals are toestimate the fraction of Atiras that are ejecta launched from Venus,the time spent in space by hypothetical meteorites from Venus, and therate at which such meteorites strike the Earth.[1] Gilmore M., et al (2017). Space Sci. Rev. 212, 1511. [2] JourdanF., Eroglu E. (2017). MAPS 52, 884. [3] Gladman B.J., etal. (1996). Science 271, 1387. [4

  6. ASTEX - a study of a lander and orbiter mission to two near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boehnhardt, Hermann; Nathues, Andreas; Harris, Alan; Astex Study Team

    ASTEX stands for a feasibility study of an exploration mission to two near-Earth asteroids. The targets should have different mineralogical constitution, more specifically one asteroid should be of ‘primitive" nature, the other one should be "evolved". The scientific goal of such a mission is to explore the physical, geological and compositional constitution of the asteroids as planetary bodies as well as to provide information and constraints on the formation and evolution history of the objects per se and of the planetary system, here the asteroid belt, as a whole. Two aspects play an important role, i.e. the search and exploration for the origin and evolution of the primordial material for the formation of life in the solar system on one side and the understanding of the processes that have led to mineralogical differentiation of planetary embryos on the other side. The mission scenario consists of an orbiting and landing phase at each target. The immediate aims of the study are (1) to identify potential targets and to develop for selected pairs more detailed mission scenarios including the best possible propulsion systems to be used, (2) to define the scientific payload of the mission, (3) to analyse the requirements and options for the spacecraft bus and the lander system, and (4) to assess and to define requirements for the operational ground segment of the mission.This eight-months study is directed by the MPI for Solar System Research under support grant by DLR Bonn-Oberkassel and is performed in close collaboration between German scientific research institutes and industry. It is considered complementary to mission studies performed elsewhere and focussing on sample return and impact hazards and their remedy from near-Earth objects.

  7. Dynamical evolution of near-Earth asteroid 1991 VG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Fuente Marcos, C.; de la Fuente Marcos, R.

    2018-01-01

    The discovery of 1991 VG on 1991 November 6 attracted an unprecedented amount of attention as it was the first near-Earth object (NEO) ever found on an Earth-like orbit. At that time, it was considered by some as the first representative of a new dynamical class of asteroids, while others argued that an artificial (terrestrial or extraterrestrial) origin was more likely. Over a quarter of a century later, this peculiar NEO has been recently recovered and the new data may help in confirming or ruling out early theories about its origin. Here, we use the latest data to perform an independent assessment of its current dynamical status and short-term orbital evolution. Extensive N-body simulations show that its orbit is chaotic on time-scales longer than a few decades. We confirm that 1991 VG was briefly captured by Earth's gravity as a minimoon during its previous fly-by in 1991-1992; although it has been a recurrent transient co-orbital of the horseshoe type in the past and it will return as such in the future, it is not a present-day co-orbital companion of the Earth. A realistic NEO orbital model predicts that objects like 1991 VG must exist and, consistently, we have found three other NEOs - 2001 GP2, 2008 UA202 and 2014 WA366 - which are dynamically similar to 1991 VG. All this evidence confirms that there is no compelling reason to believe that 1991 VG is not natural.

  8. Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS): A Space-Based System Concept for Revolutionizing Earth Protection and Utilization of Near-Earth Objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Antol, Jeffrey; Kay-Bunnell, Linda; Werner, Martin R.; Park, Sang-Young; Kumar, Renjith R.

    2002-01-01

    There exists an infrequent, but significant hazard to life and property due to impacting asteroids and comets. There is currently no specific search for long-period comets, smaller near-Earth asteroids, or smaller short-period comets. These objects represent a threat with potentially little or no warning time using conventional ground-based telescopes. These planetary bodies also represent a significant resource for commercial exploitation, long-term sustained space exploration, and scientific research. The Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS) would expand the current detection effort to include long-period comets, as well as small asteroids and short-period comets capable of regional destruction. A space-based detection system, despite being more costly and complex than Earth-based initiatives, is the most promising way of expanding the range of detectable objects, and surveying the entire celestial sky on a regular basis. CAPS is a future spacebased system concept that provides permanent, continuous asteroid and comet monitoring, and rapid, controlled modification of the orbital trajectories of selected bodies. CAPS would provide an orbit modification system capable of diverting kilometer class objects, and modifying the orbits of smaller asteroids for impact defense and resource utilization. This paper provides a summary of CAPS and discusses several key areas and technologies that are being investigated.

  9. Near-Earth and near-Mars asteroids: Prognosis of pyroxene types

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shestopalov, D. I.; Golubeva, L. F.

    1991-01-01

    The diagnostic signs of ferrous absorption band at 505nm and color index (u-x) found at main-belt asteroids and 6-parametric classification of light stone meteorites have been the basis of the work. The colorimetric data of light near-Earth and near-Mars asteroids from TRIAD and ECAS were analyzed. Composition fields of pyroxenes were obtained for these asteroids by the value of (u-x) and 505-nm ferrous absorption band position within the pyroxenes quadrilateral. Pyroxenes of the S-asteroids from Apollo-Amor which have spectral parameters similar to achondrites may be presented by the diopside series.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  11. Optimal design of near-Earth asteroid sample-return trajectories in the Sun-Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Shengmao; Zhu, Zhengfan; Peng, Chao; Ma, Jian; Zhu, Xiaolong; Gao, Yang

    2016-08-01

    In the 6th edition of the Chinese Space Trajectory Design Competition held in 2014, a near-Earth asteroid sample-return trajectory design problem was released, in which the motion of the spacecraft is modeled in multi-body dynamics, considering the gravitational forces of the Sun, Earth, and Moon. It is proposed that an electric-propulsion spacecraft initially parking in a circular 200-km-altitude low Earth orbit is expected to rendezvous with an asteroid and carry as much sample as possible back to the Earth in a 10-year time frame. The team from the Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization, Chinese Academy of Sciences has reported a solution with an asteroid sample mass of 328 tons, which is ranked first in the competition. In this article, we will present our design and optimization methods, primarily including overall analysis, target selection, escape from and capture by the Earth-Moon system, and optimization of impulsive and low-thrust trajectories that are modeled in multi-body dynamics. The orbital resonance concept and lunar gravity assists are considered key techniques employed for trajectory design. The reported solution, preliminarily revealing the feasibility of returning a hundreds-of-tons asteroid or asteroid sample, envisions future space missions relating to near-Earth asteroid exploration.

  12. Discovery of M class objects among the near-earth asteroid population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  13. The 1986 DA and 1986 EB: M-class asteroids in near-Earth orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gradie, Jonathan; Tedesco, Edward

    1987-01-01

    The Earth-approaching asteroid population is composed of asteroids in orbits with short lifetimes compared with the age of the solar system. These objects which are comprised of Aten, Apollo, and Amor asteroids must be replenished from either cometary or mainbelt asteroid sources since lifetimes against collision with or ejection by a planet are on the order of 10 to 100 million years. The physical study of Earth-approaching asteroids is constrained by the generally long period between favorable apparitions and poorly known orbits. Broadband spectrophotometry on the Johnson UBVR system and the Eight-Color Asteroid Survey system were obtained at Kitt Peak National Observatory and on the Johnson JHK system and at 10 and 20 microns at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility at Mauna Kea Observatory. These observations were used to determine the absolute visual magnitudes and to derive the visual geometric albedos and diameters on the IRAS system. The spectral reflectance properties and geometric albedos of the M-class asteroids are consistent compositions analogous to the iron nickel meteorites or the enstatite-metal assemblages of the enstatite chondrites. The issue of the source(s) of the near-Earth asteroids population was examined by comparing the classifications on the scheme employed by Gradie and Tedesco of 38 such asteroids. Most of the near-Earth objects is indeed the asteroid belt as the observations suggest, then a method for removing extinct nuclei of short period comets must be found since the rate of production of short period comets from the long period comets is relatively large.

  14. CubeSat Mission- Near-Earth Asteroid Scout (animation only, no audio)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-09-21

    The Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout, is a robotic reconnaissance mission that will deploy a 6U CubeSat to fly by and return data from an asteroid representative of possible human destinations. Using a solar sail for its propulsion system, it will perform reconnaissance of an asteroid, take pictures and observe its position in space. Launching on NASA's Space Launch System rocket, the CubeSat deployment animation starts at the 1:25 timecode with the solar sail deployment animation beginning at the 2:54 timecode. The NEA Scout team is currently evaluating a range of targets, and is continually updating the candidate pool based on new discoveries and expected performance. NEA Scout is one of three payloads selected by NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. These small satellites were chosen to address Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs) and help inform research strategies and prioritize technology development for future human and robotic exploration. It is being developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Learn more by visiting http://www.nasa.gov/content/nea-scout

  15. The EURONEAR Lightcurve Survey of Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Macias, A. Aznar; Tudor, V.; Predatu, M.; Galád, A.; Gajdoš, Š.; Világi, J.; Stevance, H. F.; Errmann, R.; Unda-Sanzana, E.; Char, F.; Peixinho, N.; Popescu, M.; Sonka, A.; Cornea, R.; Suciu, O.; Toma, R.; Santos-Sanz, P.; Sota, A.; Licandro, J.; Serra-Ricart, M.; Morate, D.; Mocnik, T.; Diaz Alfaro, M.; Lopez-Martinez, F.; McCormac, J.; Humphries, N.

    2017-08-01

    This data paper presents lightcurves of 101 near Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed mostly between 2014 and 2017 as part of the EURONEAR photometric survey using 11 telescopes with diameters between 0.4 and 4.2 m located in Spain, Chile, Slovakia and Romania. Most targets had no published data at the time of observing, but some objects were observed in the same period mainly by B. Warner, allowing us to confirm or improve the existing results. To plan the runs and select the targets, we developed the public Long Planning tool in PHP. For preliminary data reduction and rapid follow-up planning we developed the LiDAS pipeline in Python and IRAF. For final data reduction, flux calibration, night linkage and Fourier fitting, we used mainly MPO Canopus. Periods of 18 targets are presented for the first time, and we could solve or constrain rotation for 16 of them. We secured periods for 45 targets (U˜ 3), found candidate periods for other 16 targets (U˜ 2), and we propose tentative periods for other 32 targets (U˜ 1). We observed 7 known or candidate binary NEAs, fiting 3 of them (2102 Tantalus, 5143 Heracles and 68348). We observed 8 known or candidate tumbling NEAs, deriving primary periods for 3 objects (9400, 242708 and 470510). We evidenced rapid oscillations (few minutes) and could fit fast tentative periods TP2 for 5 large newly suggested tumbling or binary candidates (27346, 112985, 285625, 377732, 408980), probably discovering at least one new binary NEA (2011 WO41). We resolved periods of 4 special objects which include two proposed space mission targets (163249 and 101955 Bennu), one very fast rotator NEA discovered by EURONEAR (2014 NL52) and the "Halloween asteroid" (2015 TB145). Using Mercator in simultaneous 3 band MAIA imaging, we could evidence for the first time clear variation in the color lightcurves of 10 NEAs. The periods derived from the g- r color lightcurves are found to match individual band period fits for 4 NEAs (27346, 86067, 112985 and

  16. Sample Return Science by Hayabusa Near-Earth Asteroid Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujiwara, A.; Abe, M.; Kato, M.; Kushiro, I.; Mukai, T.; Okada, T.; Saito, J.; Sasaki, S.; Yano, H.; Yeomans, D.

    2004-01-01

    Assigning the material species to each asteroid spectral type and finding out the corresponding meteorite category is crucial to make the global material map in the whole asteroid belt and to understand the evolution of the asteroid belt. Recent direct observations by spacecrafts are revealing new intriguing aspects of asteroids which cannot be obtained solely from ground-based observations or meteorite studies. However identification of the real material species constituting asteroids and their corresponding meteorite analogs are still ambiguous. Space weathering makes difficult to identify the true material, and there is still a great gap between the remote sensing data on the global surface and the local microscopic data from meteorites. Sample return from asteroids are inevitable to solve these problems. For this purpose sample return missions to asteroids belonging to various spectral classes are required. The HAYABUSA spacecraft (prelaunch name is MUSESC) launched last year is the first attempt on this concept. This report presents outline of the mission with special stress on its science.

  17. Research of the orbital evolution of asteroid 2012 DA14 (in Russian)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zausaev, A. F.; Denisov, S. S.; Derevyanka, A. E.

    Research of the orbital evolution of asteroid 2012 DA14 on the time interval from 1800 to 2206 is made, an object close approaches with Earth and the Moon are detected, the probability of impact with Earth is calculated. The used mathematical model is consistent with the DE405, the integration was performed using a modified Everhart's method of 27th order, the probability of collision is calculated using the Monte Carlo method.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  19. The Orbital Distribution of Earth-crossing Asteroids and Meteoroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit, P. H.; Sears, D. W. G.

    1993-07-01

    The relationship between meteorites and Earth-crossing asteroids and between individual meteorites and meteor showers has been the subject of debate for some time. Recently, links have been claimed between certain meteorites and meteoroid complexes [e.g., 1] and it has been suggested that some meteorites are members of orbital "streams" [2]. It is difficult to evaluate these ideas because of the lack of appropriate measureable properties in the meteorites themselves. Cosmic ray exposure ages provide one approach but most cosmogenic nuclides have large halflives and hence generally reflect the long term radiation exposure of the body rather than the short term orbital evolution leading up to Earth impact. Here we use natural thermoluminescence (TL) data to determine the "average" perihelion of ordinary chondrites among the modern falls over periods of time of less than 10^3-10^5 years prior to Earth impact. The level of natural TL of a meteorite (at a given glow curve temperature) is a function of buildup through radiation dose (which, in turn, is a function of depth or "shielding" and external cosmic ray flux) and decay through thermal draining [3]. The shallow TL vs. depth profile observed in lunar cores [4] can, after correction for irradiation geometry, be used to to calculate TL profiles in meteoroid-sized bodies. Our new calculations indicate a range of natural TL of only about 15% in large meteoroid-sized bodies and an even smaller range in smaller bodies. The "half-life" of TL is far greater than the solar/cosmic ray flux cycle and hence variations in the external flux over time are expected to have only very minor effects. It is thus possible to calculate an "irradiation temperature" for a meteorite using its natural TL level, which can be shown through decay calculations to largely reflect the perihelion of the meteoroid body. The time period over which this irradiation temperature is averaged is a function of the temperature (perihelion); the period is

  20. Asteroid impacts on terrestrial planets: the effects of super-Earths and the role of the ν6 resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smallwood, Jeremy L.; Martin, Rebecca G.; Lepp, Stephen; Livio, Mario

    2018-01-01

    With N-body simulations of a planetary system with an asteroid belt, we investigate how the asteroid impact rate on the Earth is affected by the architecture of the planetary system. We find that the ν6 secular resonance plays an important role in the asteroid collision rate with the Earth. Compared to exoplanetary systems, the Solar system is somewhat special in its lack of a super-Earth mass planet in the inner Solar system. We therefore first consider the effects of the presence of a super-Earth in the terrestrial planet region. We find a significant effect for super-Earths with a mass of around 10 M⊕ and a separation greater than about 0.7 au. For a super-Earth which is interior to the Earth's orbit, the number of asteroids colliding with Earth increases the closer the super-Earth is to the Earth's orbit. This is the result of multiple secular resonance locations causing more asteroids to be perturbed on to Earth-crossing orbits. When the super-Earth is placed exterior to Earth's orbit, the collision rate decreases substantially because the ν6 resonance no longer exists in the asteroid belt region. We also find that changing the semimajor axis of Saturn leads to a significant decrease in the asteroid collision rate, though increasing its mass increases the collision rate. These results may have implications for the habitability of exoplanetary systems.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  2. A reduced estimate of the number of kilometre-sized near-Earth asteroids.

    PubMed

    Rabinowitz, D; Helin, E; Lawrence, K; Pravdo, S

    2000-01-13

    Near-Earth asteroids are small (diameters < 10 km), rocky bodies with orbits that approach that of the Earth (they come within 1.3 AU of the Sun). Most have a chance of approximately 0.5% of colliding with the Earth in the next million years. The total number of such bodies with diameters > 1 km has been estimated to be in the range 1,000-2,000, which translates to an approximately 1% chance of a catastrophic collision with the Earth in the next millennium. These numbers are, however, poorly constrained because of the limitations of previous searches using photographic plates. (One kilometre is below the size of a body whose impact on the Earth would produce global effects.) Here we report an analysis of our survey for near-Earth asteroids that uses improved detection technologies. We find that the total number of asteroids with diameters > 1 km is about half the earlier estimates. At the current rate of discovery of near-Earth asteroids, 90% will probably have been detected within the next 20 years.

  3. Retrograde spins of near-Earth asteroids from the Yarkovsky effect.

    PubMed

    La Spina, A; Paolicchi, P; Kryszczyńska, A; Pravec, P

    2004-03-25

    Dynamical resonances in the asteroid belt are the gateway for the production of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). To generate the observed number of NEAs, however, requires the injection of many asteroids into those resonant regions. Collisional processes have long been claimed as a possible source, but difficulties with that idea have led to the suggestion that orbital drift arising from the Yarkovsky effect dominates the injection process. (The Yarkovsky effect is a force arising from differential heating-the 'afternoon' side of an asteroid is warmer than the 'morning' side.) The two models predict different rotational properties of NEAs: the usual collisional theories are consistent with a nearly isotropic distribution of rotation vectors, whereas the 'Yarkovsky model' predicts an excess of retrograde rotations. Here we report that the spin vectors of NEAs show a strong and statistically significant excess of retrograde rotations, quantitatively consistent with the theoretical expectations of the Yarkovsky model.

  4. A Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) on board the Hayabusa 2 Mission to the near Earth asteroid (162173) Ryugu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaumann, R.; Bibring, J. P.; Glassmeier, K. H.; Grott, M.; Ho, T. M.; Ulamec, S.; Schmitz, N.; Auster, H. U.; Biele, J.; Kuninaka, H.; Okada, T.; Yoshikawa, M.; Watanabe, S.; Spohn, T.; Koncz, A.; Hercik, D.; Michaelis, H.; Fujimoto, M.

    2016-12-01

    MASCOT is part of JAXA's Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample return mission that has been launched to asteroid (162173) Ryugu (1,2,3) on Dec 3rd, 2014. It is scheduled to arrive at Ryugu in 2018, and return samples to Earth in 2020. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) developed the lander MASCOT with contributions from CNES (France) (2,3). Ryugu has been classified as a Cg-type (4), believed to be a primitive volatile-rich remnant from the early solar system. Its visible geometric albedo is 0.07±0.01with a diameter of 0.87±0.03 km (5). The thermal inertia indicates thick dust with a cm-sized, gravel-dominated surface layer (5,6). Ryugu shows a retrograde rotation with a period of 7.63±0.01h. Spectral observations indicate iron-bearing phyllosilicates (1) on parts of the surface, suggesting compositional heterogeneity. MASCOT will enable to in-situ map the asteroid's geomorphology, the intimate structure, texture and composition of the regolith (dust, soil and rocks), and its thermal, mechanical, and magnetic properties in order to provide ground truth for the orbiter remote measurements, support the selection of sampling sites, and provide context information for the returned samples (2,3). MASCOT comprises a payload of four scientific instruments: camera, radiometer, magnetometer and hyperspectral microscope (2,3). Characterizing the properties of asteroid regolith in-situ will deliver important ground truth for further understanding telescopic and orbital observations as well as samples of asteroids. MASCOT will descend and land on the asteroid and will change its position by hopping (3). (1) Vilas, F., Astro. J. 1101-1105, 2008; (2) Jaumann, R., et al., SSR, DOI 10.1007/s11214-016-0263-2, 2016; (3) Ho, T.-M. et al., SSR, DOI 10.1007/s11214-016-0251-6, 2016; (4) Bus, S.J., Binzel, R.P. Icarus 158, 2002; (5) Hasegawa, T.G., et al., Astron. Soc. Japan 60, 2008; (6) T.G. Müller, T.G., et al., doi 10.1051/0004-6361/201015599, 2011.

  5. X-Ray Micro-Tomography Applied to Nasa's Materials Research: Heat Shields, Parachutes and Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Panerai, Francesco; Borner, Arnaud; Ferguson, Joseph C.; Mansour, Nagi N.; Stern, Eric C.; Barnard, Harold S.; Macdowell, Alastair A.; Parkinson, Dilworth Y.

    2017-01-01

    X-ray micro-tomography is used to support the research on materials carried out at NASA Ames Research Center. The technique is applied to a variety of applications, including the ability to characterize heat shield materials for planetary entry, to study the Earth- impacting asteroids, and to improve broadcloths of spacecraft parachutes. From micro-tomography images, relevant morphological and transport properties are determined and validated against experimental data.

  6. Asteroid mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gertsch, Richard E.

    The earliest studies of asteroid mining proposed retrieving a main belt asteroid. Because of the very long travel times to the main asteroid belt, attention has shifted to the asteroids whose orbits bring them fairly close to the Earth. In these schemes, the asteroids would be bagged and then processed during the return trip, with the asteroid itself providing the reaction mass to propel the mission homeward. A mission to one of these near-Earth asteroids would be shorter, involve less weight, and require a somewhat lower change in velocity. Since these asteroids apparently contain a wide range of potentially useful materials, our study group considered only them. The topics covered include asteroid materials and properties, asteroid mission selection, manned versus automated missions, mining in zero gravity, and a conceptual mining method.

  7. Asteroid mining

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gertsch, Richard E.

    1992-01-01

    The earliest studies of asteroid mining proposed retrieving a main belt asteroid. Because of the very long travel times to the main asteroid belt, attention has shifted to the asteroids whose orbits bring them fairly close to the Earth. In these schemes, the asteroids would be bagged and then processed during the return trip, with the asteroid itself providing the reaction mass to propel the mission homeward. A mission to one of these near-Earth asteroids would be shorter, involve less weight, and require a somewhat lower change in velocity. Since these asteroids apparently contain a wide range of potentially useful materials, our study group considered only them. The topics covered include asteroid materials and properties, asteroid mission selection, manned versus automated missions, mining in zero gravity, and a conceptual mining method.

  8. Design of optimal impulse transfers from the Sun-Earth libration point to asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yamin; Qiao, Dong; Cui, Pingyuan

    2015-07-01

    The lunar probe, Chang'E-2, is the first one to successfully achieve both the transfer to Sun-Earth libration point orbit and the flyby of near-Earth asteroid Toutatis. This paper, taking the Chang'E-2's asteroid flyby mission as an example, provides a method to design low-energy transfers from the libration point orbit to an asteroid. The method includes the analysis of transfer families and the design of optimal impulse transfers. Firstly, the one-impulse transfers are constructed by correcting the initial guesses, which are obtained by perturbing in the direction of unstable eigenvector. Secondly, the optimality of one-impulse transfers is analyzed and the optimal impulse transfers are built by using the primer vector theory. After optimization, the transfer families, including the slow and the fast transfers, are refined to be continuous and lower-cost transfers. The method proposed in this paper can be also used for designing transfers from an arbitrary Sun-Earth libration point orbit to a near-Earth asteroid in the Sun-Earth-Moon system.

  9. A search for Earth-crossing asteroids, supplement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taff, L. G.; Sorvari, J. M.; Kostishack, D. F.

    1984-01-01

    The ground based electro-optical deep space surveillance program involves a network of computer controlled 40 inch 1m telescopes equipped with large format, low light level, television cameras of the intensified silicon diode array type which is to replace the Baker-Nunn photographic camera system for artificial satellite tracking. A prototype observatory was constructed where distant artificial satellites are discriminated from stars in real time on the basis of the satellites' proper motion. Hardware was modified and the technique was used to observe and search for minor planets. Asteroids are now routinely observed and searched. The complete observing cycle, including the 2"-3" measurement of position, requires about four minutes at present. The commonality of asteroids and artificial satellite observing, searching, data reduction, and orbital analysis is stressed. Improvements to the hardware and software as well as operational techniques are considered.

  10. The Role of Near-Earth Asteroids in Long-Term Platinum Supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blair, B. R.

    2000-01-01

    High-grade platinum-group metal concentrations have been identified in an abundant class of near-Earth asteroids known as LL Chondrites. The potential existence of a high-value asteroid-derived mineral product is examined from an economic perspective to assess the possible impacts on long-term precious metal supply. It is hypothesized that extraterrestrial sources of platinum group metals will become available in the global marketplace in a 20-year time frame, based on current trends of growth in technology and increasing levels of human activities in near-Earth space. Current and projected trends in platinum supply and demand are cited from the relevant literature to provide an economic context and provide an example for evaluating the economic potential of future asteroid-derived precious and strategic metals.

  11. Thermal inertia as an indicator of rockiness variegation on near-Earth asteroid surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali-Lagoa, Victor; Delbo, Marco; Hanus, Josef

    2016-10-01

    Determining key physical properties of asteroids such as sizes and albedos or reflectance spectra is crucial to understand their origins and the processes that they have undergone during their evolution. In particular, one of the aims of NEOShield-2 project, funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, is to physically characterize small near Earth asteroids (NEA) in an effort to determine effective mitigation strategies in case of impact with our planet [Harris et al. 2013 2013AcAau,90,80H].We performed thermophysical modelling of NEAs, such as (1685) Toro, and potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), such as (33342) 1998 WT24. In addition to size, thermophysical models (TPM) of asteroids can constrain the surface thermal inertia, which is related to the material composition and physical nature, namely its "rockiness" or typical size of the particles on its surface. These have observable effects on the surface temperature distribution as a function of time and thus on the thermal infrared fluxes we observe, to which we can fit our model.In the case of WT24, its thermal inertia has been previously constrained to be in the range 100-300 SI units [Harris et al. 2007, Icarus 188, 414H]. But this was based on a spherical shape model approximation since no shape model was available by the time. Such a low thermal inertia value seems in disagreement with a relatively high metal content of the enstatite chondrites, the meteorite type to which WT24, classified as an E-type [Lazzarin et al. 2004 A&A 425L, 25L], has been spectrally associated. Using a three-dimensional model and spin vector based on radar observations [Busch et al. 2008 Icarus 197, 375B], our TPM produces a higher best-fitting value of the thermal inertia. We also find the intriguing possibility that the hemisphere of WT24 dominated by concave terrains, possibly be the result of an impact crater, has a higher thermal inertia. This would be similar to the case of our Moon

  12. New Research by CCD Scanning for Comets and Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gehrels, Tom; McMillan, Robert S.

    1997-01-01

    The purpose of Spacewatch is to explore the various populations of small objects within the solar system. Spacewatch provides data for studies of comets and asteroids, finds potential targets for space missions, and provides information on the environmental problem of possible impacts. Moving objects are discovered by scanning the sky with charge-coupled devices (CCDs) on the 0.9-meter Spacewatch Telescope of the University of Arizona on Kitt Peak. Each Spacewatch scan consists of three drift scan passes over an area of sky using a CCD filtered to a bandpass of 0.5-1.0 microns (approximately V+R+I with peak sensitivity at 0.7 micron). The effective exposure time for each pass is 143 seconds multiplied by the secant of the declination. We have been finding some 30,000 new asteroids per year and applying their statistics to the study of the collisional history of the solar system. As of the end of the observing run of Nov. 1997, Spacewatch had found a total of 153 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and 8 new comets since the project began in the 1980s, and had recovered one lost comet. The total number of NEAs found by Spacewatch big enough to be hazardous if they were to impact the Earth is 36. Spacewatch is also efficient in recovery of known comets and has detected and reported positions for more than 137,000 asteroids, mostly new ones in the main belt, including more than 16,000 asteroids designated by the Minor Planet Center (MPC).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  14. Rotation of the Earth, Mars and asteroids: components, techniques and data quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souchay, Jean

    2004-12-01

    We explain in some detail the analytical formulations which enable to modelize both the free and the forced motion of any celestial body taken as rigid or deformable, and we show how they have been applied (with the corresponding level of precision) for the Earth, Mars and the asteroids in general

  15. Arecibo Radar Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids: A Study in Heterogeneity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Margot J.-L.; Ostro, S. J; Benner, L. A. M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Campbell, D. B.

    2002-01-01

    Characterization of the rotation state and structure of near-Earth asteroids through radar observations using the Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radar systems shows the remarkable variety of these objects, and suggests variety of formation and modification mechanisms. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  16. Radar Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids 2000 UG11 and 2000 UK11

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nolan, M. C.; Margot, J.-L.; Howell, E. S.; Benner, L. A. M.; Ostro, S. J.; Jurgens, R. F.; Giorgini, J. D.; Campbell, D. B.

    2001-01-01

    Two small near-Earth asteroids, 2000 UG11 and 2000 UK11 were observed using the Arecibo and Goldstone radars a week after their discovery. 2000 UK11 is a rapidly rotating (3 min) approximately 30 m solid body. 2000 UG11 is two bodies separated by at least 300 m Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract..

  17. Photometric Observations of the Near-Earth Asteroids (326683) 2002 WP and 2016 LX48

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonka, Adrian Bruno; Popescu, Marcel; Nedelcu, Dan Alin; Gherase, Radu Mihai; Vass, Gheroghe

    2017-07-01

    We obtained photometric results for the near-Earth asteroids (326683) 2002 WP and 2016 LX48 during their close approaches in 2016 December and October, respectively. Our analysis found a synodic period for (326683) 2002 WP of P = 6.2772 ± 0.0479 h and, for 2016 LX48, P = 5.6742 ± 0.0074 h.

  18. Contextual Student Learning through Authentic Asteroid Research Projects using a Robotic Telescope Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoette, Vivian L.; Puckett, Andrew W.; Linder, Tyler R.; Heatherly, Sue Ann; Rector, Travis A.; Haislip, Joshua B.; Meredith, Kate; Caughey, Austin L.; Brown, Johnny E.; McCarty, Cameron B.; Whitmore, Kevin T.

    2015-11-01

    Skynet is a worldwide robotic telescope network operated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with active observing sites on 3 continents. The queue-based observation request system is simple enough to be used by middle school students, but powerful enough to supply data for research scientists. The Skynet Junior Scholars program, funded by the NSF, has teamed up with professional astronomers to engage students from middle school to undergraduates in authentic research projects, from target selection through image analysis and publication of results. Asteroid research is a particularly fruitful area for youth collaboration that reinforces STEM education standards and can allow students to make real contributions to scientific knowledge, e.g., orbit refinement through astrometric submissions to the Minor Planet Center. We have created a set of projects for youth to: 1. Image an asteroid, make a movie, and post it to a gallery; 2. Measure the asteroid’s apparent motion using the Afterglow online image processor; and 3. Image asteroids from two or more telescopes simultaneously to demonstrate parallax. The apparent motion and parallax projects allow students to estimate the distance to their asteroid, as if they were the discoverer of a brand new object in the solar system. Older students may take on advanced projects, such as analyzing uncertainties in asteroid orbital parameters; studying impact probabilities of known objects; observing time-sensitive targets such as Near Earth Asteroids; and even discovering brand new objects in the solar system.Images are acquired from among seven Skynet telescopes in North Carolina, California, Wisconsin, Canada, Australia, and Chile, as well as collaborating observatories such as WestRock in Columbus, Georgia; Stone Edge in El Verano, California; and Astronomical Research Institute in Westfield, Illinois.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    The atmospheric detonation of a 17 m-asteroid above Chelyabinsk, Russia on 2013 February 15 shows that even small asteroids can cause extensive damage. Earth-based telescopes have found smaller harmless objects, such as 2008 TC3, a 4 m-asteroid that was discovered 20h before it exploded over northeastern Sudan (Jenniskens, 2009). 2008 TC3 remains the only asteroid discovered before it hit Earth because it approached Earth from the night side, where it was observed by large telescopes searching for near-Earth objects (NEO's). The larger object that exploded over Chelyabinsk approached Earth from the day side, from too close to the Sun to be detected from Earth. A sizeable telescope in an orbit about the Sun-Earth L1 (SE-L1) libration point could find objects like the "Chelyabinsk" asteroid approaching approximately from the line of sight to the Sun about a day before Earth closest approach. Such a system would have the astrometric accuracy needed to determine the time and impact zone for a NEO on a collision course. This would give at least several hours, and usually 2-4 days, to take protective measures, rather than the approximately two-minute interval between the flash and shock wave arrival that occurred in Chelyabinsk. A perhaps even more important reason for providing warning of these events, even smaller harmless ones that explode high in the atmosphere with the force of an atomic bomb, is to prevent mistaking such an event for a nuclear attack that could trigger a devastating nuclear war. A concept using a space telescope similar to that needed for an SE-L1 monitoring satellite, is already conceived by the B612 Foundation, whose planned Sentinel Space Telescope could find nearly all 140 m and larger NEO's, including those in orbits mostly inside the Earth's orbit that are hard to find with Earth-based telescopes, from a Venus-like orbit (Lu, 2013). Few modifications would be needed to the Sentinel Space Telescope to operate in a SE-L1 orbit, 0.01 AU from

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Dervan, Jared

    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 propellant-less 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. The NEA Scout spacecraft is housed in a 6U CubeSat-form factor and utilizes an 86 square meter solar sail for a total mass less than 14 kilograms. The mission is in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with support from Langley Research Center and science participants from various institutions. NEA Scout will be launched on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System in 2019. The solar sail for NEA Scout will be based on the technology developed and flown by the NASA NanoSail-D and flown on The Planetary Society’s Lightsail-A. Four approximately-7-meter stainless steel booms wrapped on two spools (two overlapping booms per spool) will be motor driven 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

  2. Rapid-Response Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroids Using KMTNet-SAAO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erasmus, Nicolas; Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David E.; Sickafoose, Amanda A.; van Gend, Carel; Hora, Joseph L.; Worters, Hannah L.

    2017-10-01

    We present here VRI spectrophotometry of 39 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed with the Sutherland, South Africa, node of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). Of the 39 NEAs, 19 were targeted, but because of KMTNet’s large 2 deg × 2 deg field of view, 20 serendipitous NEAs were also captured in the observing fields. Our rapid-response approach meant targeted observations were performed within 44 days (median: 16 days, min: 4 days) of each NEA’s discovery date. Our broadband spectrophotometry is reliable enough to distinguish among four asteroid taxonomies and we were able to confidently categorize 31 of the 39 observed targets as either a S-, C-, X- or D-type asteroid. Our data suggest that the ratio between “stony” S-type NEAs and “not- stony” (C+X+D)-type NEAs, with H magnitudes between 15 and 25, is roughly 1:1. Additionally, we report ~1-hour light curve data for each NEA. Of the 39 targets, we were able to resolve the complete rotation period and amplitude for six and place lower limits for the remaining targets.Based on the success of this pilot study we plan to continue KMTNet observations but also make use of Lesedi, a new 1-meter remotely-operable telescope also situated in Sutherland, to perform similar spectrophotometric observations in the future. As before, we plan to target newly discovered NEAs in order to continue the rapid-response approach. With Lesedi, observations will take place throughout the year and we plan to include smaller NEAs (larger H magnitudes) in our sample. We will also increase the observed duration of each NEA to 2-3 hours so we are more likely to observe a complete rotation period for our observed NEAs.This study was facilitated by observations made at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and this work is partially supported by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). This work is supported in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under grant

  3. The Impact Imperative: Laser Ablation for Deflecting Asteroids, Meteoroids, and Comets From Impacting the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, Jonathan W.; Phipps, Claude; Smalley, Larry; Reilly, Jim; Boccis, Dona; Howell, Joe T., Jr. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Impacting at hypervelocity, an asteroid struck the Earth approximately 65 million years ago in the Yucatan Peninsula area. This triggered the extinction of almost 70% of the species of life on Earth including the dinosaurs. Other impacts prior to this one have caused even greater extinctions. Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids, meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative. We now believe that while there are about 2000 earth orbit crossing rocks greater than 1 kilometer in diameter, there may be as many as 200,000 or more objects in the 100 m size range, Can anything be done about this fundamental existence question facing our civilization? The answer is a resounding yes! By using an intelligent combination of Earth and space based sensors coupled with an infra-structure of high-energy laser stations and other secondary mitigation options, we can deflect inbound asteroids, meteoroids, and comets and prevent them from striking the Earth.

  4. The Impact Ejecta Environment of Near Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szalay, Jamey R.; Horányi, Mihály

    2016-10-01

    Impact ejecta production is a ubiquitous process that occurs on all airless bodies throughout the solar system. Unlike the Moon, which retains a large fraction of its ejecta, asteroids primarily shed their ejecta into the interplanetary dust population. These grains carry valuable information about the chemical compositions of their parent bodies that can be measured via in situ dust detection. Here, we use recent Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer/Lunar Dust Experiment measurements of the lunar dust cloud to calculate the dust ejecta distribution for any airless body near 1 au. We expect this dust distribution to be highly asymmetric, due to non-isotropic impacting fluxes. We predict that flybys near these asteroids would collect many times more dust impacts by transiting the apex side of the body compared to its anti-apex side. While these results are valid for bodies at 1 au, they can be used to qualitatively infer the ejecta environment for all solar-orbiting airless bodies.

  5. Near-Earth-object survey progress and population of small near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, A.

    2014-07-01

    Estimating the total population vs. size of NEAs and the completion of surveys is the same thing since the total population is just the number discovered divided by the estimated completion. I review the method of completion estimation based on ratio of re-detected objects to total detections (known plus new discoveries). The method is quite general and can be used for population estimations of all sorts, from wildlife to various classes of solar system bodies. Since 2001, I have been making estimates of population and survey progress approximately every two years. Plotted below, left, is my latest estimate, including NEA discoveries up to August, 2012. I plan to present an update at the meeting. All asteroids of a given size are not equally easy to detect because of specific orbital geometries. Thus a model of the orbital distribution is necessary, and computer simulations using those orbits need to establish the relation between the raw re-detection ratio and the actual completion fraction. This can be done for any sub-group population, allowing to estimate the population of a subgroup and the expected current completion. Once a reliable survey computer model has been developed and ''calibrated'' with respect to actual survey re-detections versus size, it can be extrapolated to smaller sizes to estimate completion even at very small size where re-detections are rare or even zero. I have recently investigated the subgroup of extremely low encounter velocity NEAs, the class of interest for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), recently proposed by NASA. I found that asteroids of diameter ˜ 10 m with encounter velocity with the Earth lower than 2.5 km/sec are detected by current surveys nearly 1,000 times more efficiently than the general background of NEAs of that size. Thus the current completion of these slow relative velocity objects may be around 1%, compared to 10^{-6} for that size objects of the general velocity distribution. Current surveys are nowhere near

  6. Solar Sailing Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) Mission for Impacting/Deflecting Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wie, Bong

    2005-01-01

    A solar sailing mission architecture, which requires a t least ten 160-m, 300-kg solar sail spacecraft with a characteristic acceleration of 0.5 mm/sqs, is proposed as a realistic near- term option for mitigating the threat posed by near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Its mission feasibility is demonstrated for a fictional asteroid mitigation problem created by AIAA. This problem assumes that a 200-m asteroid, designated 2004WR, was detected on July 4, 2004, and that the expected impact will occur on January 14, 2015. The solar sailing phase of the proposed mission for the AIAA asteroid mitigation problem is comprised of the initial cruise phase from 1 AU t o 0.25 AU (1.5 years), the cranking orbit phase (3.5 years), and the retrograde orbit phase (1 year) prior to impacting the target asteroid at its perihelion (0.75 AU from the sun) on January 1, 2012. The proposed mission will require at least ten kinetic energy interceptor (KEI) solar sail spacecraft. Each KEI sailcraft consists of a 160- m, 150-kg solar sail and a 150-kg microsatellite impactor. The impactor is to be separated from a large solar sail prior to impacting the 200-m target asteroid at its perihelion. Each 150-kg microsatellite impactor, with a relative impact velocity of at least 70 km/s, will cause a conservatively estimated AV of 0.3 cm/s in the trajectory of the 200-m target asteroid, due largely to the impulsive effect of material ejected from the newly-formed crater. The deflection caused by a single impactor will increase the Earth-miss-distance by 0.45Re (where Re denotes the Earth radius of 6,378 km). Therefore, at least ten KEI sailcraft will be required for consecutive impacts, but probably without causing fragmentation, to increase the total Earth-miss-distance by 4.5Re. This miss-distance increase of 29,000 km is outside of a typical uncertainty/error of about 10,000 km in predicting the Earth-miss- distance. A conventional Delta I1 2925 launch vehicle is capable of injecting at least two KEI

  7. New Research by CCD Scanning for Comets and Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gehrels, Tom

    1997-01-01

    Spacewatch was begun in 1980; its purpose is to explore the various populations of small objects within the solar system. Spacewatch provides data for studies of comets and asteroids, finds potential targets for space missions, and provides information on the environmental problem of possible impacts. Moving objects are discovered by scanning the sky with charge-coupled devices (CCDS) on the 0.9-meter Spacewatch Telescope of the University of Arizona on Kitt Peak. Each Spacewatch scan consists of three drift scan passes over an area of sky using a CCD filtered to a bandpass of 0.5-1.0 pm (approximately V+R+I with peak sensitivity at 0.7 pm). The effective exposure time for each pass is 143 seconds multiplied by the secant of the declination. The area covered by each scan is 32 arcminutes in declination by about 28 minutes of time in right ascension. The image scale is 1.05 arcseconds per pixel. Three passes take about 1.5 hours to complete and show motions of individual objects over a one hour time baseline. The limiting magnitude is about 21.5 in single scans. CCD scanning was developed by Spacewatch in the early 1980s, with improvements still being made - particularly by bringing a new 1.8-m Spacewatch Telescope on line. In the meantime, we have been finding some 30,000 new asteroids per year and applying their statistics to the study of the collisional history of the solar system. Spacewatch had found a total of 150 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAS) and 8 new comets, and had recovered one lost comet (P/Spitaler in 1993). Spacewatch is also efficient in recovery of known comets and has detected and reported positions for more than 137,000 asteroids, mostly new ones in the main belt, including more than 10,882 asteroids designated by the Minor Planet Center (MPC).

  8. Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tardioli, C.; Farnocchia, D.; Rozitis, B.; Cotto-Figueroa, D.; Chesley, S. R.; Statler, T. S.; Vasile, M.

    2017-12-01

    Aims: From light curve and radar data we know the spin axis of only 43 near-Earth asteroids. In this paper we attempt to constrain the spin axis obliquity distribution of near-Earth asteroids by leveraging the Yarkovsky effect and its dependence on an asteroid's obliquity. Methods: By modeling the physical parameters driving the Yarkovsky effect, we solve an inverse problem where we test different simple parametric obliquity distributions. Each distribution results in a predicted Yarkovsky effect distribution that we compare with a χ2 test to a dataset of 125 Yarkovsky estimates. Results: We find different obliquity distributions that are statistically satisfactory. In particular, among the considered models, the best-fit solution is a quadratic function, which only depends on two parameters, favors extreme obliquities consistent with the expected outcomes from the YORP effect, has a 2:1 ratio between retrograde and direct rotators, which is in agreement with theoretical predictions, and is statistically consistent with the distribution of known spin axes of near-Earth asteroids.

  9. Evidence for magma oceans on asteroids, the moon, and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Norman, Marc D.

    1992-01-01

    There are sound theoretical reasons to suspect that the terrestrial planets melted when they formed. For Earth, the reasons stem largely from the hypothesis that the moon formed as a result of the impact of a Mars-sized planetesimal with the still accreting Earth. Such a monumental event would have led to widespread heating of the Earth and the materials from which the moon was made. In addition, formation of a dense atmosphere on the Earth (and possibly the Moon) would have led to retention of accretional heat and, thus, widespread melting. In other words, contemporary theory suggests that the primitive Moon and terrestrial planets had magma oceans.

  10. Computer Generated View of Earth as seen from the Asteroid Toutatis

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-11-27

    This computer generated image depicts a view of Earth as seen from the surface of the asteroid Toutatis on Nov 29th 1996. A 2.5 degree field-of-view synthetic computer camera was used for this simulation. Toutatis is visible on this date as a twelfth magnitude object in the night sky in the constellation of Virgo and could be viewed with a medium sized telescope. Toutatis currently approaches Earth once every four years and, on Nov. 29th, 1996 will be 5.2 million kilometers away (approx. 3.3 million miles). In approximately 8 years, on Sept. 29th, 2004, it will be less than 1.6 million kilometers from Earth. This is only 4 times the distance to the moon, and is the closest approach predicted for any known asteroid or comet during the next 60 years. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00515

  11. Origin Of The Near-earth Asteroid Phaethon And The Geminids Meteor Shower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Leon, Julia; Campins, H.; Tsiganis, K.; Morbidelli, A.; Licandro, J.

    2010-10-01

    Asteroid (3200) Phaethon is a remarkable Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). It was the first asteroid associated with a meteor shower, namely the Geminid stream1. Phaethon's unusual orbit has a high inclination and a very low perihelion distance (0.14 AU). Its reflectance spectrum suggests a connection with primitive meteorites, best fitting with CI/CM carbonaceous chondrites2, aqueously altered and rich in hydrated silicates. However, its origin is not well determined. Recent studies suggest a connection with the population of main-belt comets3, classifying Phaethon as an activated asteroid. Here we show that the most likely source of Phaethon and the Geminids is the asteroid (2) Pallas, one of the largest asteroids in the main belt, which is surrounded by a collisional family, containing several Phaethon-sized objects. Pallas’ highly inclined orbit and surface composition, also primitive and with evidence of hydration4, support this connection. Our analysis reveals a striking similarity between Phaethon's visual spectrum and those of Pallas family members. Moreover, our numerical simulations show the existence of a robust dynamical pathway, connecting the orbital neighborhood of Pallas with that of Phaethon. In this respect, the Pallas family may constitute a source of primitive NEAs. (The author gratefully acknowledges support from the Spanish "Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación" projects AYA2005-07808-C03-02 and AYA2008-06202-C03-02.) References 1. Whipple, F. L. 1983, IAU Circular, 3881 2. Licandro, J., Campins, H., Mothe-Diniz, T., Pinilla-Alonso, N. & de Leon, J. 2007, Astron. Astrophys. 461, 751-757 3. Hsieh, H. H., & Jewitt, D. 2006, Science, 312, 561-563 4. Rivkin, A. S., Howell, E. S., Vilas, F. & Lebofsky, L. A. in Asteroids III (eds Bottke, W. F., Cellino, A., Paolicchi, P. & Binzel, R. P.) 235-253 (Univ. Arizona Press, 2002).

  12. Surprise! The oft-ignored Moon might actually be important for changing the spins of asteroids during Earth flybys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuttle Keane, James; Siu, Hosea C.; Moskovitz, Nicholas A.; Binzel, Richard P.

    2015-11-01

    Analysis near-Earth asteroid archival data has revealed that asteroids with Earth MOIDs (minimum orbit intersection distance; a proxy for flyby distance) smaller than 1.0-1.5 lunar distances have a systematically larger dispersion in spin rate than more distant flybys (Siu, et al. 2015, DPS). While tidal torques during close encounters are expected to alter the spin states of asteroids (e.g. Scheeres et al. 2000, Icarus), there is no intrinsic reason to expect the observed sharp transition in spin rate distribution at 1.0-1.5 lunar distances, as tidal forces drop off smoothly with distance.While the Moon itself is too diminutive to directly alter the spin-states of asteroids, we show that its presence is enough to significantly affect asteroid encounter trajectories. Asteroids entering the Earth-Moon system are subject to three-body dynamics (due to the combined gravitational effects of the Earth and Moon). Depending on the flyby geometry, the Moon can act as a temporary sink for the asteroid's geocentric orbital energy. This allows some fraction of asteroids to have closer approaches with the Earth than expected when considering the Earth-Moon barycenter alone. In rare cases (~0.1%) this process enables the capture of temporary moons around the Earth (Granvik et al. 2012, Icarus). Asteroids that undergo these "enhanced" flybys can have both closer-than-expected encounter distances (resulting in more significant tidal perturbations), and repeated encounters with the Earth and Moon before leaving the system (resulting in the accumulation of multiple tidal interactions). By numerically solving the circular restricted three-body problem, we show that this process naturally produces a sharp transition in the asteroid population: asteroids with MOIDs less than 1.5 lunar distances can undergo these enhanced close approaches, possibly explaining the sharp transition in the dispersion of asteroid spin rates at this distance. Future work will investigate the efficiency of

  13. Predicting How Close Near-Earth Asteroids Will Come to Earth in the Next Five Years Using Only Kepler's Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Melissa J.

    1998-04-01

    There are estimated to be over 150,000 near-earth asteroids in our solar system that are large enough to pose a significant threat to Earth. In order to determine which of them may be a hazard in the future, their orbits must be propagated through time. The goal of this investigation was to see if using only Kepler's algorithm, which ignores the gravitational pull of other planets, our moon, and Jupiter, was sufficient to predict close encounters with Earth. The results were very rough, and about half of the closest approaches were near the dates of those predicted by more refined models. The distances were in general off by a magnitude often, showing that asteroid orbits must be very perturbed by other planets, particularly Jupiter, over time and these must be taken into account for a precise distance estimate. A noted correlation was that the difference in the angular distance from the I vector was very small when the asteroid and Earth were supposed to be closest. In conclusion, using Kepler's algorithm alone can narrow down intervals of time of nearest approaches, which can then be looked at using more accurate propagators.

  14. OSIRIS-REx A NASA Mission to a Near Earth Asteroid!...and Other Recent Happenings in the Solar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moreau, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    The OSIRIS-REx Mission launches in 2016 Arrives at Asteroid Bennu-2018 Returns a sample to Earth -2023 The mission, OSIRIS-REx, will visit an asteroid and return a sample from the early Solar System to help us understand how our Solar System formed.

  15. Regolith grain size and cohesive strength of near-Earth Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gundlach, B.; Blum, J.

    2015-09-01

    Due to its fast rotation period of 2.12 h, about half of the surface of near-Earth Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA experiences negative (i.e., outward directed) acceleration levels (Rozitis, B., Maclennan, E., Emery, J.P. [2014]. Nature 512, 174-176). Thus, cohesion of the surface material is mandatory to prevent rotational breakup of the asteroid. Rozitis et al. (Rozitis, B., Maclennan, E., Emery, J.P. [2014]. Nature 512, 174-176) concluded that a grain size of ∼6 cm or lower is needed to explain the required cohesive strength of 64-20+12Pa . Here, we present another approach to determine the grain size of near-Earth Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA by using the thermal inertia value from Rozitis et al. (Rozitis, B., Maclennan, E., Emery, J.P. [2014]. Nature 512, 174-176) and a model of the heat conductivity of the surface regolith (Gundlach, B., Blum, J. [2013]. Icarus 223, 479-492). This method yields a mean particle radius ranging from 32 μm to 117 μm. The derived grain sizes are then used to infer the cohesive strength of the surface material of Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA (ranging from 24 Pa to 88 Pa), by using laboratory measurements of the tensile strength of powders.

  16. Mitigation of Earth-asteroid collisions via explosive, intense radiation sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, Aaron; Sanders, James

    2005-10-01

    The Universe is continually producing astrophysical explosions that generate intense bursts of electromagnetic and particle radiation. Interaction of this radiation with nearby objects can effect significant changes to their dynamics through a variety of processes including ionization, ablation, and shock generation. The next time a large asteroid or comet is found to be approaching the Earth on an impact trajectory, humans may find it prudent to mimic nature by using the most intense radiation sources available to alter the incoming object's trajectory and avert a catastrophic collision. With this in mind, we consider the effect of nuclear explosives on nearby would-be Earth impactors. Neutrons and x-rays produced in the explosion are deposited in a thin layer of the asteroid's surface, resulting in ablation and shock and thereby imparting a deflection velocity. A Monte Carlo code is used for radiation transport and energy deposition, while the subsequent dynamic evolution of the asteroid is followed with the hydrodynamics code CALE. We consider the dependence of the deflection velocity on the source energy and spectrum, the asteroid or comet composition, and the standoff distance between the target and the source. This work was performed under the auspices of the U. S. Department of Energy by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.

  17. Dynamical Origin and Terrestrial Impact Flux of Large Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvorný, David; Roig, Fernando

    2018-01-01

    Dynamical models of the asteroid delivery from the main belt suggest that the current impact flux of diameter D> 10 km asteroids on the Earth is ≃0.5–1 Gyr‑1. Studies of the Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population find a much higher flux, with ≃ 7 D> 10 km asteroid impacts per Gyr. Here we show that this problem is rooted in the application of impact probability of small NEAs (≃1.5 Gyr‑1 per object), whose population is well characterized, to large NEAs. In reality, large NEAs evolve from the main belt by different escape routes, have a different orbital distribution, and lower impact probabilities (0.8 ± 0.3 Gyr‑1 per object) than small NEAs. In addition, we find that the current population of two D> 10 km NEAs (Ganymed and Eros) is a slight fluctuation over the long-term average of 1.1+/- 0.5 D> 10 km NEAs in a steady state. These results have important implications for our understanding of the occurrence of the K/T-scale impacts on the terrestrial worlds.

  18. Optimal nodal flyby with near-Earth asteroids using electric sail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mengali, Giovanni; Quarta, Alessandro A.

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this paper is to quantify the performance of an Electric Solar Wind Sail for accomplishing flyby missions toward one of the two orbital nodes of a near-Earth asteroid. Assuming a simplified, two-dimensional mission scenario, a preliminary mission analysis has been conducted involving the whole known population of those asteroids at the beginning of the 2013 year. The analysis of each mission scenario has been performed within an optimal framework, by calculating the minimum-time trajectory required to reach each orbital node of the target asteroid. A considerable amount of simulation data have been collected, using the spacecraft characteristic acceleration as a parameter to quantify the Electric Solar Wind Sail propulsive performance. The minimum time trajectory exhibits a different structure, which may or may not include a solar wind assist maneuver, depending both on the Sun-node distance and the value of the spacecraft characteristic acceleration. Simulations show that over 60% of near-Earth asteroids can be reached with a total mission time less than 100 days, whereas the entire population can be reached in less than 10 months with a spacecraft characteristic acceleration of 1 mm/s2.

  19. The size and shape of the near-Earth asteroid belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rabinowitz, David L.

    1994-01-01

    Evidence was recently reported for the existence of a near-Earth belt of small, Earth-approaching asteroids (SEAs) with diameters less than approximately 50 m. This result was based upon observations made with the Spacewatch Telescope of the University of Arizona during the course of an ongoing search for Earth-approaching asteroids. Using a model to describe the effects of observational bias, it was shown that the orbits observed for SEAs are inconsistent with the orbits of Earth approaches larger than approximately 1 km, and imply a relatively high fraction of Earth-like orbits among the SEAs. In this paper, new observations are included and the bias model is extended in order to quantify the number of SEAs within the near-Earth belt and to further constrain their orbital distribution. The calculation shows that relative to larger Earth approachers. SEAs are deficient in Aten-type orbits for which the semimajor axis is less than 1.0 AU. Instead, nearly all SEAs with aphelia less than 1.4 AU (5 +/- 3% of the total population) have perihelia between 0.9 and 1.1 AU, thus defining a near-Earth belt. Those SEAs with aphelia greater than 1.4 AU, however, have a distribution of orbits that are indistinguishable from the orbits of larger Earth approachers. Taking the near-Earth belt into account does not significantly alter the previously determined enhancement in the number of SEAs the previously determined enhancement in the number of SEAs compared to an extrapolation of the number of larger Earth approachers. At approximately 10 m, the enhancement factor is 40 to within a factor of 2. Also, the RMS impact velocity of SEAs with Earth (17 km/sec) is nearly the same as for larger Earth approachers (18 km/sec).

  20. Near-Earth Asteroid Prospector and the Commercial Development of Space Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benson, Jim

    1998-01-01

    With the recent bad news that there may be little or no budget money for NASA to continue funding programs aimed at the human exploration of space beyond Earth's orbit, it becomes even more important for other initiatives to be considered. SpaceDev is the world' s first commercial space exploration company, and enjoys the strong support of Dan Goldin, Wes Huntress, Carl Pilcher, Alan Ladwig, and others at NASA headquarters. SpaceDev is also supported by such scientists as Jim Arnold, Paul Coleman, John Lewis, Steve Ostro, and many others. Taxpayers cannot be expected to carry the entire burden of exploration, construction, and settlement. The private sector must be involved, and the SpaceDev Near Earth Asteroid Prospector (NEAP) venture may provide a good example of how governments and the private sector can cooperate to accomplish these goals. SpaceDev believes that the utilization of in situ resources will take place on near-Earth asteroids before the Moon or Mars because many NEOs are energetically closer than the Moon or Mars and have a highly concentrated composition. SpaceDev currently expects to perform the following three missions: NEAP (science data gathering); NEAP 2, near-Earth asteroid or short-term comet sample return mission; and NEAP 3, in situ fuel production or resource extraction and utilization. These missions could pioneer the way for in situ resources for construction.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  2. Collisional fragmentation of asteroids and its implication on the physical properties of Near-Earth Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, P.

    will show the sensitivity of the resulting family characteristics upon the internal structure of the parent body. According to our current understanding, most NEOs are certainly fragments of larger asteroids of the Main Belt, injected either directly or by diffusion into main resonances that transported them to Earth-crossing orbits. According to our simulations, most NEOs with diameter larger than several hundreds of meters should then correspond to gravitational aggregates. Given the crucial role of the internal structure on the impact outcome, this has important implications in the development of efficient mitigation strategies.

  3. Asteroids IV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

    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. 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 some NEOs 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 to 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 greater than 1 km of basaltic rock, and 15-MHz penetrates a few hundred meters or more. In addition to RRT volumetric imaging, we use 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. Ion thruster propulsion is utilized by Deep Interior to enable tomographic radar mapping of multiple asteroids. Within the Discovery AO scheduling parameters we identify two targets, S-type 1999 ND43 (approximately 500 m diameter) and V-type 3908 Nyx (approximately 1 km), asteroids whose compositions bracket the diversity of solar system

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  6. Cosmogonic curve and positions on it of Earth, asteroids, and the outer planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2013-09-01

    The main point of the comparative wave planetology [1 & others] is the statement: "Orbits make structures". All so different celestial bodies (various sizes, masses, densities, chemichal compositions, physical states, positions in the Universe and so on) have two fundamental properties: movement and rotation. Movements in non-circular (keplerian elliptical, parabolic) orbits with changing accelerations induce in bodies wave warpings (standing waves) which in rotating bodies have 4 orthogonal and diagonal directions. An interference of these directions produces uprising, subsiding and neutral tectonic blocks size of which depends on warping wavelengths. The fundamental wave1 long 2πR (R - a body radius) gives ubiquitous tectonic dichotomy (two hemispheres - segments), the first overtone wave2 long πR produces sectoring. Along with these warpings (wave1 with harmonics) exist tectonic granulations. Granule size depends on orbital frequency: higher frequency - smaller granule, lower frequency - larger granule. Terrestrial planets have the following individual granule sizes (a half of a wavelength): Mercury πR/16, Venus πR/6, Earth πR/4, Mars πR/2, asteroids πR/1 (Fig. 1, bottom). These granule producing warpings tend to bring planetary spheres to polyhedrons which, for simplicity, are represented by the following figures inscribed in the planetary circles: Mercury- 16-gon, Venus- hexagon, Earth- square, Mars- rectangle, asteroids - line (Fig. 2). Obviously, nearer a figure to circle more it is stable, and this is expressed by the ratio of a figure area to the circle area. Mercury has 0.973, Venus 0.830, Earth 0.637, Mars 0.420, asteroids 0. The line for asteroids means the zero ratio, thus zero stability and no planet in the asteroid zone. Earth is unique by its near to the "golden section" value. In Fig. 1 both axes are logarithmic: the abscissa - solar distances of the planets, the ordinate - relative granule sizes (ratio of an individual wave to the

  7. Natural and Artificial Satellite Dynamics and Evolution around Near-Earth Asteroids with Solar Radiation Pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieger, Samantha M.

    Natural and artificial satellites are subject to perturbations when orbiting near-Earth asteroids. These perturbations include non-uniform gravity from the asteroid, third-body disturbances from the Sun, and solar radiation pressure. For small natural (1 cm-15 m) and artificial satellites, solar radiation pressure is the primary perturbation that will cause their orbits to go unstable. For the asteroid Bennu, the future target of the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx, the possibility of natural satellites having stable orbits around the asteroid and characterize these stable regions is investigated. It has been found that the main orbital phenomena responsible for the stability or instability of these possible natural satellites are Sun-synchronous orbits, the modified Laplace plane, and the Kozai resonance. These findings are applied to other asteroids as well as to artificial satellites. The re-emission of solar radiation pressure through BYORP is also investigated for binary asteroid systems. Specifically, the BYORP force is combined with the Laplace plane such that BYORP expands the orbit of the binary system along the Laplace surface where the secondary increases in inclination. For obliquities from 68.875° - 111.125° the binary will eventually extend into the Laplace instability region, where the eccentricity of the orbit will increase. A subset of the instability region leads to eccentricities high enough that the secondary will impact the primary. This result inspired the development of a hypothesis of a contact-binary binary cycle described briefly in the following. YORP will increase the spin rate of a contact binary while also driving the spin-pole to an obliquity of 90°. Eventually, the contact binary will fission. The binary will subsequently become double-synchronous, thus allowing the BYORP acceleration to have secular effects on the orbit. The orbit will then expand along the Laplace surface to the Laplace plane instability region eventually leading to an

  8. Radar investigations of near-Earth asteroids at Arecibo and Goldstone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozovic, M.; Nolan, M.; Benner, L.; Busch, M.; Howell, E.; Taylor, P.; Springmann, A.; Giorgini, J.; Margot, J.; Magri, C.; Sheppard, M.; Naidu, S.

    2014-07-01

    Radar observations are a powerful technique to study near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). The Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars can provide delay-Doppler images that can directly resolve surface features such as concavities, hills, ridges, and boulders. Goldstone's 3.75-m resolution capability is invaluable when attempting to image NEAs with diameters smaller than 50 m. To date, over 430 near-Earth asteroids and 136 main-belt asteroids have been observed with radar. 80 % of the radar-detected NEAs have been observed within the last 10 years. The radar detection rate in the last three years has tripled relative to the average in the previous decade due to an increase in funding and greater scheduling flexibility. Currently, ˜400 observing hours per year at Goldstone and ˜600 observing hours per year at Arecibo are devoted to observing asteroids. We strive to observe all strong and moderately strong imaging targets, Yarkovsky drift candidates, NEOWISE targets, asteroids with very low perihelia that can be used to measure solar oblateness, and as many other detectable asteroids as resources allow. We also regularly attempt to observe any asteroid that is flagged by the Near-Earth Object Human Spaceflight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) list (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/nhats/). To date, we have observed more than 60 NHATS objects at Arecibo and Goldstone. In the past three years, ˜1/3 of the detected asteroids were targets of opportunity (TOOs), some of which we observed within 24 h from when the discoveries were announced. Many TOOs are small, rapidly moving objects that are detectable by radar only within few lunar distances. Radar astrometry is particularly important for these asteroids because they are too faint to be followed for long with optical telescopes. A radar-range measurement often secures their orbit for decades or centuries, where otherwise the object would be lost and require rediscovery. In one of the extreme cases, two delay and two Doppler

  9. Asteroid search program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    This document is dedicated first to the criteria used to select a candidate asteroid. It contains the known characteristics of this asteroid as well as the assumptions made about it. It ends with a preliminary study of other possible more favorable candidates which might be found in the near future. Special attention is paid to the possible existence of Earth-Sun Trojan asteroids. Second, there is a description of the current state of our limited knowledge about the asteroids, and of the instruments and techniques being used to improve this knowledge. The contribution to asteroid research which can be expected from the new instruments already in space or due to be launched in this decade is then discussed. The last part of this document gives a description of different ways of improving our knowledge about the asteroids, both quantitatively and qualitatively. A proposal requiring reasonable financing and manpower to improve asteroid research is presented. It is believed that the implementation of such a program would have a dramatic effect on asteroid research. For example, a significant increase in both the rate of discovery of asteroids and their corresponding orbital parameters would be obtained. This program could be fully operational 3 years after its implementation.

  10. A resonant family of dynamically cold small bodies in the near-Earth asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Fuente Marcos, C.; de la Fuente Marcos, R.

    2013-07-01

    Near-Earth objects (NEOs) moving in resonant, Earth-like orbits are potentially important. On the positive side, they are the ideal targets for robotic and human low-cost sample return missions and a much cheaper alternative to using the Moon as an astronomical observatory. On the negative side and even if small in size (2-50 m), they have an enhanced probability of colliding with the Earth causing local but still significant property damage and loss of life. Here, we show that the recently discovered asteroid 2013 BS45 is an Earth co-orbital, the sixth horseshoe librator to our planet. In contrast with other Earth's co-orbitals, its orbit is strikingly similar to that of the Earth yet at an absolute magnitude of 25.8, an artificial origin seems implausible. The study of the dynamics of 2013 BS45 coupled with the analysis of NEO data show that it is one of the largest and most stable members of a previously undiscussed dynamically cold group of small NEOs experiencing repeated trappings in the 1:1 commensurability with the Earth. This new resonant family is well constrained in orbital parameter space and it includes at least 10 other transient members: 2003 YN107, 2006 JY26, 2009 SH2 and 2012 FC71 among them. 2012 FC71 represents the best of both worlds as it is locked in a Kozai resonance and is unlikely to impact the Earth. These objects are not primordial and may have originated within the Venus-Earth-Mars region or in the main-belt, then transition to Amor-class asteroid before entering Earth's co-orbital region. Objects in this group could be responsible for the production of Earth's transient irregular natural satellites.

  11. Orbit-dependent spectral trends for the near-Earth asteroid population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fevig, Ronald Adrey

    Results of visible to near-infrared spectrophotometric observations of 55 near- Earth asteroids (NEAs) are reported. The observing techniques, instrumentation, and method of data analysis are described. A new asteroid classification method that directly compares these NEA spectra with spectral features of meteorites is presented. Two major siliceous groups (having discernible "1-mm" absorptions) result from this method, OC-likes which match the spectra of ordinary chondrites and S-types. The dataset shows a preponderance of spectra consistent with ordinary chondrites (23 NEAs), as well as S-types (19), 2 with spectra consistent with black ordinary chondrites, 2 R-types, and 9 that show no 1-mm absorption. The spectral characteristics of the siliceous S-type and OC-like asteroids blend together, providing evidence that S-type asteroids are simply ordinary chondrites whose surface has been modified by weathering. This helps resolve the long standing question of the lack of main belt asteroids having spectra matching ordinary chondrite meteorites. Main belt asteroids have on average much older surfaces while NEAs that exhibit OC-like spectra have younger surfaces. It was found that fresh objects having spectra consistent with ordinary chondrites (1) occupy mostly highly eccentric Apollo orbits which encounter a strong collisional environment in the asteroid main-belt, (2) may have been recently injected into high eccentricity orbits, or (3) have suffered tidal disruption. S-type NEAs reside primarily in orbits that do not cross the asteroid main-belt. This orbit dependent trend is verified by using the larger NEA dataset of Binzel et al. (2004a). Nine NEAs from this survey exhibiting no 1-mm absorption can be associated with extinct comets, iron meteorites or enstatite meteorites. It is shown that most of these NEAs must be extinct comets, implying a considerably larger fraction of comets among the NEA population than previously thought. A correlation of these objects

  12. Orbit and size distributions for asteroids temporarily captured by the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedorets, Grigori; Granvik, Mikael; Jedicke, Robert

    2017-03-01

    As a continuation of the work by Granvik et al. (2012), we expand the statistical treatment of Earth's temporarily-captured natural satellites from temporarily-captured orbiters (TCOs, i.e., objects which make at least one orbit around the Earth) to the newly redefined subpopulation of temporarily-captured flybys (TCFs). TCFs are objects that while being gravitationally bound fail to make a complete orbit around the Earth while on a geocentric orbit, but nevertheless approach the Earth within its Hill radius. We follow the trajectories of massless test asteroids through the Earth-Moon system and record the orbital characteristics of those that are temporarily captured. We then carry out a steady-state analysis utilizing the novel NEO population model by Granvik et al. (2016). We also investigate how an quadratic distribution at very small values of e⊙ and i⊙ affects the predicted population statistics of Earth's temporarily-captured natural satellites. The steady-state population in both cases (constant and quadratic number distributions inside the e and i bins) is predicted to contain a slightly reduced number of meter-sized asteroids compared to the values of the previous paper. For the combined TCO/TCF population, we find the largest body constantly present on a geocentric orbit to be on the order of 80 cm in diameter. In the phase space, where the capture is possible, the capture efficiency of TCOs and TCFs is O(10-6 -10-4) . We also find that kilometer-scale asteroids are captured once every 10 Myr.

  13. Arecibo and Goldstone radar images of near-Earth Asteroid (469896) 2005 WC1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, Kenneth J.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Brozovic, Marina; Ostro, Steven J.; Jao, Joseph S.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Slade, Martin A.; Jurgens, Raymond F.; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.; Taylor, Patrick A.

    2018-01-01

    We report radar observations of near-Earth asteroid (469896) 2005 WC1 that were obtained at Arecibo (2380 MHz, 13 cm) and Goldstone (8560 MHz, 3.5 cm) on 2005 December 14-15 during the asteroid's approach within 0.020 au The asteroid was a strong radar target. Delay-Doppler images with resolutions as fine as 15 m/pixel were obtained with 2 samples per baud giving a correlated pixel resolution of 7.5 m. The radar images reveal an angular object with 100 m-scale surface facets, radar-dark regions, and an estimated diameter of 400 ± 50 m. The rotation of the facets in the images gives a rotation period of ∼2.6 h that is consistent with the estimated period of 2.582 h ± 0.002 h from optical lightcurves reported by Miles (private communication). 2005 WC1 has a circular polarization ratio of 1.12 ± 0.05 that is one of the highest values known, suggesting a structurally-complex near-surface at centimeter to decimeter spatial scales. It is the first asteroid known with an extremely high circular polarization ratio, relatively low optical albedo, and high radar albedo.

  14. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID 2011 MD

    SciTech Connect

    Mommert, M.; Trilling, D. E.; Farnocchia, D.

    We report on observations of near-Earth asteroid 2011 MD with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We have spent 19.9 hr of observing time with channel 2 (4.5 μm) of the Infrared Array Camera and detected the target within the 2σ positional uncertainty ellipse. Using an asteroid thermophysical model and a model of nongravitational forces acting upon the object, we constrain the physical properties of 2011 MD, based on the measured flux density and available astrometry data. We estimate 2011 MD to be (6{sub −2}{sup +4}) m in diameter with a geometric albedo of 0.3{sub −0.2}{sup +0.4} (uncertainties are 1σ). We find the asteroid's most probablemore » bulk density to be (1.1{sub −0.5}{sup +0.7}) g cm{sup –3}, which implies a total mass of (50-350) t and a macroporosity of ≥65%, assuming a material bulk density typical of non-primitive meteorite materials. A high degree of macroporosity suggests that 2011 MD is a rubble-pile asteroid, the rotation of which is more likely to be retrograde than prograde.« less

  15. Meteoritic and Geologic Context of the Chelyabinsk Near-Earth Asteroid Air Burst (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kring, D. A.; Swindle, T. D.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2013-12-01

    Estimating the hazards of potential near-Earth asteroid (NEA) air burst and impact cratering events have been difficult. Current estimates of blast damage (e.g., [1]) rely on uncertain impact energies for events like Sikhote-Alin (1947), Tunguska (1908), and Barringer Meteorite Crater (~50 ka). The Chelyabinsk air burst event of an LL-chondrite NEA on 15 February 2013 provides a calibration point for enhancing those assessments. U.S. Government sensors indicate the impacting NEA had a velocity of 18.6 km/s and kinetic energy ~440 kt [2] with a total energy of possibly 500 kt. Using average bulk densities of LL-chondrite falls (3.22 g/cm3) and S-class main belt asteroids (2.7 g/cm3) [3], we derive an average diameter of 18.6 and 20 m, respectively. If the density was similar to that of rubble-pile LL-chondritic NEA Itokawa (1.9 g/cm3 [4]) or rubble-pile binary NEAs (~1.5 g/cm3), then the diameter may have been as large as 22 to 24 m. The strength of impacting NEA may be limited to structural flaws, like fractures and material contrasts (e.g., [5]); indeed, fragmental meteoroids preferentially produce meteorite showers. Not surprisingly, Chelyabinsk is a brecciated LL-chondrite and cross-cut with impact melt veins that were generated by older collisional events. Impact-generated cataclasis produced a breccia of light-colored chondrule-bearing clasts with sub-millimeter-wide fractures and silicate-rich shock melt veins, some of which form melt pockets where they intersect. Those clasts are separated by thin, sub-millimeter-wide channels of dark-colored matrix and centimeter-wide swaths of vesiculated and heterogeneously quenched impact melt. Catastrophic fragmentation of these types of NEA can produce ground-level air blast effects if that fragmentation occurs at a sufficiently low altitude. Based on pre-Chelyabinsk scaling [1], blast damage over an area of 102 to 103 km2 is expected for a 440-500 kt event. The 20-meter-diameter Chelyabinsk meteoroid was composed of

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  17. Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steel, Duncan

    1997-09-01

    Could a giant asteroid or comet crash into Earth and destroy life as we know it? Many astronomers who once discredited the risks are now convinced. You will be too after reading Duncan Steel's critically acclaimed examination of the evidence of Earth's encounters with killer comets and asteroids. Acclaim for Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets "A chilling and utterly convincing account of a cosmic menace that must not be ignored any longer. This book is a welcome challenge to the scientific prejudice against catastrophism." --Paul Davies, author of The Mind of God "Written in clear prose for the layperson, this gripping report advocates the creation of an international search program to detect, intercept, and divert Earth-menacing asteroids and comets." --Publishers Weekly. "Steel writes clearly and ominously, and he should be listened to." --The Daily Telegraph (London) A selection of the Astronomy Book Club A Library Journal "Best Science Book of the Year" selection

  18. Near-Earth asteroids: Observer alert network and physical observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Donald R.; Chapman, Clark R.

    1992-01-01

    This project strives to obtain physical observations on newly discovered Near-Earth Objects (NEO's) in order to provide fundamental data needed to assess the resources available in the population. The goal is acquiring data on all objects brighter than magnitude V= 17.0. To accomplish this, an electronic mail alert and observer information service that informs observers around the world as to the status of physical observations on currently observable NEO's was established. Such data is also acquired ourselves through a cooperative program with European colleagues that uses telescopes on La Palma to obtain spectra of NEO's and through observations made from a local telescope on Tumamoc Hill. This latter telescope has the advantage that large amounts of observing time are available, so that whenever a new NEO's discovered, we can be assured of getting time to observe it.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  20. Detection of a faint fast-moving near-Earth asteroid using the synthetic tracking technique

    SciTech Connect

    Zhai, Chengxing; Shao, Michael; Nemati, Bijan

    We report a detection of a faint near-Earth asteroid (NEA) using our synthetic tracking technique and the CHIMERA instrument on the Palomar 200 inch telescope. With an apparent magnitude of 23 (H = 29, assuming detection at 20 lunar distances), the asteroid was moving at 6.°32 day{sup –1} and was detected at a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of 15 using 30 s of data taken at a 16.7 Hz frame rate. The detection was confirmed by a second observation 77 minutes later at the same S/N. Because of its high proper motion, the NEA moved 7 arcsec over the 30 smore » of observation. Synthetic tracking avoided image degradation due to trailing loss that affects conventional techniques relying on 30 s exposures; the trailing loss would have degraded the surface brightness of the NEA image on the CCD down to an approximate magnitude of 25 making the object undetectable. This detection was a result of our 12 hr blind search conducted on the Palomar 200 inch telescope over two nights, scanning twice over six (5.°3 × 0.°046) fields. Detecting only one asteroid is consistent with Harris's estimates for the distribution of the asteroid population, which was used to predict a detection of 1.2 NEAs in the H-magnitude range 28-31 for the two nights. The experimental design, data analysis methods, and algorithms are presented. We also demonstrate milliarcsecond-level astrometry using observations of two known bright asteroids on the same system with synthetic tracking. We conclude by discussing strategies for scheduling observations to detect and characterize small and fast-moving NEAs using the new technique.« less

  1. Spin State of Returning Fly-by Near Earth Asteroid 2012 TC4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, William; Ryan, Eileen V.

    2017-10-01

    The ten-meter class near-Earth asteroid 2012 TC4 will make a close approach to the Earth on October 12, 2017. As of July 2017, the close approach distance ranges from 0.003 to 0.64 lunar distances (LD) with a nominal value of 0.23 LD. However this is the second observable close approach that this object has made since its discovery. In particular, broadband photometry was obtained for 2012 TC4 on 10 and 11 October 2012 using the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) 2.4-meter telescope. A periodicity of ~12.2 minutes was immediately evident in the time-series data, which was in agreement with the reported values of Polishook (2013), Odden et al. (2012), Warner (2013), and Carbognani (2014). The lightcurve displays an amplitude of ~0.9 magnitude, which implies that it is highly elongated with an axial ratio of a/b>2.3. However, a second period is also clearly evident in the MRO data, indicating that the asteroid is in a state of non-principle axis rotation.The nature of its orbit has made 2012 TC4 an attractive Earth-impacting asteroid surrogate for an exercise testing the capabilities of the scientific and emergency response communities (Reddy, 2017). For this reason, it is anticipated that considerable resources, including MRO, will be utilized to take advantage of the 2017 flyby to study this asteroid. Here, we present the details of the tumbling nature of this fast-spinning object observed during the October 2012 discovery apparition. These data were acquired before closest approach in 2012 where the asteroid came within 0.25 lunar distances of Earth. Therefore, this analysis will be discussed in the context of the spin state observations planned for early October 2017 at MRO, for which preliminary results will also be reported. In particular, comparison of the observed rotation state from the two apparitions can be indicative of any effects of Earth’s gravity during the 2012 flyby.References:Odden, C.E., Verhaegh, J.C., McCullough, D.G., and Briggs, J.W. (2013

  2. Next Gen NEAR: Near Earth Asteroid Human Robotic Precursor Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rivkin, Andrew S.; Kirby, Karen; Cheng, Andrew F.; Gold, Robert; Kelly, Daniel; Reed, Cheryl; Abell, Paul; Garvin, James; Landis, Rob

    2012-01-01

    Asteroids have long held the attention of the planetary science community. In particular, asteroids that evolve into orbits near that of Earth, called near-Earth objects (NEO), are of high interest as potential targets for exploration due to the relative ease (in terms of delta V) to reach them. NASA's Flexible Path calls for missions and experiments to be conducted as intermediate steps towards the eventual goal of human exploration of Mars; piloted missions to NEOs are such example. A human NEO mission is a valuable exploratory step beyond the Earth-Moon system enhancing capabilities that surpass our current experience, while also developing infrastructure for future mars exploration capabilities. To prepare for a human rendezvous with an NEO, NASA is interested in pursuing a responsible program of robotic NEO precursor missions. Next Gen NEAR is such a mission, building on the NEAR Shoemaker mission experience at the JHU/APL Space Department, to provide an affordable, low risk solution with quick data return. Next Gen NEAR proposes to make measurements needed for human exploration to asteroids: to demonstrate proximity operations, to quantify hazards for human exploration and to characterize an environment at a near-Earth asteroid representative of those that may be future human destinations. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has demonstrated exploration-driven mission feasibility by developing a versatile spacecraft design concept using conventional technologies that satisfies a set of science, exploration and mission objectives defined by a concept development team in the summer of 2010. We will describe the mission concept and spacecraft architecture in detail. Configuration options were compared with the mission goals and objectives in order to select the spacecraft design concept that provides the lowest cost, lowest implementation risk, simplest operation and the most benefit for the mission implementation. The Next Gen NEAR

  3. Results of near-Earth-asteroid photometry in the frame of the ASPIN programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krugly, Y.; Molotov, I.; Inasaridze, R.; Kvaratskhelia, O.; Aivazyan, V.; Rumyantsev, V.; Belskaya, I.; Golubaev, A.; Sergeev, A.; Shevchenko, V.; Slyusarev, I.; Burkhonov, O.; Ehgamberdiev, S.; Elenin, L.; Voropaev, V.; Koupianov, V.; Gaftonyuk, N.; Baransky, A.; Irsmambetova, T.; Litvinenko, E.; Aliev, A.; Namkhai, T.

    2014-07-01

    Regular photometric observations aimed for obtaining physical properties of near-Earth asteroids (NEA) are carried out within the Asteroid Search and Photometry Initiative (ASPIN) of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). At present, ISON project joins 35 observation facilities in 15 countries with 80 telescopes of different class. Photometric observations of NEAs are carried out at the telescopes with apertures from 20 cm up to 2.6 m equipped with CCD cameras. The obtained lightcurves in the Johnson-Cousins photometric system or in exceptional cases in the integral light (unfiltered photometry) have typical photometric accuracy of 0.01-0.03 mag. The main targets of these observations are near-Earth asteroids as hazardous objects pose a threat for the Earth civilization. The main purpose of the observations is to study characteristics of asteroids such as rotation period, size, and shape of the body, and surface composition. The observations are aimed toward searching binary asteroids, supporting the asteroid radar observations and investigation of the YORP effect. In 2013, we have observed 40 near-Earth asteroids in more than 200 nights. The rotation periods have been determined for 14 NEAs for the first time and, for 6 NEAs, rotation periods were defined more precisely. New rotation periods have been obtained for objects from Aten group: (137805) 1999 YK_5, (329437) 2002 OA_{22}, (367943) Duende (2012 DA_{14}); Apollo: (17188) 1999 WC_2, (137126) 1999 CF_9, (163249) 2002 GT, (251346) 2007 SJ, 2013 TV_{135}; Amor: (9950) ESA, (24445) 2000 PM_8, (137199) 1999 KX_4, (285263) 1998 QE_2, (361071) 2006 AO_4, 2010 XZ_{67}, and refined for (1943) Anteros, (3361) Orpheus, (3752) Camillo, (7888) 1993 UC, (53435) 1999 VM_{40}, (68216) 2001 CV_{26}. NEAs (7888) 1993 UC and (68216) 2001 CV_{26} were found to show signs of a binary nature. To detect possible binary asteroids, we observe the object during several consecutive nights and at several observatories

  4. Probable Disastrous Consequences of Collision Between Unknown Small (100 m) Asteroids with Known (Approximately 1 km) Near Earth Orbiting (NEO) Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smalley, Larry

    2003-01-01

    The long-term stability of the Solar System is not well understood. Ironically its stability is taken for granted even though our knowledge of all the constituents [comets, asteroids. (The Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, Trojan Asteroids, Kuiper belt, Ort Cloud), planetoids, planets, moons, etc], and its long-term dynamics cannot be easily computed. At best one might say that the solar system is chaotic, but much of the time it seems to exists near a quasi-stationary state. An asteroid that passes near the Earth regularly returns with clock-like precision. Taking into account every known detail of its path through the solar system, its orbit is calculated forward thousands of years with no untoward calamity on the horizon. And then one day, this passive visitor slams into the Earth during a sunny afternoon picnic! Can this happen? Unfortunately, this is a real possibility in the ordinary history of the solar system. In fact our knowledge of the solar system in the small is sketchy, as will be pointed out. Events, which lie outside our awareness, can precipitate disasters that we may perceive when it's too late to launch effective counter measures. In this work, one such scenario is described and the direct consequences for the Earth are calculated.

  5. Optimal trajectories from the Earth-Moon L1 and L3 points to deflect hazardous asteroids and comets.

    PubMed

    Maccone, Claudio

    2004-05-01

    Software code named asteroff was recently created by the author to simulate the deflection of hazardous asteroids off of their collision course with the Earth. This code was both copyrighted and patented to avoid unauthorized use of ideas that could possibly be vital to construct a planetary defense system in the vicinity of the Earth. Having so said, the basic ideas and equations underlying the asteroff simulation code are openly described in this paper. A system of two space bases housing missiles is proposed to achieve the planetary defense of the Earth against dangerous asteroids and comets, collectively called impactors herein. We show that the layout of the Earth-Moon system with the five relevant Lagrangian (or libration) points in space leads naturally to only one, unmistakable location of these two space bases within the sphere of influence of the Earth. These locations are at the two Lagrangian points L(1) (between the Earth and the Moon) and L(3) (in the direction opposite to the Moon from the Earth). We show that placing missile bases at L(1) and L(3) would enable those missiles to deflect the trajectory of impactors by hitting them orthogonally to their impact trajectory toward the Earth, so as to maximize their deflection. We show that confocal conics are the best class of trajectories fulfilling this orthogonal deflection requirement. One additional remark is that the theory developed in this paper is just a beginning for a wider set of future research. In fact, we only develop the Keplerian analytical theory for the optimal planetary defense achievable from the Earth-Moon Lagrangian points L(1) and L(3). Much more sophisticated analytical refinements would be needed to: (1) take into account many perturbation forces of all kinds acting on both the impactors and missiles shot from L(1) and L(3); (2) add more (non-optimal) trajectories of missiles shot from either the Lagrangian points L(4) and L(5) of the Earth-Moon System or from the surface of the

  6. 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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  7. Accurate Determination of Comet and Asteroid Orbits Leading to Collision With Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Kay-Bunnell, Linda; Mazanek, Daniel D.; Kumar, Renjith R.; Seywald, Hans; Hausman, Matthew A.

    2005-01-01

    Movements of the celestial bodies in our solar system inspired Isaac Newton to work out his profound laws of gravitation and motion; with one or two notable exceptions, all of those objects move as Newton said they would. But normally harmonious orbital motion is accompanied by the risk of collision, which can be cataclysmic. The Earth s moon is thought to have been produced by such an event, and we recently witnessed magnificent bombardments of Jupiter by several pieces of what was once Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Other comets or asteroids may have met the Earth with such violence that dinosaurs and other forms of life became extinct; it is this possibility that causes us to ask how the human species might avoid a similar catastrophe, and the answer requires a thorough understanding of orbital motion. The two red square flags with black square centers displayed are internationally recognized as a warning of an impending hurricane. Mariners and coastal residents who know the meaning of this symbol and the signs evident in the sky and ocean can act in advance to try to protect lives and property; someone who is unfamiliar with the warning signs or chooses to ignore them is in much greater jeopardy. Although collisions between Earth and large comets or asteroids occur much less frequently than landfall of a hurricane, it is imperative that we learn to identify the harbingers of such collisions by careful examination of an object s path. An accurate determination of the orbit of a comet or asteroid is necessary in order to know if, when, and where on the Earth s surface a collision will occur. Generally speaking, the longer the warning time, the better the chance of being able to plan and execute action to prevent a collision. The more accurate the determination of an orbit, the less likely such action will be wasted effort or, what is worse, an effort that increases rather than decreases the probability of a collision. Conditions necessary for a collision to occur are

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diedrich, Benjamin; Heaton, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout) solar sail mission will fly by and image an asteroid. The team has experience characterizing the sail forces and torques used in guidance, navigation, and control to meet the scientific objectives. Interstellar and precursor sail missions similarly require understanding of beam riding dynamics to follow sufficiently accurate trajectories to perform their missions. Objective: Identify the driving factors required to implement a guidance and control system that meets mission requirements for a solar sail mission; Compare experience of an asteroid flyby mission to interstellar missions to flyby and observe other stars or precursor missions to study the extrasolar medium.

  9. A Killer Asteroids Research Project for Undergraduate Non-Majors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puckett, Andrew W.; Rector, T. A.

    2009-01-01

    We present a progress report on the development and testing of our Killer Asteroids Research Project, which enables the assessment of asteroid impact risk in the undergraduate classroom. This is part of an NSF CCLI grant to develop Research Based Science Education (RBSE) curricula for non-majors. Our curricula include six projects covering astrometric, photometric, and spectroscopic techniques, which are being tested at multiple schools of varying sizes around the country. We report on the second semester of testing this project with undergraduates at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Students use our Polaris Plugin for ImageJ to perform both astrometry and aperture photometry on research-grade astronomical images. The output is fed into Find_Orb, which uses a Monte Carlo method to compute orbital elements for thousands of possible orbits. The resulting orbit database is then fed into a planetarium program, which allows students to visualize the uncertainty region and to observe how that region changes with time and/or additional data. For potentially hazardous asteroids, impact risk is assessed by counting the number of "clone” orbits that strike a planet's surface. Alternatively, the output from our plugin can be used directly to measure the lightcurves of minor planets, leading to an improved understanding of their shapes. This plugin is the first FITS reader to produce correct time-stamps for minor planet observations found in the SDSS, which observes in drift-scan mode. Recent progress is promising. We are in dialogue with software engineers behind both Starry Night and Guide, helping to improve these planetarium programs as research tools. We are also constantly improving the Polaris Plugin, most recently to make it compatible with the astrometry format used by the websites NeoDys and AstDys.

  10. Returning an Entire Near-Earth Asteroid in Support of Human Exploration Beyond Low-Earth Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Friedman, Louis

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the results of a study into 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 of such an asteroid retrieval mission hinges on finding an overlap between the smallest NEAs that could be reasonably discovered and characterized and the largest NEAs that could be captured and transported in a reasonable flight time. This overlap appears to be centered on NEAs roughly 7 m in diameter corresponding to masses in the range of 250,000 kg to 1,000,000 kg. The study concluded that it would be possible to return a approx.500,000-kg NEA to high lunar orbit by around 2025. The feasibility is enabled by three key developments: the ability to discover and characterize an adequate number of sufficiently small near-Earth asteroids for capture and return; the ability to implement sufficiently powerful solar electric propulsion systems to enable transportation of the captured NEA; and the proposed human presence in cislunar space in the 2020s enabling exploration and exploitation of the returned NEA. Placing a 500-t asteroid in high lunar orbit would provide a unique, meaningful, and affordable destination for astronaut crews in the next decade. This disruptive capability would have a positive impact on a wide range of the nation's human space exploration interests. It would provide a high-value target in cislunar space that would require a human presence to take full advantage of this new resource. It would offer an affordable path to providing operational experience with astronauts working around and with a NEA that could feed forward to much longer duration human missions to larger NEAs in deep space. It represents a new synergy between robotic and human missions in which robotic spacecraft would retrieve significant quantities of valuable resources for exploitation by astronaut crews to enable human exploration farther out into

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  12. The discovery of cometary activity in near-Earth asteroid (3552) Don Quixote

    SciTech Connect

    Mommert, Michael; Harris, Alan W.; Hora, Joseph L.

    The near-Earth object (NEO) population, which mainly consists of fragments from collisions between asteroids in the main asteroid belt, is thought to include contributions from short-period comets as well. One of the most promising NEO candidates for a cometary origin is near-Earth asteroid (3552) Don Quixote, which has never been reported to show activity. Here we present the discovery of cometary activity in Don Quixote based on thermal-infrared observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope in its 3.6 and 4.5 μm bands. Our observations clearly show the presence of a coma and a tail in the 4.5 μm but notmore » in the 3.6 μm band, which is consistent with molecular band emission from CO{sub 2}. Thermal modeling of the combined photometric data on Don Quixote reveals a diameter of 18.4{sub −0.4}{sup +0.3} km and an albedo of 0.03{sub −0.01}{sup +0.02}, which confirms Don Quixote to be the third-largest known NEO. We derive an upper limit on the dust production rate of 1.9 kg s{sup –1} and derive a CO{sub 2} gas production rate of (1.1 ± 0.1) × 10{sup 26} molecules s{sup –1}. Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph spectroscopic observations indicate the presence of fine-grained silicates, perhaps pyroxene rich, on the surface of Don Quixote. Our discovery suggests that CO{sub 2} can be present in near-Earth space over a long time. The presence of CO{sub 2} might also explain that Don Quixote's cometary nature remained hidden for nearly three decades.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, C.; Shao, M.; Saini, N. S.; Sandhu, J. S.; Werne, T. A.; Choi, P.; Ely, T. A.; Jacobs, C.; Lazio, J.; Martin-Mur, T. J.; Owen, W. K.; Preston, R. A.; Turyshev, S. G.

    2017-12-01

    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 to be carried on the 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.

  15. The Stability of Main Characteristics of Possible Impacts of Asteroids with the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borukha, M.; Sokolov, L.; Petrov, N.; Vasiliev, A.

    2017-12-01

    The stability of the characteristics of asteroids trajectories leading to collisions with the Earth under small changes of the nominal orbit and the motion model (disturbing forces, integrator, etc.) is discussed. Examples of small changes in the relative positions and sizes of the keyholes leading to collisions, moments of collisions and minimum geocentric distances are demonstrated. It is shown that various ways of specifying the relative positions and sizes of the keyholes are possible, in particular, using differences in the osculating elements of the semi-major axis, as well as the differences of the minimum geocentric distances in the previous approach. Comparisons are made using examples of models of the Solar system DE403, DE405, DE430 for various nominal orbits of asteroids Apophis, 2015 RN35 and others. The ranges and causes for the observed stability are discussed. The stability of the structure of possible collisions is associated with the Lyapunov instability of the motion of asteroids during approach. This work is supported by RFBR grant 15-02-04340 and a grant from St. Petersburg State University 6.37.341.2015.

  16. Fast delivery of meteorites to Earth after a major asteroid collision.

    PubMed

    Heck, Philipp R; Schmitz, Birger; Baur, Heinrich; Halliday, Alex N; Wieler, Rainer

    2004-07-15

    Very large collisions in the asteroid belt could lead temporarily to a substantial increase in the rate of impacts of meteorites on Earth. Orbital simulations predict that fragments from such events may arrive considerably faster than the typical transit times of meteorites falling today, because in some large impacts part of the debris is transferred directly into a resonant orbit with Jupiter. Such an efficient meteorite delivery track, however, has not been verified. Here we report high-sensitivity measurements of noble gases produced by cosmic rays in chromite grains from a unique suite of fossil meteorites preserved in approximately 480 million year old sediments. The transfer times deduced from the noble gases are as short as approximately 10(5) years, and they increase with stratigraphic height in agreement with the estimated duration of sedimentation. These data provide powerful evidence that this unusual meteorite occurrence was the result of a long-lasting rain of meteorites following the destruction of an asteroid, and show that at least one strong resonance in the main asteroid belt can deliver material into the inner Solar System within the short timescales suggested by dynamical models.

  17. Near-Earth Asteroid (297418) 2000 SP43: Lightcurve and Color Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hergenrother, Carl W.

    2018-07-01

    Photometry of the Aten near-Earth asteroid (297418) 2000 SP43 was obtained on three nights in 2011 October with the University of Arizona Kuiper 1.54-m telescope. Lightcurve analysis yielded a rotation period of 6.314 ± 0.009 h and amplitude of 0.98 magnitudes. Broadband filter photometry found the following colors: B-V = +0.80, V-R = +0.50 and V-I = +0.85. These colors are consistent with an S-type taxonomy and agree with the results published in Hicks et al. (2011).

  18. SURVEY SIMULATIONS OF A NEW NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID DETECTION SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Giorgini, J.

    We have carried out simulations to predict the performance of a new space-based telescopic survey operating at thermal infrared wavelengths that seeks to discover and characterize a large fraction of the potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. Two potential architectures for the survey were considered: one located at the Earth–Sun L1 Lagrange point, and one in a Venus-trailing orbit. A sample cadence was formulated and tested, allowing for the self-follow-up necessary for objects discovered in the daytime sky on Earth. Synthetic populations of NEAs with sizes as small as 140 m in effective spherical diameter were simulated using recent determinationsmore » of their physical and orbital properties. Estimates of the instrumental sensitivity, integration times, and slew speeds were included for both architectures assuming the properties of newly developed large-format 10 μm HgCdTe detector arrays capable of operating at ∼35 K. Our simulation included the creation of a preliminary version of a moving object processing pipeline suitable for operating on the trial cadence. We tested this pipeline on a simulated sky populated with astrophysical sources such as stars and galaxies extrapolated from Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Explorer data, the catalog of known minor planets (including Main Belt asteroids, comets, Jovian Trojans, planets, etc.), and the synthetic NEA model. Trial orbits were computed for simulated position-time pairs extracted from the synthetic surveys to verify that the tested cadence would result in orbits suitable for recovering objects at a later time. Our results indicate that the Earth–Sun L1 and Venus-trailing surveys achieve similar levels of integral completeness for potentially hazardous asteroids larger than 140 m; placing the telescope in an interior orbit does not yield an improvement in discovery rates. This work serves as a necessary first step for the detailed planning of a next

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Are There Many Inactive Jupiter-Family Comets among the Near-Earth Asteroid Population?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Gallardo, Tabaré; Brunini, Adrián

    2002-10-01

    We analyze the dynamical evolution of Jupiter-family (JF) comets and near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) with aphelion distances Q>3.5 AU, paying special attention to the problem of mixing of both populations, such that inactive comets may be disguised as NEAs. From numerical integrations for 2×10 6 years we find that the half lifetime (where the lifetime is defined against hyperbolic ejection or collision with the Sun or the planets) of near-Earth JF comets (perihelion distances q<1.3 AU) is about 1.5×10 5 years but that they spend only a small fraction of this time (˜ a few 10 3 years) with q<1.3 AU. From numerical integrations for 5×10 6 years we find that the half lifetime of NEAs in "cometary" orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q>4.5 AU, i.e., that approach or cross Jupiter's orbit) is 4.2×10 5 years, i.e., about three times longer than that for near-Earth JF comets. We also analyze the problem of decoupling JF comets from Jupiter to produce Encke-type comets. To this end we simulate the dynamical evolution of the sample of observed JF comets with the inclusion of nongravitational forces. While decoupling occurs very seldom when a purely gravitational motion is considered, the action of nongravitational forces (as strong as or greater than those acting on Encke) can produce a few Enckes. Furthermore, a few JF comets are transferred to low-eccentricity orbits entirely within the main asteroid belt ( Q<4 AU and q>2 AU). The population of NEAs in cometary orbits is found to be adequately replenished with NEAs of smaller Q's diffusing outward, from which we can set an upper limit of ˜20% for the putative component of deactivated JF comets needed to maintain such a population in steady state. From this analysis, the upper limit for the average time that a JF comet in near-Earth orbit can spend as a dormant, asteroid-looking body can be estimated to be about 40% of the time spent as an active comet. More likely, JF comets in near-Earth orbits will

  2. Near-Earth Asteroids 2006 RH120 AND 2009 BD: Proxies for Maximally Accessible Objects?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barbee, Brent W.; Chodas, Paul W.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) has identified over 1,400 of the approximately 12,800 currently known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as more astrodynamically accessible, round-trip, than Mars. Hundreds of those approximately 1,400 NEAs can be visited round-trip for less change-in-velocity than the lunar surface, and dozens can be visited round-trip for less change-in-velocity than low lunar orbit. How accessible might the millions of undiscovered NEAs be? We probe that question by investigating the hypothesis that NEAs 2006 RH120 and 2009 BD are proxies for the most accessible NEAs we would expect to find, and describing possible future NEA population model studies.

  3. Mass estimate and close approaches of near-Earth asteroid 2015 TC25

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farnocchia, Davide; Tholen, David J.; Micheli, Marco; Ryan, William; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Giorgini, Jon D.

    2017-10-01

    Near-Earth asteroid 2015 TC25 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in October 2015, just two days before an Earth flyby at 0.3 lunar distances. By using ground-based optical, near-infrared, and radar assets during the flyby, Reddy et al. (2016) successfully characterized 2015 TC25. They suggested that the object has a high albedo and a diameter of 2 m, which makes 2015 TC25 one of the smallest asteroids ever detected. Moreover, the orbital information available at the end of the 2015 apparition indicated that 2015 TC25 had a probability of an Earth impact of more than 1 in 10000 from 2070 to 2115. To rule out possible impacts we recovered 2015 TC25 at the end of March 2017 and continued tracking the object through the end of April, when it became too faint to be observable. The recent 2017 astrometry clearly shows the action of solar radiation pressure on the orbit of 2015 TC25 with a 7.6-sigma detection. This solar radiation pressure estimate allows us to put constraints on the density and mass of 2015 TC25 and further suggests that the object is only a couple of meters in size. In particular, the area-to-mass ratio is between 0.6 m^2/t and 0.7 m^2/t and, for a diameter of 2 m, the density is about 1.1 g/cm^3. By accounting for the contribution of non-gravitational perturbations, we analyze the future trajectory of 2015 TC25. Based on the extended data arc, ephemeris predictions are now deterministic until the Earth close approach in 2089 and a Monte Carlo search rules out impacts for the next 100 years.

  4. The strength and detectability of the YORP effect in near-Earth asteroids: a statistical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rozitis, B.; Green, S. F.

    2013-04-01

    In addition to collisions and gravitational forces, it is now becoming widely acknowledged that photon recoil forces and torques from the asymmetric reflection and thermal re-radiation of sunlight are primary mechanisms that govern the rotational evolution of an asteroid. The Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect causes changes in the rotation rate and pole direction of an irregularly shaped asteroid. We present a simple Monte Carlo method to estimate the range of YORP rotational accelerations acting on a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) without knowledge of its detailed shape, and to estimate its detectability using light-curve observations. The method requires knowledge of an asteroid's orbital properties and size, and assumes that the future observational circumstances of an asteroid have already been thought through. It is verified by application to the observational circumstances of the seven YORP-investigated asteroids, and is then applied to 540 NEAs with NEOWISE and/or other diameter measurements, and to all NEAs using Minor Planet Center Orbit absolute magnitudes. The YORP detectability is found to be a strong function of the combined asteroid orbital and diameter properties, and is independent of the rotation period for NEAs that do not have very fast or slow rotation rates. The median and 1σ spread of YORP rotational acceleration expected to be acting on a particular NEA (dω/dt in rad yr-2) can be estimated from its semimajor axis (a in au), eccentricity (e) and diameter (D in km) by using | {{dω } / {dt}} | = 1.20_{ - 0.86}^{ + 1.66} × 10^{ - 2}( {a^2sqrt{1 - e^2} D^2} )^{ - 1} and/or by using | {{dω }/{dt}} | = 1.00_{ - 0.81}^{ + 3.07} × 10^{ - 2}( {a^2sqrt{1 - e^2} D^2} )^{ - 1} if the diameter is instead estimated from the absolute magnitude by assuming a geometric albedo of 0.1. The length of a light-curve observational campaign required to achieve a 50 per cent probability of detecting the YORP effect in a particular NEA (T_CAM_50 in

  5. Determination of Eros Physical Parameters for Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Orbit Phase Navigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, J. K.; Antreasian, P. J.; Georgini, J.; Owen, W. M.; Williams, B. G.; Yeomans, D. K.

    1995-01-01

    Navigation of the orbit phase of the Near Earth steroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission will re,quire determination of certain physical parameters describing the size, shape, gravity field, attitude and inertial properties of Eros. Prior to launch, little was known about Eros except for its orbit which could be determined with high precision from ground based telescope observations. Radar bounce and light curve data provided a rough estimate of Eros shape and a fairly good estimate of the pole, prime meridian and spin rate. However, the determination of the NEAR spacecraft orbit requires a high precision model of Eros's physical parameters and the ground based data provides only marginal a priori information. Eros is the principal source of perturbations of the spacecraft's trajectory and the principal source of data for determining the orbit. The initial orbit determination strategy is therefore concerned with developing a precise model of Eros. The original plan for Eros orbital operations was to execute a series of rendezvous burns beginning on December 20,1998 and insert into a close Eros orbit in January 1999. As a result of an unplanned termination of the rendezvous burn on December 20, 1998, the NEAR spacecraft continued on its high velocity approach trajectory and passed within 3900 km of Eros on December 23, 1998. The planned rendezvous burn was delayed until January 3, 1999 which resulted in the spacecraft being placed on a trajectory that slowly returns to Eros with a subsequent delay of close Eros orbital operations until February 2001. The flyby of Eros provided a brief glimpse and allowed for a crude estimate of the pole, prime meridian and mass of Eros. More importantly for navigation, orbit determination software was executed in the landmark tracking mode to determine the spacecraft orbit and a preliminary shape and landmark data base has been obtained. The flyby also provided an opportunity to test orbit determination operational procedures that will be

  6. Population trends of binary near-Earth asteroids based on radar and lightcurves observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozovic, Marina; Benner, Lance A. M.; Naidu, Shantanu P.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Busch, Michael W.; Margot, Jean-Luc; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.; Springmann, Alessondra; Giorgini, Jon D.; Shepard, Michael K.; Magri, Christopher; Richardson, James E.; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Rodriguez-Ford, Linda A.; Zambrano Marin, Luisa Fernanda

    2016-10-01

    The Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars are invaluable instruments for the discovery and characterization of binary and triple asteroids in the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. To date, 41 out of 56 known binaries and triples (~73% of the objects) have been discovered by radar and 49 of these multiple systems have been detected by radar. Their absolute magnitudes range from 12.4 for (1866) Sisyphus to 22.6 for 2015 TD144 and have a mean and rms dispersion of 18.1+-2.0. There is a pronounced decrease in the abundance of binaries for absolute magnitudes H>20. One of the smallest binaries, 1994 CJ1, with an absolute magnitude H=21.4, is also the most accessible binary for a spacecraft rendezvous. Among 365 NEAs with H<22 (corresponding to diameters larger than ~ 140 m) detected by radar since 1999, ~13% have at least one companion. Two triple systems are known, (15391) 2001 SN263 and (136617) 1994 CC, but this is probably an underestimate due to low signal to noise ratios (SNRs) for many of the binary radar detections. Taxonomic classes have been reported for 41 out of 56 currently known multiple systems and some trends are starting to emerge: at least 50% of multiple asteroid systems are S, Sq, Q, or Sk, and at least 20% are optically dark (C, B, P, or U). Thirteen V-class NEAs have been observed by radar and six of them are binaries. Curiously, a comparable number of E-class objects have been detected by radar, but none is known to be a binary.

  7. The Near-Earth Encounter of Asteroid 308635 (2005 YU55): Thermal IR Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lim, Lucy F.; Emery, J. P.; Moskovitz, N. A.; Busch, N. W.; Yang, B.; Granvik, M.

    2012-01-01

    The near-Earth approach (0.00217 AU, or 0.845 lunar distances) of the C-type asteroid 308635 (2005 YU55) in November 2011 presented a rare opportunity for detailed observations of a low-albedo NEA in this size range. As part of a multi-telescope campaign to measure visible and infrared spectra and photometry, we obtained mid-infrared (approx. 8 to 22 micron) photometry and spectroscopy of 2005 YU55 using Michelle on the Gemini North telescope on UT November 9 and 10,2011. An extensive radar campaign together with optical light-curves established the rotation state of YU55. In addition, the radar imaging resulted in a shape model for the asteroid, detection of numerous boulders on its surface, and a preliminary estimate of its equatorial diameter at 380 +/- 20 m. In a preliminary analysis, applying the radar and lightcurve-derived parameters to a rough-surface thermophysical model fit to the Gemini/Michelle thermal emission photometry results in a thermal inertia range of approximately 500 to 1500 J/sq m/0.5s/K, with the low-thermal-inertia solution corresponding to the small end of the radar size range and vice versa. Updates to these results will be presented and modeling of the thermal contribution to the measured near-infrared spectra from Palomar/Triplespec and IRTF/SpeX will also be discussed.

  8. VizieR Online Data Catalog: 280 one-opposition near Earth asteroids (Vaduvescu+, 2018)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Hudin, L.; Mocnik, T.; Char, F.; Sonka, A.; Tudor, V.; Ordonez-Etxeberria, I.; Diaz Alfaro, M.; Ashley, R.; Errmann, R.; Short, P.; Moloceniuc, A.; Cornea, R.; Inceu, V.; Zavoianu, D.; Popescu, M.; Curelaru, L.; Mihalea, S.; Stoian, A.-M.; Boldea, A.; Toma, R.; Fields, L.; Grigore, V.; Stoev, H.; Lopez-Martinez, F.; Humphries, N.; Sowicka, P.; Ramanjooloo, Y.; Manilla-Robles, A.; Riddick, F. C.; Jimenez-Lujan, F.; Mendez, J.; Aceituno, F.; Sota, A.; Jones, D.; Hidalgo, S.; Murabito, S.; Oteo, I.; Bongiovanni, A.; Zamora, O.; Pyrzas, S.; Tanausu, R.; Font, J.; Bereciartua, A.; Perez-Fournon, I.; Martinez-Vazquez, C. E.; Monelli, M.; Cicuendez, L.; Monteagudo, L.; Agulli, I.; Bouy, H.; Huelamo, N.; Monguio, M.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Steeghs, D.; Gentile-Fusillo, N. P.; Hollands, M. A.; Toloza, O.; Manser, C. J.; Dhillon, V.; Sahman, D.; Fitzsimmons, A.; McNeill, A.; Thompson, A.; Tabor, M.; Murphy, D. N. A.; Davies, J.; Snodgrass, C.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Groot, P. J.; Macfarlane, S.; Peletier, R.; Sen, S.; Ikiz, T.; Hoekstra, H.; Herbonnet, R.; Koehlinger, F.; Greimel, R.; Afonso, A.; Parker, Q. A.; Kong, A. K. H.; Bassa, C.; Pleunis, Z.

    2017-10-01

    Table 2 lists the observing log of the EURONEAR 2013-2016 one-opposition near Earth asteroids (NEAs) recovery project. The Tables includes 457 observed fields (437 using the INT, 12 using the WHT and 4 using the OGS). We ordered the table based on the asteroid designation (first column) then the observing date (start night), listing the apparent magnitude V (according to MPC ephemerides), the proper motion miu and the positional uncertainty of the targets (as shown on the observing date by MPC at 3σ level), the number of acquired images (including nearby fields), and the exposure time (in seconds). In the last three columns we list the current status of the targets (as classified in the paper by Aug 2017), the MPS publication that includes our recovery, and some comments that can include the PHA classification, other used telescopes (WHT or OGS), the track-and-stack technique (TS, whenever used), other possible external stations (MPC observatory code) and the date of later recovery (given only for later recoveries when we were unable to find the targets or for joined simultaneous recoveries). (1 data file).

  9. Near-Earth asteroid satellite spins under spin-orbit coupling

    SciTech Connect

    Naidu, Shantanu P.; Margot, Jean-Luc

    We develop a fourth-order numerical integrator to simulate the coupled spin and orbital motions of two rigid bodies having arbitrary mass distributions under the influence of their mutual gravitational potential. We simulate the dynamics of components in well-characterized binary and triple near-Earth asteroid systems and use surface of section plots to map the possible spin configurations of the satellites. For asynchronous satellites, the analysis reveals large regions of phase space where the spin state of the satellite is chaotic. For synchronous satellites, we show that libration amplitudes can reach detectable values even for moderately elongated shapes. The presence of chaoticmore » regions in the phase space has important consequences for the evolution of binary asteroids. It may substantially increase spin synchronization timescales, explain the observed fraction of asychronous binaries, delay BYORP-type evolution, and extend the lifetime of binaries. The variations in spin rate due to large librations also affect the analysis and interpretation of light curve and radar observations.« less

  10. Cold Gas Reaction Control System for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout CubeSat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stiltner, Brandon C.; Diedrich, Ben; Becker, Chris; Bertaska, Ivan; Heaton, Andrew; Orphee, Juan

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes the Attitude Control System (ACS) for the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout cubesat with particular focus on the Reaction Control System (RCS). NEA Scout is a 6-Unit cubesat with an 86-square-meter solar sail. NEA Scout will launch on Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), currently scheduled to launch in 2019. The spacecraft will rendezvous with an asteroid after a two year journey, and will conduct science imagery. The 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 three subsystems allow for a wide range of spacecraft attitude control capabilities, needed for the different phases of the NEA-Scout mission. The RCS performs a number of critical functions during NEA Scout’s mission. These requirements are described and the performance for achieving these requirements is shown. Moreover, NEA Scout employs a solar sail for long-duration propulsion. Solar sails are large, flexible structures that typically have low bending-mode frequencies. This paper demonstrates a robust performance while avoiding excitation of the sail’s structural modes.

  11. Cold Gas Reaction Control System for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout CubeSat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stiltner, Brandon C.; Diedrich, Ben; Orphee, Juan; Heaton, Andrew; Becker, Chris; Bertaska, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes the Attitude Control System (ACS) for the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout cubesat with particular focus on the Reaction Control System (RCS). NEA Scout is a 6U cubesat with an 86 square-meter solar sail. NEA Scout will launch on Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), currently scheduled to launch in 2018. The spacecraft will rendezvous with an asteroid after a two year journey, and will conduct science imagery. The 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 three subsystems allow for a wide range of spacecraft attitude control capabilities, needed for the different phases of the NEA-Scout mission. The RCS performs a number of critical functions during NEA Scout's mission. These requirements are described and the performance for achieving these requirements is shown. Moreover, NEA Scout employs a solar sail for long-duration propulsion. Solar sails are large, flexible structures that typically have low bending-mode frequencies. This paper demonstrates a robust performance while avoiding excitation of the sail's structural modes.

  12. An update of the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking/Maui Space Surveillance System (NEAT/MSSS) collaboration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bambery, R. J.; Helin, E. F.; Pravdo, S. H.; Lawrence, K. J.; Hicks, M. D.

    2002-01-01

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program has two simultaneously-operating, autonomous search systems on two geographically-separated 1.2-m telescopes; one at the Maui Space Surveillance System (NEAT/MSSS) and the other on the Palomar Observatory's Oschin telescope (NEAT/Palomar). This paper will focus exclusively on the NEAT/MSSS system.

  13. Tactile Earth and Space Science Materials for Students with Visual Impairments: Contours, Craters, Asteroids, and Features of Mars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.

    2011-01-01

    New tactile curriculum materials for teaching Earth and planetary science lessons on rotation=revolution, silhouettes of objects from different views, contour maps, impact craters, asteroids, and topographic features of Mars to 11 elementary and middle school students with sight impairments at a week-long residential summer camp are presented…

  14. The All-Asteroids Lab Course: Kepler's Laws, Collisions, And Authentic Undergraduate Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puckett, Andrew W.; Rector, T. A.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed a 12-week undergraduate laboratory sequence based entirely on asteroids and the hazards they pose. This curriculum has been designed primarily for use in an introductory Solar System Astronomy course, but it can be broken into smaller segments for a variety of course scenarios and educational goals. The course begins with a four-lab sequence based on our new online Java applet OrbitMaster, (adapted from AstroArts’ OrbitViewer under the GNU General Public License). OrbitMaster allows the user to alter an asteroid's orbital parameters and monitor its position and speed relative to both Sun and Earth. It also detects close approaches and collisions with Earth, and calculates revised speeds due to Earth's gravity. Students are able to confirm Kepler's laws, examine orbital properties that produce impacts, discover the kinetic energy-crater size relationship, understand the regional/global consequences of impacts, and experiment with deflection strategies. A three-lab sequence follows that examines the orbit-refinement and changing impact odds of 2007 WD5, which briefly had a 4% chance of hitting Mars in 2008. These labs introduce software that allows students to make astrometric measurements, fit orbital parameters, and predict future positions and uncertainties. They then use these tools in a four-lab research project to improve their own asteroids’ orbits, using images from the SDSS and WIYN 0.9-meter telescopes. Their work culminates in a presentation to their peers and submission of their astrometric measurements to the Minor Planet Center for publication. This effort is part of our NSF CCLI grant to develop Research Based Science Education (RBSE) curricula for non-majors. We have designed six projects that allow students to learn science by actually doing science. These projects are now being tested at six institutions around the country, and will eventually be distributed to a national audience.

  15. Temperature-Driven Shape Changes of the Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stohlman, Olive R.; Loper, Erik R.; Lockett, Tiffany E.

    2017-01-01

    Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout) is a NASA deep space Cubesat, scheduled to launch on the Exploration Mission 1 flight of the Space Launch System. NEA Scout will use a deployable solar sail as its primary propulsion system. The sail is a square membrane supported by rigid metallic tapespring booms, and analysis predicts that these booms will experience substantial thermal warping if they are exposed to direct sunlight in the space environment. NASA has conducted sunspot chamber experiments to confirm the thermal distortion of this class of booms, demonstrating tip displacement of between 20 and 50 centimeters in a 4-meter boom. The distortion behavior of the boom is complex and demonstrates an application for advanced thermal-structural analysis. The needs of the NEA Scout project were supported by changing the solar sail design to keep the booms shaded during use of the solar sail, and an additional experiment in the sunspot chamber is presented in support of this solution.

  16. Human Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids and Sample Collection Considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul

    2013-01-01

    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. Subsequently, the U.S. presidential administration directed NASA on April 15, 2010 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. Human Exploration Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to interplanetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Missions to NEAs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific examinations of these primitive objects. However, prior to sending human explorers to NEAs, robotic investigations of these bodies would be required in order to maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk. These precursor missions to NEAs would fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps concerning their physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration of these relatively unknown destinations. Sample Science Benefits: Information obtained from a human investigation of a NEA, together with ground-based observations and prior spacecraft investigations of asteroids and comets, will also provide a real measure of ground truth to data obtained from terrestrial meteorite collections. Major advances in the areas of geochemistry, impact history, thermal history, isotope analyses, mineralogy, space weathering, formation ages, thermal inertias, volatile content, source regions, solar system formation, etc. can be expected from human NEA missions. Samples directly returned from a

  17. Near-Earth asteroids orbits using Gaia and ground-based observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bancelin, D.; Hestroffer, D.; Thuillot, W.

    2011-05-01

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are Near-Earth Asteroids caraterised by a Minimum Orbital Intersection Distance (MOID) with Earth less to 0.05 A.U and an absolute magnitude H<22. Those objects have sometimes a so significant close approach with Earth that they can be put on a chaotic orbit. This kind of orbit is very sensitive for exemple to the initial conditions, to the planetary theory used (for instance JPL's model versus IMCCE's model) or even to the numerical integrator used (Lie Series, Bulirsch-Stoer or Radau). New observations (optical, radar, flyby or satellite mission) can improve those orbits and reduce the uncertainties on the Keplerian elements.The Gaia mission is an astrometric mission that will be launched in 2012 and will observe a large number of Solar System Objects down to magnitude V≤20. During the 5-year mission, Gaia will continuously scan the sky with a specific strategy: objects will be observed from two lines of sight separated with a constant basic angle. Five constants already fixed determinate the nominal scanning law of Gaia: The inertial spin rate (1°/min) that describe the rotation of the spacecraft around an axis perpendicular to those of the two fields of view, the solar-aspect angle (45°) that is the angle between the Sun and the spacecraft rotation axis, the precession period (63.12 days) which is the precession of the spin axis around the Sun-Earth direction. Two other constants are still free parameters: the initial spin phase, and the initial precession angle that will be fixed at the start of the nominal science operations. These latter are constraint by scientific outcome (e.g. possibility of performing test of fundamental physics) together with operational requirements (downlink to Earth windows). Several sets of observations of specific NEOs will hence be provided according to the initial precession angle. The purpose here is to study the statistical impact of the initial precession angle on the error

  18. NEEMO 15: Evaluation of Human Exploration Systems for Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chappell, Steven P.; Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 15 mission was focused on near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) exploration techniques evaluation. It began with a University of Delaware autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) systematically mapping the coral reef for hundreds of meters surrounding the Aquarius habitat. This activity is akin to the type of "far field survey" approach that may be used by a robotic precursor in advance of a human mission to a NEA. Data from the far-field survey were then examined by the NEEMO science team and follow-up exploration traverses were planned, which used Deepworker single-person submersibles. Science traverses at NEEMO 15 were planned according to a prioritized list of scientific objectives developed by the science team based on review and discussion of previous related marine science research including previous marine science saturation missions conducted at the Aquarius habitat. AUV data was used to select several areas of scientific interest. The Deepworker science traverses were then executed at these areas of interest during 4 days of the NEEMO 15 mission and provided higher resolution data such as coral species distribution and mortality. These traverses are analogous to the "near field survey" approach that is expected to be performed by a multi mission space exploration vehicle (MMSEV) during a human mission to a NEA before conducting extravehicular activities (EVA)s. In addition to the science objectives that were pursued, the NEEMO 15 science traverses provided an opportunity to test newly developed software and techniques. Sample collection and instrument deployment on the NEA surface by EVA crew would follow the "near field survey" in a human NEA mission. Sample collection was not necessary for the purposes of the NEEMO science objectives; however, the engineering and operations objectives during NEEMO 15 were to evaluate different combinations of vehicles, crewmembers, tools, and equipment that could be used to perform

  19. Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail Engineering Development Unit Test Suite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2017-01-01

    The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout project is a 6U reconnaissance mission to investigate a near Earth asteroid utilizing an 86m(sub 2) solar sail as the primary propulsion system. This will be the largest solar sail NASA has launched to date. NEA Scout is 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 was able to capture understanding of thermal, stress, and dynamics of the stowed system as well as mature an integrated sail membrane model for deployed flight dynamics. Full scale system testing on the ground is the optimal way to demonstrate system robustness, repeatability, and overall performance on a compressed flight schedule. To physically test the system, the team developed a flight sized engineering development unit with design features as close to flight as possible. The test suite included ascent vent, random vibration, functional deployments, thermal vacuum, and full sail deployments. All of these tests contributed towards development of the final flight unit. This paper will address several of the design challenges and lessons learned from the NEA Scout solar sail subsystem engineering development unit. Testing on the component level all the way to the integrated subsystem level. From optical properties of the sail material to fold and spooling the single sail, the team has developed a robust deployment system for the solar sail. The team completed several deployments of the sail system in preparation for flight at half scale (4m) and full scale (6.8m): boom only, half scale sail deployment, and full scale sail deployment. This paper will also address expected and received test results from ascent vent, random vibration, and deployment tests.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  1. Radar Imaging and Characterization of the Binary Near-Earth Asteroid (185851) 2000 DP107

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naidu, S. P.; Margot, J. L.; Taylor, P. A.; Nolan, M. C.; Busch, M. W.; Benner, L. A. M.; Brozovic, M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Jao, J. S.; Magri, C.

    2015-08-01

    The potentially hazardous asteroid (185851) 2000 DP107 was the first binary near-Earth asteroid to be imaged. Radar observations in 2000 provided images at 75 m resolution that revealed the shape, orbit, and spin-up formation mechanism of the binary. The asteroid made a more favorable flyby of the Earth in 2008, yielding images at 30 m resolution. We used these data to obtain shape models for the two components and to improve the estimates of the mutual orbit, component masses, and spin periods. The primary has a sidereal spin period of 2.7745 ± 0.0007 hr and is roughly spheroidal with an equivalent diameter of 863 m +/- 5%. It has a mass of 4.656+/- 0.43× {10}11 kg and a density of 1381 ± 244 kg m-3. It exhibits an equatorial ridge similar to the (66391) 1999 KW4 primary; however, the equatorial ridge in this case is not as regular and has a ˜300 m diameter concavity on one side. The secondary has a sidereal spin period of 1.77 ± 0.02 days commensurate with the orbital period. The secondary is slightly elongated and has overall dimensions of 377× 314× 268 m (6% uncertainties). Its mass is 0.178+/- 0.021× {10}11 kg and its density is 1047 ± 230 kg m-3. The mutual orbit has a semimajor axis of 2.659 ± 0.08 km, an eccentricity of 0.019 ± 0.01, and a period of 1.7556 ± 0.0015 days. The normalized total angular momentum of this system exceeds the amount required for the expected spin-up formation mechanism. An increase of angular momentum from non-gravitational forces after binary formation is a possible explanation. The two components have similar radar reflectivity, suggesting a similar composition consistent with formation by spin-up. The secondary appears to exhibit a larger circular polarization ratio than the primary, suggesting a rougher surface or subsurface at radar wavelength scales.

  2. NASA Space Missions to Asteroids: Protecting the Earth from NEO Impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, David; Berry, William E. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    There is now a general recognition of the hazard of impacts on Earth by comets and asteroids, but there is yet no consensus concerning international actions that should be taken to protect the planet from such impacts. An essential step in the analysis of the situation involves estimating the relative hazard posed by comets and asteroids of different sizes and orbits. All recent studies agree that the larger impacts pose the greater danger, and that our primary concern from the perspective of total risk should be on impacts that are large enough to cause global ecological catastrophe. These global catastrophes are also of special interest, since they (alone among natural disasters) have the potential to destroy civilization. Studies of the sensitivity of the Earth's environment suggest that the energy threshold energy for causing a global catastrophe is at about 1 million megatons, corresponding to impactor diameters of 1.5 to 2 km. This information leads naturally to a strategy of concentrating on the larger NEOs, say those 1 km or more in diameter. This is the rationale for the Spaceguard Survey, which must be the highest priority in mitigation efforts. The second question concerns the value of developing standing defensive systems that could deflect or destroy an incoming NEO. In the case of the asteroids larger than 1 km in diameter, no such system is needed, since there will be ample time (at least several decades) between the discovery of the threatening object by Spaceguard and the requirement to take action against it. In the case of objects smaller than 1 km diameter, development of defensive systems is not cost-effective; there are many greater dangers to persons and property that are much more urgent. Only in the case of large long-period comets is there a rationale for standing defense systems. The question is also raised whether the risks inherent in developing and maintaining a defense system might be greater than the impact risks it is intended to

  3. Human Expeditions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Resource Utilization, Science, and Planetary Defense

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Barbee, Brent; Landis, Rob; Johnson, Lindley; Yeomans, Don; Friedensen, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and planetary defence. 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. With respect to planetary defence, in 2005 the U.S. Congress directed NASA to implement a survey program to detect, track, and characterize NEAs equal or greater than 140 m in diameter in order to access the threat from such objects to the Earth. The current goal of this survey is to achieve 90% completion of objects equal or greater than 140 m in diameter by 2020.

  4. Design of Round-trip Trajectories to Near-Earth Asteroids Utilizing a Lunar Flyby

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hernandez, Sonia; Barbee, Brent W.

    2011-01-01

    There are currently over 7,700 known Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), and more are being discovered on a continual basis. Current models predict that the actual order of magnitude of the NEA population may range from 10' to 10 6 . The close proximity of NEA orbits to Earth's orbit makes it possible to design short duration round-trip trajectories to NEAs under the proper conditions. In previous work, 59 potentially accessible NEAs were identified for missions that depart Earth between the years 2016 and 2050 and have round-trip flight times of a year or less. We now present a new method for designing round-trip trajectories to NEAs in which the Moon's gravity aids the outbound trajectory via a lunar flyby. In some cases this gravity assist can reduce the overall spacecraft propellant required for the mission, which in turn can allow NEAs to be reached which would otherwise be inaccessible to a given mission architecture. Results are presented for a specific case study on NEA 2003 LN6.

  5. Did Earth-approaching asteroids 3551, 3908, or 4055 produce meteorites?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gustafson, Bo A. S.; Williams, I. P.

    1992-01-01

    Orbital integrations show that Amor asteroid 3908 could have ejected one out of four plausible groups of meteorite producing fireballs during a collision in the asteroid belt. It was suggested by others that such a collision may also have split asteroids 3551 and 3908. A member of this group of fireballs is listed as one of the better possibilities for recovery.

  6. PHYSICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF ∼2 m DIAMETER NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID 2015 TC25: A POSSIBLE BOULDER FROM E-TYPE ASTEROID (44) NYSA

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan A.; Bottke, William F.

    Small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) (<20 m) are interesting, because they are progenitors for meteorites in our terrestrial collection. The physical characteristics of these small NEAs are crucial to our understanding of the effectiveness of our atmosphere in filtering low-strength impactors. In the past, the characterization of small NEAs has been a challenge, because of the difficulty in detecting them prior to close Earth flyby. In this study, we physically characterized the 2 m diameter NEA 2015 TC25 using ground-based optical, near-infrared and radar assets during a close flyby of the Earth (distance 128,000 km) in 2015 October 12. Our observationsmore » suggest that its surface composition is similar to aubrites, a rare class of high-albedo differentiated meteorites. Aubrites make up only 0.14% of all known meteorites in our terrestrial meteorite collection. 2015 TC25 is also a very fast rotator with a period of 133 ± 6 s. We combined the spectral and dynamical properties of 2015 TC25 and found the best candidate source body in the inner main belt to be the 70 km diameter E-type asteroid (44) Nysa. We attribute the difference in spectral slope between the two objects to the lack of regolith on the surface of 2015 TC25. Using the albedo of E-type asteroids (50%–60%) we refine the diameter of 2015 TC25 to 2 m, making it one of the smallest NEAs ever to be characterized.« less

  7. Spin-state and thermophysical analysis of the near-Earth asteroid (8567) 1996 HW_1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rożek, A.; Lowry, S.; Rozitis, B.; Wolters, S.; Hicks, M.; Duddy, S.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Green, S.; Snodgrass, C.; Weissman, P.

    2014-07-01

    The asteroid (8567) 1996 HW_1 is a near-Earth Amor-class asteroid. It has been a target of visual lightcurve observations during the two apparitions in 2005 [1,2] and 2008 [3]. The lightcurve datasets were complemented by the radar data obtained at Arecibo during the close approach in September 2008 [4]. The data was combined to constrain the shape and spin state of the asteroid. The sidereal spin rate was measured to be P = 8.76243 hours, and pole position expressed in ecliptic coordinates as λ=281°, β = -31°, with a complex rotation state not being ruled out. The shape of the asteroid resembles a contact binary with two components connected by a narrow neck. It was predicted that the asteroid's rotation rate is decreasing due to the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect. We aimed to verify the predicted YORP-induced period change [4]. The asteroid (8567) 1996 HW_1 has been selected as one of the targets of an ESO Large Programme led by Dr. S. Lowry. The programme includes photometric monitoring, infrared thermal observations, and visual near-infrared spectroscopy of selected near-Earth asteroids. Within the ESO LP, the asteroid has been observed on six runs between April 2010 and April 2013 with ESO's 3.6-m NTT telescope (Chile) to acquire optical lightcurves, and in September and December 2011 the infrared observations were performed with the VISIR instrument at the ESO's 8.2-m VLT telescope (Chile). The data set is completed by the visual lightcurve observations gathered from supporting programmes at JPL's Table Mountain Observatory (USA), Palomar 200-in telescope (USA), and the 2-m Liverpool Telescope (Spain). The visual lightcurves from our 2010-2013 observing campaign were combined with the previously published lightcurves from 2005-2009, doubling the time span of the observations for the purpose of the potential YORP detection. The shape model developed from radar and lightcurve data [4] has been used in the spin-state analysis. The

  8. Assessing the physical nature of near-Earth asteroids through their dynamical histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Sosa, Andrea; Gallardo, Tabaré; Gutiérrez, Jorge N.

    2014-08-01

    We analyze a sample of 139 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), defined as those that reach perihelion distances q<1.3 au, and that also fulfill the conditions of approaching or crossing Jupiter’s orbit (aphelion distances Q>4.8 au), having Tisserand parameters 2Earth orbits, i.e. with q<1.3 au. We integrated the orbits of these two samples for 104 yr in the past and in the future. We find that the great majority of the NEAs move on stable orbits during the considered period, and that a large proportion of them are in one of the main mean motion resonances with Jupiter, in particular the 2:1. We find a strong coupling between the perihelion distance and the inclination in the motion of most NEAs, due to Kozai mechanism, that generates many sungrazers. On the other hand, most JFCs are found to move on very unstable orbits, showing large variations in their perihelion distances in the last few 102-103 yr, which suggests a rather recent capture in their current near-Earth orbits. Even though most NEAs of our sample move in typical ‘asteroidal’ orbits, we detect a small group of NEAs whose orbits are highly unstable, resembling those of the JFCs. These are: 1997 SE5, 2000 DN1, 2001 XQ, 2002 GJ8, 2002 RN38, 2003 CC11, 2003 WY25, 2009 CR2, and 2011 OL51. These objects might be inactive comets, and indeed 2003 WY25 has been associated with comet Blanpain, and it is now designed as Comet 289P/Blanpain. Under the assumption that these objects are inactive comets, we can set an upper limit of ∼0.17 to the fraction of NEAs with Q>4.8 au of cometary origin, but it could be even lower if the NEAs in unstable orbits listed before turn out to be bona fide asteroids from the main belt. This study strengthens the idea that NEAs and comets essentially are two distinct populations, and that periods of dormancy in comets must be rare. Most likely

  9. Asteroid resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, John S.

    1992-01-01

    There are three types of possible asteroidal materials that appear to be attractive for exploitation: (1) volatiles, (2) free metals, and (3) bulk dirt. Because some of the near-Earth asteroids are energetically more accessible than the Moon (require a round-trip total change in velocity less than 9 km/sec, though the trip time would be measured in years not days), such an asteroid might be chosen as the source of any useful material, even if that material was also available on the Moon. Provided that the asteroid was minable, it might therefore be chosen as the source of bulk dirt needed for shielding in low Earth orbit (LEO) or elsewhere in near-Earth space. And the near-Earth asteroids may offer materials that are rare or absent on the surface of the Moon. The relationship between asteroids and meteorites is discussed. A brief overview of the entire range of meteorite compositions, with emphasis on the occurrence of interesting resources is presented. Focus is on materials useful in space, especially volatiles, metals, and raw dirt. Those few materials that may have sufficiently high market value to be worth returning to Earth will be mentioned.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  11. Thermal Emission Spectroscopy (5.2 To 38 Microns) And Analysis Of 10 Near-earth Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dave, Riddhi; Emery, J.; Cruikshank, D.; Mueller, M.; Delbo, M.; Trilling, D. E.; Mommert, M.

    2010-10-01

    Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs- 0.983AUAsteroids]. These data were reduced with Spitzer IRS Custom Extraction (SPICE) a JAVA-based tool built for interactive extraction of Spitzer IRS spectra. The 5.2-38 m thermal emission spectra[R 60-130] have been fitted with models of the thermal continuum employing the Near Earth Asteroid Thermal Model [NEATM](Harris 1998) and a Thermophysical model. Simultaneous measurements of the asteroid flux in the thermal infrared, combined with a thermal model, allow both the diameter and the albedo to be determined. The sample of Asteroids to be a part of this study are 1602 Geographos, 1580 Betulia, 433 Eros, 2212 Hephaistos, 1685 Toro, 1917 Cuyo, 1566 Icarus, 3200 Phaethon, 7092 Cadmus and 1866 Sisyphus. This study will give in-depth understanding of the applicability of the NEATM for NEAs observed at higher phase angles, having larger thermal inertia than main-belt asteroids, and/or displaying varied geometries. 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. Software Development for Asteroid and Variable Star Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Surface composition of near-Earth Asteroid (4953) 1990 MU: Possible fragment of (6) Hebe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael S.; Gaffey, Michael J.; Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan A.

    2014-05-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are interesting as both a threat to the Earth and as the immediate parent bodies of most meteorites. We observed NEA (4953) 1990 MU using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and University of Hawaii (U.H.) telescopes on Mauna Kea to constrain its surface composition and origin. The surface composition of 1990 MU is similar to ordinary chondrites (H chondrites). The calculated olivine and pyroxene chemistry of 1990 MU (Fa13.5±1.3 and Fs12.7±1.4) are consistent with the olivine and pyroxene chemistry ranges for H chondrites (Fa15-21 and Fs13-19) (Dunn, T.L., McCoy, T.J., Sunshine, J.M., McSween, H.Y. [2010]. Icarus 208, 789-797), although the estimated Fa value is at the lower end of the H chondrite range. The olivine abundance ratio of 1990 MU (0.57 ± 0.03) is slightly higher but not inconsistent with H chondrites (0.47-0.55 ± 0.03). The radar circular polarization ratio (same circular polarization state or SC/opposite circular polarization state or OC) (Benner, L.A.M., Ostro, S.J., Magri, C., Nolan, M.C., Howell, E.S., Giorgini, J.D., Jurgens, R.F., Margot, J.L., Taylor, P.A., Busch, M.W., Shepard, M.K. [2008]. Icarus, 198, 294-304) of 1990 MU is 0.36 ± 0.03, which is higher than the mean SC/OC ratio for S-type NEAs (0.270 ± 0.079). The 1990 MU SC/OC is also higher than those of (25143) Itokawa (0.27 ± 0.04), (4179) Toutatis (0.29 ± 0.01) and (433) Eros (0.28 ± 0.06) suggesting a rougher surface at decimeter scale (Benner, L.A.M., Ostro, S.J., Magri, C., Nolan, M.C., Howell, E.S., Giorgini, J.D., Jurgens, R.F., Margot, J.L., Taylor, P.A., Busch, M.W., Shepard, M.K. [2008]. Icarus, 198, 294-304). We constrained the diameter of 1990 MU (4.4 km) using the average albedo at 0.55 μm of H chondrites (0.21) and absolute magnitude (H) of 14.1 (Flower, J.W., Chillemi J.R. [1992]. IRAS Asteroid Data Processing: The IRAS Minor Planet Survey, Philips Laboratory Technical Report PL-TR-92-2049. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena

  14. Spectral Characteristics of Hayabusa 2 Near-Earth Asteroid Targets 162173 1999 JU3 and 2001 QC34

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vilas, Faith

    2008-04-01

    Reflectance spectra of C-type near-Earth asteroid 162173 1999 JU3 were acquired on UT 2007 July 11, September 10 and 11. An absorption feature centered near 0.7 μm, and associated with the presence of iron-bearing phyllosilicates, is seen in the 2007 July 11 spectrum. The 2007 September spectrum shows a shallow absorption feature centered near 0.6 μm. In contrast, the reflectance spectrum of 162173 1999 JU3 obtained during its discovery apparition has no absorption feature, suggesting that the asteroid's surface covers the conjunction of two different geological units. The variation in the presence and absence of these features in reflectance spectra of the surface material of C-type asteroids is observed among main-belt asteroids. As the target for the planned Japanese mission Hayabusa 2, 162173 1999 JU3 could represent a sample of aqueously altered early solar system material. An alternative target for Hayabusa 2, 2001 QC34, was observed spectrally for the first time. Its reflectance spectrum has characteristics of a Q-class or O-class asteroid.

  15. Silicon Carbide Found in K/T Boundary Layer: Implication for Asteroid Collision with Planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, I. S.; Tsao, C.

    2016-12-01

    An event at the end of the Cretaceous Period 65.5 m.y. ago produced an impact structure 300 km in diameter designated the Chicxulub Crater, located partly on the Yucatan Peninsula and the Caribbian Sea floor. Mass extinction following that event killed 75% of Earth's living species, including dinosaurs. To this date, the killer space object has not been identified, but it was frequently conjectured to be a comet or an asteroid. The goal of our study was to search for evidence which might implicate the culprit. The Chicxulub impact caused extensive wildfires producing Ir-rich dust fallouts in worldwide localities, among which the least contaminated by land-derived sediments may be situated on deep ocean floors. Our study is based on a sample of pelagic clay from the giant piston core LL44-GPC3 taken from the Pacific Plate, north of the Hawaiian Islands (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution). The 1-cm thick Ir-rich layer was located at a downcore depth of 1055-1056 cm below sea floor. From a 5 cubic cm sample provided by Jim Broda, we found 29 impact glass spherules and 4 silicon carbide (SiC) crystals. SiC has been reported in carbonaceous meteorites. Our findings of SiC in the K/T boundary layer seem to implicate that an asteroid having composition akin to that of carbonaceous chondrites might have been the killer projectile during the Chicxulub event. However, impact by a comet cannot be ruled out, since the mineralogy of cometary dust is as yet unknown.

  16. The Near-Earth Encounter of Asteroid 308635 (2005 YU55): Thermal IR Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Lucy F.; Emery, J. P.; Moskovitz, N. A.; Busch, M. W.; Yang, B.; Granvik, M.

    2012-10-01

    The near-Earth approach (0.00217 AU, or 0.845 lunar distances) of the C-type asteroid 308635 (2005 YU55) in November 2011 presented a rare opportunity for detailed observations of a low-albedo NEA in this size range. As part of a multi-telescope campaign to measure visible and infrared spectra and photometry, we obtained mid-infrared ( 8 to 22 micron) photometry and spectroscopy of 2005 YU55 using Michelle [1] on the Gemini North telescope on UT November 9 and 10, 2011. An extensive radar campaign [2] together with optical lightcurves [3,4] established the rotation state of YU55. In addition, the radar imaging resulted in a shape model for the asteroid, detection of numerous boulders on its surface, and a preliminary estimate of its equatorial diameter at 380 +/- 20 m. In a preliminary analysis, applying the radar and lightcurve-derived parameters to a rough-surface thermophysical model fit to the Gemini/Michelle thermal emission photometry results in a thermal inertia range of approximately 500 to 1500 J m-2 s-1/2 K-1, with the low-thermal-inertia solution corresponding to the small end of the radar size range and vice versa. Updates to these results will be presented and modeling of the thermal contribution to the measured near-infrared spectra from Palomar/Triplespec and IRTF/SpeX will also be discussed. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of observatory staff and the support of the NASA NEOO program (LFL and JPE), the Carnegie fellowship (NAM), and NASA AES, NSF, and the NRAO Jansky Fellowship (MWB). [1] De Buizer, J. and R. Fisher, Proc. Hris (2005), pp. 84-87. [2] Busch, M.W. et al., ACM (2012), abstract #6179. [3] Warner, B., MPBull 39 (2), 84 [4] Pravec, P.

  17. Investigation of the interior of primordial asteroids and the origin of the Earth's water: The INSIDER space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vernazza, P.; Lamy, P.

    2014-07-01

    Today's asteroid belt may not only be populated by objects that formed in situ, typically between 2.2 and 3.3 au, but also by bodies that formed over a very large range of heliocentric distances. It is currently proposed that both the early (<5 Myrs after Solar System formation) and late (>700 Myrs after Solar System formation) dynamical evolution of the Solar System was governed by giant planet migrations that led to the insertion of inner (1--3 au) as well as outer (4--13 au) small bodies in the asteroid belt. Taken altogether, the current dynamical models are able to explain many striking features of the asteroid belt including i) its incredible compositional diversity deduced mainly from spectroscopic observations and meteorites measurements, and ii) the evidence of radial mixing experienced by the various asteroid classes (e.g., S-, C-types) after their formation. In a broad stroke, the idea that the asteroid belt is a condensed version of the primordial Solar System is progressively emerging. The asteroid belt therefore presents the double advantage of being easily accessible and of offering crucial tests for the formation models of the Solar System by exploring the building blocks predicted by models of i) the telluric planets, ii) the giant planet cores, iii) the giant planets' satellites, and iv) outer small bodies such TNOs and comets. It also appears as an ideal place to search for the origin of Earth's water. Up to now, only a few asteroid classes (e.g., several S-types) have been visited by spacecraft and the focus of these in situ measurements has been mainly to give a geological context to ground based observations as well as strengthen/validate their interpretation. Most of the tantalizing discoveries of asteroid missions have been realized via images of the objects surfaces. Time has come for asteroid space science to reach a new milestone by extending the reconnaissance of the Belt's diversity and addressing new science questions. The scientific

  18. Application of recursive approaches to differential orbit correction of near Earth asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitriev, Vasily; Lupovka, Valery; Gritsevich, Maria

    2016-10-01

    Comparison of three approaches to the differential orbit correction of celestial bodies was performed: batch least squares fitting, Kalman filter, and recursive least squares filter. The first two techniques are well known and widely used (Montenbruck, O. & Gill, E., 2000). The most attention is paid to the algorithm and details of program realization of recursive least squares filter. The filter's algorithm was derived based on recursive least squares technique that are widely used in data processing applications (Simon, D, 2006). Usage recursive least squares filter, makes possible to process a new set of observational data, without reprocessing data, which has been processed before. Specific feature of such approach is that number of observation in data set may be variable. This feature makes recursive least squares filter more flexible approach compare to batch least squares (process complete set of observations in each iteration) and Kalman filtering (suppose updating state vector on each epoch with measurements).Advantages of proposed approach are demonstrated by processing of real astrometric observations of near Earth asteroids. The case of 2008 TC3 was studied. 2008 TC3 was discovered just before its impact with Earth. There are a many closely spaced observations of 2008 TC3 on the interval between discovering and impact, which creates favorable conditions for usage of recursive approaches. Each of approaches has very similar precision in case of 2008 TC3. At the same time, recursive least squares approaches have much higher performance. Thus, this approach more favorable for orbit fitting of a celestial body, which was detected shortly before the collision or close approach to the Earth.This work was carried out at MIIGAiK and supported by the Russian Science Foundation, Project no. 14-22-00197.References:O. Montenbruck and E. Gill, "Satellite Orbits, Models, Methods and Applications," Springer-Verlag, 2000, pp. 1-369.D. Simon, "Optimal State Estimation

  19. Near Earth asteroids associated with the Sigma-Capricornids meteoroid stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulchekhra, Kokhirova; Pulat, Babadzhanov; Umed, Khamroev

    The Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) 2008BO16, 2011EC41, and 2013CT36 (http://newton.dm.\\unipi.it/neodys, 2013) have very similar orbits according to the D_{SH} criterion of Southworth, Hawkins (1963). Additionally, their orbits are classed as comet-like by the Tisserand invariant values (Kresak 1982; Kosai 1992). The orbital evolution investigation shows, that during one cycle of variations of the argument of perihelion omega, the asteroids cross the Earth’s orbit four times. Consequently, a developed meteoroid stream, possible associated with them, might produce four meteor showers (Babadzhanov, Obrubov 1992). Theoretical parameters of the predicted showers were calculated and identified with the observable nighttime sigma-Capricornids (Sekanina 1973; Jenniskens 2006) and chi-Sagittarids (Sekanina 1976), and daytime chi-Capricornids (Sekanina 1976) and Capricornids-Sagittarids (Sekanina 1973) meteor showers. The similar and comet-like orbits and association with the meteoroid stream producing four active showers are strong indications that these asteroids have a common cometary origin. Earlier the NEAs (2101) Adonis and 1995CS, which additionally is potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA), were recognized as dormant comets because of their link with the same meteoroid stream (Babadzhanov 2003). So, a conclusion was made, that either the considered NEAs are large sized splinters of the Adonis, or all five objects are fragments of a larger comet that was the parent body of the sigma-Capricornids meteoroid stream, and whose break-up occurred several tens of thousands years ago. During 2010-2011 years three fireballs were photographed by the Tajikistan fireball network (Babadzhanov, Kokhirova 2009), belonging to the sigma-Capricornids meteor shower. Taking into account the observations else six fireballs of this shower in the Canada and USA (Halliday et al. 1996; McCrosky et al. 1978), the mean radiant coordinates, the period of activity, as well as the mean daily radiant

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  1. Reconnaissance of Near-Earth Objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binzel, Richard P.

    2002-01-01

    NASA sponsorship of asteroid research for this grant has resulted in 30 publications and major new results relating near-Earth asteroids to known meteorite groups, most especially ordinary chondrites. Analysis of observations continues.

  2. Radar Astrometry of Asteroid 99942 (2004 MN4): Predicting the 2029 Earth Encounter and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giorgini, J. D.; Benner, L. A. M.; Nolan, M. C.; Ostro, S. J.

    2005-08-01

    Asteroid 2004 MN4 is expected to pass 4.6 (+/- 1.6) Earth-radii above the surface of the Earth on 2029-Apr-13. Such close approaches by objects as large as 2004 MN4 (D ≳ 0.3 km) are thought to occur at ≳ 1000-year intervals on average. 2004 MN4 is expected to reach 3rd magnitude and thus be visible to the unaided eye. With a disk 2-4 arcseconds across, it may be resolved by ground-based telescopes. Arecibo (2380-MHz) delay-Doppler radar astrometry, obtained in late January 2005, significantly corrected 2004 MN4's orbit by revealing a 1.4 arcsecond bias in pre-discovery optical measurements. Doppler-shifted echoes were acquired 4.8σ (176.4 mm/s) away from the predicted frequency on Jan 27. Range on Jan 29 was found to be 747 km (2.8σ ) closer to Earth than the pre-radar orbit predicted. Incorporation of these delay-Doppler measurements into a new weighted least-squares orbit solution moved the 2029-Apr-13 encounter prediction 5σ closer to the Earth, illustrating the problematic nature of prediction and statistical analysis with single-apparition optical data-sets. Without delay-Doppler data, the bias was not apparent, even when optical measurements spanned a full orbit period. The current combined data-set does not permit reliable trajectory propagation to encounters beyond 2029; Monte Carlo analysis shows that, by 2036, the 3σ confidence region wraps >300 degrees of heliocentric longitude around the Sun, with some sections of this statistical region experiencing low-probability encounters with the Earth in the 2030's, gravitationally scattering some possible trajectories inward to the orbit of Venus, or outward toward Mars. Future measurements from radar opportunities in August 2005 and May 2006 (SNR ≈5-10) have the potential to eliminate statistical encounters in the 2030's. Delay-Doppler astrometry from 2013 (SNR ≈30) should permit deterministic encounter prediction through 2070, shrinking the along-track uncertainty in 2036 by two orders of magnitude

  3. What Hayabusa2 Will Find at Asteroid Ryugu, and What It Will Reveal About the Source of Earth's Water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolensky, Michael; Martinez, James E.

    2017-01-01

    Water-rich carbonaceous chondrites contain evidence of aqueous alteration in the early solar system. To see this one must look carefully at the meteorites, and see past the later alteration which has generally obscured mineral textures. We suggest that these materials will dominate, be detectable, and be sampled on the surfaces of C-class asteroids, initially by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. Thus, hydrous samples returned by this mission will help to reveal the source of water on earth.

  4. Asteroid differentiation - Pyroclastic volcanism to magma oceans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, G. J.; Keil, Klaus; Mccoy, Timothy; Haack, Henning; Scott, Edward R. D.

    1993-01-01

    A summary is presented of theoretical and speculative research on the physics of igneous processes involved in asteroid differentiation. Partial melting processes, melt migration, and their products are discussed and explosive volcanism is described. Evidence for the existence of asteroidal magma oceans is considered and processes which may have occurred in these oceans are examined. Synthesis and inferences of asteroid heat sources are discussed under the assumption that asteroids are heated mainly by internal processes and that the role of impact heating is small. Inferences of these results for earth-forming planetesimals are suggested.

  5. Mission Analysis for Multiple Rendezvous of Near-Earth Asteroids Using Earth Gravity Assist

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    devices. Finding solutions with this approach leads to a quicker timeline for possible missions since one does not have to wait for the propulsion...in this research. The discussion focuses on their approach to the problem and the applicability to this research. The headings are the titles of... approach the problem utilizing conventional impulsive thrust propulsion systems and utilize data presented from the JPL website for locating the

  6. Low-Cost Innovation in Spaceflight: The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCurdy, Howard E.

    2005-01-01

    On a spring day in 1996, at their research center in the Maryland countryside, representatives from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) presented Administrator Daniel S. Goldin of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with a check for $3.6 million. 1 Two and a half years earlier, APL officials had agreed to develop a spacecraft capable of conducting an asteroid rendezvous and to do so for slightly more than $122 million. This was a remarkably low sum for a spacecraft due to conduct a planetaryclass mission. By contrast, the Mars Observer spacecraft launched in 1992 for an orbital rendezvous with the red planet had cost $479 million to develop, while the upcoming Cassini mission to Saturn required a spacecraft whose total cost was approaching $1.4 billion. In an Agency accustomed to cost overruns on major missions, the promise to build a planetary-class spacecraft for about $100 million seemed excessively optimistic.

  7. Photometric survey and taxonomic identifications of 92 near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Chien-Hsien; Ip, Wing-Huen; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Cheng, Yu-Chi; Lin, Hsing-Wen; Chang, Chan-Kao

    2018-03-01

    A photometric survey of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) was conducted from 2012 through 2014 at Lulin Observatory, Taiwan. The measurements of the color indices, B-V, V-R, and V-I allow the classification of 92 NEAs into seven taxonomic types. Of these samples, 39 of them are new classifications. The fractional abundances of these taxonomic complexes are: A ∼3%, C∼6.5%, D∼8%, Q∼26%, S∼37%, V∼6.5%, and X∼13%. This result is similar to that of Thomas et al. (2011) even though the populations of the D- and X-complex with low albedos are under-represented. The ratio of the C-cluster to the total population of S + C clusters are 0.22 ± 0.06 for H ≤ 17.0 and 0.31 ± 0.06 for H > 17.0, indicating a slightly higher fraction of dark-object population with sizes smaller than 1 km.

  8. Migration of Matter from the Edgeworth-Kuiper and Main Asteroid Belts to the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ipatov. S. I.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The main asteroid belt (MAB), the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt (EKB), and comets belong to the main sources of dust in the Solar System. Most of Jupiter-family comets came from the EKB. Comets can be distracted due to close encounters with planets and the Sun, collisions with small bodies, a nd internal forces. We support the Eneev's idea that the largest objects in the ELB and MAB could be formed directly by the compression of rarefied dust condensations of the protoplanetary cloud but not by the accretion of small (for example, 1-km) planetesimals. The total mass of planetesimals that entered the EKB from the feeding zone of the giant planets during their accumulation could exceed tens of Earth's masses. These planetesimals increased eccentricities of 'local' trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and swept most of these TNOs. A small portion of such planetesimals could left beyond Neptune's orbit in highly eccentric orbits. The results of previous investigations of migration and collisional evolution of minor bodies were summarized. Mainly our recent results are presented.

  9. Data mining of near-Earth asteroids in the Subaru Suprime-Cam archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Conovici, M.; Popescu, M.; Sonka, A.; Paraschiv, A.; Lacatus, D.; Tudorica, A.; Hudin, L.; Curelaru, L.; Inceu, V.; Zavoianu, D.; Cornea, R.; Toma, R.; Asher, D. J.; Hadnett, J.; Cheallaigh, L. Ó.

    2017-06-01

    As part of the EURONEAR project, almost 70,000 mosaic Suprime-Cam images taken between 1999 and 2013 were data mined for about 9,800 near Earth asteroids (NEAs) known by 2013 May. Using our PRECOVERY server and the "Find Subaru CCD" tool, we scrutinized 4,186 candidate CCD images possibly holding 518 NEAs. We found 113 NEAs as faint as V<25 magnitude, their positions being measured in 589 images using Astrometrica, then reported to the Minor Planet Center. Among them, 18 objects represent encounters of previously single opposition NEAs, their orbital arcs being extended by up to 10 years. In the second part of this work we searched for unknown NEAs in 78 sequences (780 CCD fields) of 4-5 mosaic images selected from the same Suprime-Cam archive and totaling 16.6 sq.deg, with the aim to assess the faint NEA distribution observable with an 8-m class survey. A total of 2,018 moving objects were measured, from which we identified 18 better NEA candidates. Using the R_c filter in good weather conditions, mostly dark time and sky directions slightly biased towards the ecliptic, at least one NEA could be discovered in every 1 sq.deg surveyed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  11. Radar evidence for diverse shapes of the primaries among binary near-Earth asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozovic, Marina; Benner, Lance; Ford, Thomas; Springmann, Alessondra; Taylor, Patrick; Shepard, Michael; Margot, Jean-Luc; Naidu, Shantanu; Nolan, Michael; Howell, Ellen; Busch, Michael; Giorgini, Jon; Magri, Christopher

    2014-11-01

    The Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars have been exceptionally valuable instruments for the discovery of binary and triple asteroids in the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. To date, 34 out of 46 known binaries and two ternaries 71% objects total) have been discovered by radar. One of the first discovered and most well studied binary systems is (66391) 1999 KW4 (Ostro et al., 2006). This was the first system with radar evidence for a prominent equatorial bulge, sloped hemispheres, and polar flattening. 1999 KW4 Alpha became a “canonical shape model” for many theoretical studies and numerical simulations on the nature of the binary systems. As the number of binaries detected by radar grew, evidence mounted that not all primaries look like 1999 KW4 Alpha. In fact, (276049) 2002 CE26 (Shepard et al., 2006) and (285263) 1998 QE2 (Springmann et al., 2014) have very rounded shapes without an obvious presence of equatorial ridges. Furthermore, (164121) 2003 YT1 (Nolan et al., in prep.), (1862) Apollo (Ford et al., in prep.), and (363599) 2006 VV2 all have irregular, moderately elongated shapes that show the presence of a bulge at only selected longitudes. All three objects also show elongations of 1.2-1.3, which is still smaller than the mean elongation of ~1.5 in the NEA radar sample. Nevertheless, numerous other primaries have KW4-like shapes such as (185851) 2000 DP107 (Naidu et al., 2011), (311066) 2004 DC (Taylor et al, 2008), and (175706) 1996 FG3 (Benner et al., in prep.). We estimate the abundance of KW4-like objects to be at least 40% of the multiple system population, based on the 41 radar-detected cases. Our results only give the lower bound because not all the dataset have the sufficient SNRs and/or the rotational coverage. Recent Goldstone delay-Doppler images of 2013 WT44 were obtained at nearly pole-on subradar latitude and clearly show evidence of an equatorial bulge, sloped hemispheres, and polar flattening. This has provided one of the

  12. Earth science research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Botkin, Daniel B.

    1987-01-01

    The analysis of ground-truth data from the boreal forest plots in the Superior National Forest, Minnesota, was completed. Development of statistical methods was completed for dimension analysis (equations to estimate the biomass of trees from measurements of diameter and height). The dimension-analysis equations were applied to the data obtained from ground-truth plots, to estimate the biomass. Classification and analyses of remote sensing images of the Superior National Forest were done as a test of the technique to determine forest biomass and ecological state by remote sensing. Data was archived on diskette and tape and transferred to UCSB to be used in subsequent research.

  13. Orbit Modification of Earth-Crossing Asteroids/Comets Using Rendezvous Spacecraft and Laser Ablation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Sang-Young; Mazanek, Daniel D.

    2005-01-01

    This report describes the approach and results of an end-to-end simulation to deflect a long-period comet (LPC) by using a rapid rendezvous spacecraft and laser ablation system. The laser energy required for providing sufficient deflection DELTA V and an analysis of possible intercept/rendezvous spacecraft trajectories are studied in this analysis. These problems minimize a weighted sum of the flight time and required propellant by using an advanced propulsion system. The optimal thrust-vector history and propellant mass to use are found in order to transfer a spacecraft from the Earth to a targeted celestial object. One goal of this analysis is to formulate an optimization problem for intercept/rendezvous spacecraft trajectories. One approach to alter the trajectory of the object in a highly controlled manner is to use pulsed laser ablative propulsion. A sufficiently intense laser pulse ablates the surface of a near-Earth object (NEO) by causing plasma blowoff. The momentum change from a single laser pulse is very small. However, the cumulative effect is very effective because the laser can interact with the object over long periods of time. The laser ablation technique can overcome the mass penalties associated with other nondisruptive approaches because no propellant is required to generate the DELTA V (the material of the celestial object is the propellant source). Additionally, laser ablation is effective against a wide range of surface materials and does not require any landing or physical attachment to the object. For diverting distant asteroids and comets, the power and optical requirements of a laser ablation system on or near the Earth may be too extreme to contemplate in the next few decades. A hybrid solution would be for a spacecraft to carry a laser as a payload to a particular celestial body. The spacecraft would require an advanced propulsion system capable of rapid rendezvous with the object and an extremely powerful electrical generator, which is

  14. Precovery of near-Earth asteroids by a citizen-science project of the Spanish Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solano, E.; Rodrigo, C.; Pulido, R.; Carry, B.

    2014-02-01

    This article describes a citizen-science project conducted by the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) to improve the orbits of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) using data from astronomical archives. The list of NEAs maintained at the Minor Planet Center (MPC) is checked daily to identify new objects or changes in the orbital parameters of already catalogued objects. Using NEODyS we compute the position and magnitude of these objects at the observing epochs of the 938 046 images comprising the Eigth Data Release of the Sloan Digitised Sky Survey (SDSS). If the object lies within the image boundaries and the magnitude is brighter than the limiting magnitude, then the associated image is visually inspected by the project's collaborators ({the citizens}) to confirm or discard the presence of the NEA. If confirmed, accurate coordinates and, sometimes, magnitudes are submitted to the MPC. Using this methodology, 3226 registered users have made during the first fifteen months of the project more than 167 000 measurements which have improved the orbital elements of 551 NEAs (6 % of the total number of this type of asteroids). Even more remarkable is the fact that these results have been obtained at zero cost to telescope time as NEAs were serendipitously observed while the survey was being carried out. This demonstrates the enormous scientific potential hidden in astronomical archives. The great reception of the project as well as the results obtained makes it a valuable and reliable tool for improving the orbital parameters of near-Earth asteroids.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.; hide

    2012-01-01

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  18. Asteroid exploration and utilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radovich, Brian M.; Carlson, Alan E.; Date, Medha D.; Duarte, Manny G.; Erian, Neil F.; Gafka, George K.; Kappler, Peter H.; Patano, Scott J.; Perez, Martin; Ponce, Edgar

    1992-01-01

    The Earth is nearing depletion of its natural resources at a time when human beings are rapidly expanding the frontiers of space. The resources possessed by asteroids have enormous potential for aiding and enhancing human space exploration as well as life on Earth. Project STONER (Systematic Transfer of Near Earth Resources) is based on mining an asteroid 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 plan for humans to utilize asteroid resources. Project STONER is divided into two parts: asteroid selection and explorer spacecraft design. The spacecraft design team is responsible for the selection and integration of the subsystems: GNC, communications, automation, propulsion, power, structures, thermal systems, scientific instruments, and mechanisms used on the surface to retrieve and store asteroid regolith. The sample return mission scenario consists of eight primary phases that are critical to the mission.

  19. Asteroid Retrieval Mission Concept - Trailblazing Our Future in Space and Helping to Protect Us from Earth Impactors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Brohpy, John R.; Merrill, Raymond G.

    2013-01-01

    The Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) is a robotic mission concept with the goal of returning a small (7 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), or part of a large NEA, to a safe, stable orbit in cislunar space using a 50 kW-class solar electric propulsion (SEP) robotic spacecraft (40 kW available to the electric propulsion system) and currently available technologies. The mass of the asteroidal material returned from this mission is anticipated to be up to 1,000 metric tons, depending on the orbit of the target NEA and the thrust-to-weight and control authority of the SEP spacecraft. Even larger masses could be returned in the future as technological capability and operational experience improve. The use of high-power solar electric propulsion is the key enabling technology for this mission concept, and is beneficial or enabling for a variety of space missions and architectures where high-efficiency, low-thrust transfers are applicable. Many of the ARM operations and technologies could also be applicable to, or help inform, planetary defense efforts. These include the operational approaches and systems associated with the NEA approach, rendezvous, and station-keeping mission phases utilizing a low-thrust, high-power SEP spacecraft, along with interacting with, capturing, maneuvering, and processing the massive amounts of material associated with this mission. Additionally, the processed materials themselves (e.g., high-specific impulse chemical propellants) could potentially be used for planetary defense efforts. Finally, a ubiquitous asteroid retrieval and resource extraction infrastructure could provide the foundation of an on call planetary defense system, where a SEP fleet capable of propelling large masses could deliver payloads to deflect or disrupt a confirmed impactor in an efficient and timely manner.

  20. Determination of intermediate perturbed orbits of Near-Earth asteroids from range and range rate measurements at three times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shefer, V. A.

    2014-12-01

    Two methods that the author developed earlier for finding the intermediate perturbed orbit of a small celestial body from three pairs of range and range rate observations [1, 2] are applied to the determination of orbits of Near-Earth asteroids. The methods are based on using the superosculating orbits with three- and fourth-order tangency. The degrees of approximation of the real motion by the constructed intermediate orbits near the middle measurement time are two and three orders of magnitude higher than by the Keplerian orbit determined with the help of traditional methods. We calculated the orbits of the asteroids 99942 Apophis, 1566 Icarus, 4179 Toutatis, 2007 DN41 and 2012 DA14. For the sake of brevity, we call the method based on the orbit with third-order tangency as Algorithm A1 and the method based on the orbit with fourth-order tangency -- as Algorithm A2. The results of the calculations are compared with the results of the calculations by the version of the methods mentioned that allows us to construct the unperturbed Keplerian orbit. We call this version of the methods as Algorithm A. The observational data were simulated using the nominal trajectories of the selected asteroids. These trajectories were obtained by the numerical integration of the differential equations of motion subject to the perturbations from the eight major planets, Pluto, and the Moon. The integration was carried out with the help of the 15-order Everhart procedure [3]. The main results of the calculations are the following. When the reference time interval is shortened by half (for small sizes of this interval), the errors in the compared algorithms A, A1, A2 decrease approximately by the factors 4, 16, 64 in coordinates and by the factors 2, 8, 16 in velocities, respectively. Such behavior of the errors is most clearly seen with the asteroids 2007 DN41 and 2012 DA14. This leads to a significant increase in the accuracy of the real motion approximation by the intermediate orbits

  1. Kidnapping small icy asteroids in Earth near encounter to harbour life and to deflect trajectory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fargion, Daniele

    2016-07-01

    The inter-planetary flight for human being is under danger because of unscreened and lethal solar flare radioactive showers. The screening of the astronauts by huge superconducting magnetic fields is unrealistic by many reasons. On the contrary the ability to reach nearby icy asteroids, to harbour there a complete undergound room where ecological life systems are first set, this goal may offer a later natural and safe currier for future human stations and enterprise. The need to deflect such a small size (a few thousands tons objects) maybe achieved by micro nuclear engines able to dig the asteroid icy skin, to heat and propel the soil by a synchronous jet engine array, bending and driving it to any desired trajectories. The need for such a wide collection of icy asteroid stations, often in a robotic ibernated state, it will offer the safe help station, raft in the wide space sea, where to collect material or energy in long human planetary travels.

  2. The Characterization of Non-Gravitational Perturbations That Act on Near-Earth Asteroid Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margot, Jean-Luc; Greenberg, Adam H.; Verma, Ashok K.; Taylor, Patrick A.

    2017-10-01

    The Yarkovsky effect is a thermal process acting upon the orbits of small celestial bodies which can cause these orbits to slowly expand or contract with time. The effect is subtle -- typical drift rates lie near 1e-4 au/My for a ~1 km diameter object -- and is thus generally difficult to measure. However, objects with long observation intervals, as well as objects with radar detections, serve as excellent candidates for the observation of this effect.We analyzed both optical and radar astrometry for all numbered Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), as well as several un-numbered NEAs. In order to quantify the likelihood of Yarkovsky detections, we developed a metric based on the quality of Yarkovsky fits as compared to that of gravity-only fits. Based on the metric results, we report 167 objects with measured Yarkovsky drifts.Our Yarkovsky sample is the largest published set of such detections, and presents an opportunity to examine the physical properties of these NEAs and the Yarkovsky effect in a statistical manner. In particular, we confirm the Yarkovsky effect's theoretical size dependence of 1/D, where D is diameter. We also examine the efficiency with which this effect converts absorbed light into orbital drift. Using our set of 167 objects, we find typical efficiences of around 5%. This efficiency can be used to place bounds on spin and thermal properties. We report the ratio of positive to negative drift rates and interpret this ratio in terms of prograde/retrograde rotators and main belt escape mechanisms. The observed ratio has a probability of 1 in 9 million of occurring by chance, which confirms the presence of a non-gravitational influence. We examine how the presence of radar data affect the strength and precision of our detections. We find that, on average, the precision of radar+optical detections improves by a factor of approximately 1.6 for each additional apparition with ranging data compared to that of optical-only solutions.

  3. Working Group Reports and Presentations: Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  4. Asteroid Impact Mission: relevance to asteroid mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, P.; Kueppers, M.; Carnelli, I.

    2017-09-01

    The Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is the European (ESA) component of the AIDA mission in collaboration with NASA. The objectives of AIDA are: (1) to perform a test of asteroid deflection using a kinetic impactor with the USA (NASA) component DART, and (2) with AIM, to investigate the binary near-Earth asteroid Didymos, in particular its secondary and target of DART, with data of high value for mining purposes.

  5. Near Earth Asteroid Human Mission Possibilities Using Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borowski, Stanley; McCurdy, David R.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2012-01-01

    The NTR is a proven technology that generates high thrust and has a specific impulse (Isp (is) approximately 900 s) twice that of today's best chemical rockets. During the Rover and NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications) programs, twenty rocket reactors were designed, built and ground tested. These tests demonstrated: (1) a wide range of thrust; (2) high temperature carbide-based nuclear fuel; (3) sustained engine operation; (4) accumulated lifetime; and (5) restart capability - all the requirements needed for a human mission to Mars. Ceramic metal fuel was also evaluated as a backup option. In NASA's recent Mars Design reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study, the NTR was selected as the preferred propulsion option because of its proven technology, higher performance, lower launch mass, versatile vehicle design, simple assembly, and growth potential. In contrast to other advanced propulsion options, NTP requires no large technology scale-ups. In fact, the smallest engine tested during the Rover program - the 25 klbf 'Pewee' engine is sufficient for a human Mars mission when used in a clustered engine configuration. The 'Copernicus crewed NTR Mars transfer vehicle design developed for DRA 5.0 has significant capability that can enable reusable '1-year' round trip human missions to candidate near Earth asteroids (NEAs) like 1991 JW in 2027, or 2000 SG344 and Apophis in 2028. A robotic precursor mission to 2000 SG344 in late 2023 could provide an attractive Flight Technology Demonstration of a small NTR engine that is scalable to the 25 klbf-class engine used for human missions 5 years later. In addition to the detailed scientific data gathered from on-site inspection, human NEA missions would also provide a valuable 'check out' function for key elements of the NTR transfer vehicle (its propulsion module, TransHab and life support systems, etc.) in a 'deep space' environment prior to undertaking the longer duration Mars orbital and landing missions that

  6. Environmental Perturbations Caused by the Impacts of Comets and Asteroids on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toon, Owen B.; Lawless, James G. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The extinction mechanisms proposed at the Cretaceous-Tertiary geological boundary are reviewed and related to the impact of asteroids or comets in general. For impact energies below 10(exp 4) Megatons (less than 6 x 10(exp 4) years; asteroid diameter less than 650 m), blast, earthquake, and fire may destroy local areas up to 10(exp 5) square m. Tidal waves could flood a kilometer inland over entire ocean basins. The energy range from 105 to 106 Megatons (less than 2 x 10(exp 6) years; asteroid diameter less than 3 km) is transitional. Dust lifted, sulfur released from within impacting asteroids, and soot from fires started by comets can produce climatologically significant optical depths of 10. At energies beyond 10(exp 7) Megatons, blast and earthquake damage is regional (10(exp 6) square cm). Tsunami cresting to 100 m and flooding 20 km inland will sweep the coastal zones of the world's oceans. Fires will be set globally. Light levels may drop so low from the smoke, dust and sulfate that vision is not possible. At energies approaching 10(exp 9) Megatons the ocean surface waters may be acidified by sulfur. The combination of these effects would be devastating.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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. Amino Acids in Asteroids and Comets: Implications for the Origin of Life on Earth and Possibly Elsewhere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Meteorites provide a record of the chemical processes that occurred in the early solar system before life began on Earth. The delivery of organic matter by asteroids, comets, and their fragments to the Earth and other planetary bodies in our solar system could have been an important source of the prebiotic organic inventory needed for the emergence of life. Amino acids are essential components of proteins and enzymes in life on Earth and these prebiotic organic compounds have been detected in a wide variety of carbon-rich meteorites, the majority of which have been determined to be extraterrestrial in origin. In addition, many amino acids are structurally chiral (they possess handedness) and with a few very rare exceptions, only left handed (L) amino acids are found in biology, while all known abiotic syntheses of amino acids result in equal mixtures of left and right handed (LD) amino acids. The discovery of a significant left handed amino acid imbalance of up to 20% in several different carbonaceous meteorites, could point toward a possible prebiotic contribution to the origin of biological homochirality by the exogenous delivery of extraterrestrial organic material to the early Earth. In this talk, I will focus on recent state-of-the-art measurements of the distribution, chirality, and isotopic composition of amino acids in meteorites and cometary samples carried out at the Goddard Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory. Results from the analyses of a variety of Antarctic meteorites, samples from comet Wild 2 returned by the STARDUST mission, and meteorite fragments of asteroid 2008 TC3 called Almahata Sitta recovered from northern Sudan will be discussed

  9. Proposal for extension of ORSA to include phasing in to prove successive encounters of an asteroid between Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolitz, Benjamin

    Ben Jolitz 2/6/10 Proposal for extension of ORSA to include phasing in to prove successive encounters of an asteroid between Earth and Mars Phasing is the act of changing the phase angle between two sinusoidal functions. In the case of orbits, which are ellipses drawn by sinusoidal functions, phasing is the act of matching one orbit to another. Finding the phasing parameters of a captured asteroid, a non-Keplarian object, in a resonant bi-elliptic orbit and simulation thereof is rather difficult without specialized and esoteric applications. However, open source in the last ten years has made incredible advance-ments, and some projects originally designed for orbital reconstruction have been released to the public on an AS IS basis; one such project is ORSA -Orbital Reconstruction, Simulation, Analysis. ORSA, however, does not have methods for evaluating the relative changes to a phase angle of a bi-elliptic orbit in a recursive manner for successive encounters. For years, space shuttles and other celestial transport vessels have been faced with the difficulty of docking with the International Space Station, a task which involves matching the craft to the unique elliptical orbit of the ISS such that the shuttle will meet the ISS with the appropriate orbital parameters. However, calculation of such requires consideration of only the Earth and it's effect on rather small, man-made objects. In electrical engineering, the concept of a phase lock loop is used to match the frequency and phase of a controlled oscillator with a given set of input signals. In our test case, we wish compute the successive bi-elliptic half orbits of a captured asteroid that traverses between Earth and Mars using gravitational interactions with the intent of computing the relative phase angle between the desired half orbit and current orbit such that a timed encounter with Earth or Mars is possible. The goal of this proposal is to extend ORSA to maintain relative phase angle between bi

  10. Asteroid/meteorite streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  11. Asteroid/meteorite streams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drummond, J.

    1991-01-01

    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

  12. Small Near-Earth Asteroids in the Palomar Transient Factory Survey: A Real-Time Streak-detection System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waszczak, Adam; Prince, Thomas A.; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Bue, Brian; Rebbapragada, Umaa; Barlow, Tom; Surace, Jason; Helou, George; Kulkarni, Shrinivas

    2017-03-01

    Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) in the 1-100 meter size range are estimated to be ˜1,000 times more numerous than the ˜15,000 currently cataloged NEAs, most of which are in the 0.5-10 kilometer size range. Impacts from 10-100 meter size NEAs are not statistically life-threatening, but may cause significant regional damage, while 1-10 meter size NEAs with low velocities relative to Earth are compelling targets for space missions. We describe the implementation and initial results of a real-time NEA-discovery system specialized for the detection of small, high angular rate (visually streaked) NEAs in Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) images. PTF is a 1.2-m aperture, 7.3 deg2 field of view (FOV) optical survey designed primarily for the discovery of extragalactic transients (e.g., supernovae) in 60-second exposures reaching ˜20.5 visual magnitude. Our real-time NEA discovery pipeline uses a machine-learned classifier to filter a large number of false-positive streak detections, permitting a human scanner to efficiently and remotely identify real asteroid streaks during the night. Upon recognition of a streaked NEA detection (typically within an hour of the discovery exposure), the scanner triggers follow-up with the same telescope and posts the observations to the Minor Planet Center for worldwide confirmation. We describe our 11 initial confirmed discoveries, all small NEAs that passed 0.3-15 lunar distances from Earth. Lastly, we derive useful scaling laws for comparing streaked-NEA-detection capabilities of different surveys as a function of their hardware and survey-pattern characteristics. This work most directly informs estimates of the streak-detection capabilities of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF, planned to succeed PTF in 2017), which will apply PTF’s current resolution and sensitivity over a 47-deg2 FOV.

  13. Asteroid Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  14. Observations of Planet Crossing Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.; Whiteley, Robert J.; Lambert, Joy; Connelley, Michael; Salyk, Colette

    2002-01-01

    The goals of this research were the physical and dynamical characterization of planet crossing asteroids (Earth crossers, Mars crossers, Centaurs, and Pluto crossers, meaning trans-Neptunian objects), including colorimetry, rotational studies, and astrometry. Highlights are listed as follows: 1) Produced one doctoral dissertation (R. J. Whiteley, A Compositional and Dynamical Survey of the Near-Earth Asteroids). A key result is the fraction of Q-type asteroids among the near-Earth population was found to be about one-third; 2) Had prediscovery image showing the binary nature of trans-Neptunian object 1998 WW31, which is the first TNO to have a satellite found in orbit around it; 3) Discovery of shortest known rotation period for any asteroid (2000 D08, rotation period 78 seconds); it is just one of several fast-rotating small asteroids observed during the course of this project; 4) Discovery of a Centaur asteroid (1998 QM107) with, at the time, the smallest known orbital eccentricity among the Centaurs (0.13) and nearly in a 1:1 resonance with Uranus (semimajor axis of 19.9 AU); 5) Discovery of Apollo-type asteroid 1999 OW3, with a surprisingly bright absolute magnitude of 14.6 (estimated diameter of 4.6 km), brightest Apollo found in that calendar year; 6) Discovery of Aten-type asteroid 2000 SG344, which has the highest cumulative Earth impact probability among the near-Earth asteroids and a very Earth-similar orbit; 7) Instrumental in repairing the orbit of a numbered near-Earth asteroid for which prediscovery observations had been mis-attributed to it (2000 VN2); 8) Second-opposition recovery of 30-meter diameter Apollo-type asteroid 1998 KY26 in early 2002 when it was at a favorable magnitude of 24.8; 9) Primary contributor of astrometric observations of the CONTOUR fragments to the CONTOUR project following the failure of the spacecraft s kick motor; and 10) Development of orbit and ephemeris computation code that handles short observational arcs

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  17. Observations and Characterization of Binary Near-Earth Asteroid 65803 Didymos, the Target of the AIDA Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naidu, S.; Benner, L.; Brozovic, M.; Ostro, S. J.; Nolan, M. C.; Margot, J. L.; Giorgini, J. D.; Magri, C.; Pravec, P.; Scheirich, P.; Scheeres, D. J.; Hirabayashi, M.

    2016-12-01

    Binary near-Earth asteroid 65803 Didymos is the target of the proposed Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) space mission. The mission consists of two spacecraft, the Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft that will impact the asteroid's satellite and the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) spacecraft that will observe the impact. We used radar observations obtained at Arecibo and Goldstone in 2003, and lightcurve data from Pravec et al. (2006) to model the shapes, sizes, and spin states of the components. The primary is top shaped and has an equatorial ridge similar to the one seen on 2000 DP107 (Naidu et al. 2015). A 300 m long flat region is also seen along the equator. The primary has an equivalent diameter of 780 m (+/- 10 %) and its extents along the principal axes are 826 m, 813 m, and 786 m (10% uncertainties). It has a spin period of 2.2600 +/- 0.0001 h. A grid search for the spin pole resulted in the best fit at ecliptic (longitude, latitude) = (296, +71) degrees (+/- 15 degrees). This estimate is consistent with the spin pole being aligned to the binary orbit normal at (310, -84) degrees. Dividing the primary mass of 5.24e11 kg (Fang & Margot 2012) by the model volume we estimate a bulk density of 2100 kg m-3 (+/- 30 %). We summed multiple radar runs to estimate the range and Doppler extents of the satellite. We estimated the motion in successive images and used a shift-and-sum technique to mitigate smearing due to translational motion. This boosted the SNRs and allowed us to obtain size and bandwidth estimates of the satellite. The visible range extent of the satellite is roughly 60-75 m at the 15 m resolution of the Arecibo images. Assuming that the true extent is twice the visible extent, we obtain a diameter estimate of 120-150 m. The bandwidth of the satellite suggests a spin period between 9-12 h that is consistent with the orbit period of 11.9 hours and with synchronous rotation.

  18. Asteroid Redirect Mission Update

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Dr. Holdren (center) operates a robotic arm within the Robotic Operations Center (ROC) as roboticist Justin Brannan (left) describes the ROC’s simulation capabilities. Christyl Johnson, Deputy Center Director for Technology and Research Investments at Goddard (right), observes the demonstration. Within the ROC's black walls, NASA is testing technologies and operational procedures for science and exploration missions, including the Restore-L satellite servicing mission and the Asteroid Redirect Mission. More info: Asteroid Redirect Mission Update – On Sept. 14, 2016, NASA provided an update on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and how it contributes to the agency’s journey to Mars and protection of Earth. The presentation took place in the Robotic Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Dr. John P. Holdren, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NASA’s ARM Program Director, Dr. Michele Gates discussed the latest update regarding the mission. They explained the mission’s scientific and technological benefits and how ARM will demonstrate technology for defending Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids. The briefing aired live on NASA TV and the agency’s website. For more information about ARM go to www.nasa.gov/arm. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Debbie Mccallum NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  19. Investigation of probabilistic orbital evolution of near-Earth asteroids moving in the vicinity of resonances with Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galushina, T. Yu.; Titarenko, E. Yu

    2014-12-01

    The purpose of this work is the investigation of probabilistic orbital evolution of near-Earth asteroids (NEA) moving in the vicinity of resonances with Mercury. In order to identify such objects the equations of all NEA motion have been integrated on the time interval (1000, 3000 years). The initial data has been taken from the E. Bowell catalog on February 2014. The motion equations have been integrated numerically by Everhart method. The resonance characteristics are critical argument that defines the connection longitude of the asteroid and the planet and its time derivative, called resonance "band". The study has identified 15 asteroids moving in the vicinity of different resonances with Mercury. Six of them (52381 1993 HA, 172034 2001 WR1, 2008 VB1, 2009 KT4, 2013 CQ35, 2013 TH) move in the vicinity of the resonance 1/6, five of them (142561 2002 TX68, 159608 2002 AC2, 241370 2008 LW8, 2006 UR216, 2009 XB2) move in the vicinity of the resonance 1/9 and one by one asteroid moves in the vicinity of resonances 1/3, 1/7, 1/8 and 2/7 (2006 SE6, 2002 CV46, 2013 CN35 and 2006 VY2 respectively). The orbits of all identified asteroids have been improved by least square method using the available optical observations and probabilistic orbital evolution has been investigated. Improvement have been carried out at the time of the best conditionality in accounting perturbations from the major planets, Pluto, Moon, Ceres, Pallas and Vesta, the relativistic effects from the Sun and the Solar oblateness. The estimation of the nonlinearity factor has showed that for all the considered NEA it does not exceed the critical value of 0.1, which makes it possible to use the linear method for constructing the initial probability domain. The domain has been built in the form of an ellipsoid in six-dimensional phase space of coordinates and velocity components on the base of the full covariance matrix, the center of ellipsoid is the nominal orbit obtained by improving. The 10 000

  20. Near-Earth Asteroid 2005 CR37: Radar Images and Photometry of a Candidate Contact Binary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benner, Lance A. M.; Nolan, Michael C.; Ostro, Steven J.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Pray, Donald P.; Harris, Alan W.; Magri, Christopher; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2006-01-01

    Arecibo (2380 MHz, 13 cm) radar observations of 2005 CR37 provide detailed images of a candidate contact binary: a 1.8-km-long, extremely bifurcated object. Although the asteroid's two lobes are round, there are regions of modest topographic relief, such as an elevated, 200-m-wide facet, that suggest that the lobes are geologically more complex than either coherent fragments or homogeneous rubble piles. Since January 1999, about 9% of NEAs larger than approx.200 m imaged by radar can be described as candidate contact binaries.

  1. The Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) List of Near-Earth Asteroids: Identifying Potential Targets for Future Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul A.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Alberding, C. M.; Adamo, D. R.; Mazanek, D. D.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Chodas, P. W.; Chamberlin, A. B.; 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 [1, 2], and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system [3]. 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 [4]. Detailed planning for such deep space exploration missions and identifying potential NEAs as targets for human spaceflight requires selecting objects from the ever growing list of newly discovered NEAs. Hence NASA developed and implemented the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Human Space Flight (HSF) Accessible Target Study (NHATS), which identifies potential candidate objects on the basis of defined dynamical trajectory performance constraints.

  2. Earth Resources Laboratory research and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    The accomplishments of the Earth Resources Laboratory's research and technology program are reported. Sensors and data systems, the AGRISTARS project, applied research and data analysis, joint research projects, test and evaluation studies, and space station support activities are addressed.

  3. The Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) List of Near-Earth Asteroids: Identifying Potential Targets for Future Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abell, Paul; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Adamo, D. R.; Alberding, C. M.; Mazanek, D. D.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Chodas, P. W.; Chamberlin, A. B.; Benner, L. A. M.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-10-01

    Introduction: Much attention has recently been focused on human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Detailed planning for deep space exploration and identification of potential NEA targets for human space flight requires selecting objects from the growing list of known NEAs. NASA therefore initiated the Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Target Study (NHATS), which uses dynamical trajectory performance constraints to identify potentially accessible NEAs. Accessibility Criteria: Future NASA human space flight capability is being defined while the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System are under development. Velocity change and mission duration are two of the most critical factors in any human spaceflight endeavor, so the most accessible NEAs tend to be those with orbits similar to Earth’s. To be classified as NHATS-compliant, a NEA must offer at least one round-trip trajectory solution satisfying purposely inclusive constraints, including total mission change in velocity ≤ 12 km/s, mission duration ≤ 450 days (with at least 8 days at the NEA), Earth departure between Jan 1, 2015 and Dec 31, 2040, Earth departure C3 ≤ 60 km2/s2, and Earth return atmospheric entry speed ≤ 12 km/s. Monitoring and Updates: The NHATS list of potentially accessible targets is continuously updated as NEAs are discovered and orbit solutions for known NEAs are improved. The current list of accessible NEAs identified as potentially viable for future human exploration under the NHATS criteria is available to the international community via a website maintained by NASA’s NEO Program Office (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/nhats/). This website also lists predicted optical and radar observing opportunities for each NHATS-compliant NEA to facilitate acquisition of follow-up observations. Conclusions: This list of NEAs will be useful for analyzing robotic mission opportunities, identifying optimal round trip human space flight trajectories, and

  4. Constraining Bulk Densities of Near-Earth Asteroid Surfaces from Radar Observations Using Laboratory Measurements of Permittivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickson, D. C.; Boivin, A.; Daly, M. G.; Ghent, R. R.; Nolan, M. C.; Tait, K.; Cunje, A.; Tsai, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    Planetary radar is widely used to survey the Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population and can provide insight into target shapes, sizes, and spin states. The dual-polarization reflectivity is sensitive to surface roughness as well as material properties, specifically the real part of the complex permittivity, or dielectric constant. Knowledge of the behavior of the dielectric constant of asteroid regolith analogue material with environmental parameters can be used to inversely solve for such parameters, such as bulk density, from radar observations. In this study laboratory measurements of the complex permittivity of powdered aluminum oxide and dunite samples are performed in a low-pressure environment chamber using a coaxial transmission line from roughly 1 GHz to 8.5 GHz. The bulk densities of the samples are varied across the measurements by incrementally adding silica aerogel, a low-density material with a very low dielectric constant. This allows the alteration of the proportions of void space to solid particle grains to achieve microgravity-relevant porosities without significantly altering the dielectric properties of the powder sample. The data are then modeled using various electromagnetic mixing equations to characterize the change in dielectric constant with increasing volume fractions of void space (decreasing bulk density). Using spectral analogues as constraints on the composition of NEAs allows us to calculate the range in bulk densities in the near surface of NEAs that have been observed by planetary radar. Utilizing existing radar data from Arecibo Observatory we calculate the bulk density in the near-surface on (101955) Bennu, the target of NASA's OSIRIS-Rex mission, to be ρ = 1.27 ± 0.33 g cm-3 based on an average of the likely range in particle density and dielectric constant of the regolith material.

  5. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Reeves, D. M.; Chodas, P. W.; Gates, M. M.; Johnson, L. N.; Ticker, R. L.

    2017-01-01

    Mission Description and Objectives: NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), a robotic mission to visit a large (greater than approximately 100 meters diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will explore and investigate the boulder and return to Earth with samples. The ARRM is currently planned to launch at the end of 2021 and the ARCM is scheduled for late 2026.

  6. Radar Movie of Asteroid 2011 UW158

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-07-23

    Scientists using two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes bounced radar signals off passing asteroid 2011 UW158 to create images for this animation showing the rocky body's fast rotation. The passing asteroid made its closest approach to Earth on July 19, 2015 at 7:37 a.m. PST (4:37 a.m. EST) at a distance of about 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometers, or 6 times the distance from Earth to the moon). The close proximity during the pass made 2011 UW158 one of the best asteroid flybys of 2015 for imaging from Earth using radar. The radar images reveal that the shape of the asteroid is extremely irregular and quite elongated. Prominent parallel, linear features run along the length of the object that cause a large increase in brightness of the radar images as they rotate into view. Scientists note that the asteroid appears to be fairly unusual. Its fast rotation suggests the object has greater mechanical strength than other asteroids its size. A fast-rotating asteroid with lower mechanical strength would tend to split apart. To obtain the views, researchers paired the 230-foot- (70-meter-) wide Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, in concert with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's 330-foot (100-meter) Green Bank Telescope. Using this technique, the Goldstone antenna beams a radar signal at an asteroid and Green Bank receives the reflections. The technique, referred to as a bi-static observation, dramatically improves the amount of detail that can be seen in radar images. The new views obtained with the technique show features as small as about 24 feet (7.5 meters) wide. The 171 individual images used in the movie were generated from data collected on July 18. They show the asteroid is approximately 2000 by 1000 feet (600 by 300 meters) across. The observations also confirm earlier estimates by astronomers that the asteroid rotates quickly, completing one spin in just over half an hour. The movie spans a period of about an hour and 45

  7. Post Deflection Impact Risk Analysis of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggl, S.; Hestroffer, D.

    2017-09-01

    Collisions between potentially hazardous near-Earth objects and our planet are among the few natural disasters that can be avoided by human intervention. The complexity of such an endeavor necessitates an asteroid orbit deflection test mission, however, ensuring all relevant knowledge is present when an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth is indeed discovered. The double asteroid redirection test (DART) mission concept currently investigated by NASA would serve such a purpose. The aim of our research is to make certain that DART does not turn a previously harmless asteroid into a potentially dangerous one.

  8. Mega-precovery and data mining of near-Earth asteroids and other Solar System objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popescu, M.; Vaduvescu, O.; Char, F.; Curelaru, L.; Euronear Team

    2014-07-01

    The vast collection of CCD images and photographic plate archives available from the world-wide archives and telescopes is still insufficiently exploited. Within the EURONEAR project we designed two data mining software with the purpose to search very large collections of archives for images which serendipitously include known asteroids or comets in their field, with the main aims to extend the arc and improve the orbits. In this sense, ''Precovery'' (published in 2008, aiming to search all known NEAs in few archives via IMCCE's SkyBoT server) and ''Mega-Precovery'' (published in 2010, querying the IMCCE's Miriade server) were made available to the community via the EURONEAR website (euronear.imcce.fr). Briefly, Mega-Precovery aims to search one or a few known asteroids or comets in a mega-collection including millions of images from some of the largest observatory archives: ESO (15 instruments served by ESO Archive including VLT), NVO (8 instruments served by U.S. NVO Archive), CADC (11 instruments, including HST and Gemini), plus other important instrument archives: SDSS, CFHTLS, INT-WFC, Subaru-SuprimeCam and AAT-WFI, adding together 39 instruments and 4.3 million images (Mar 2014), and our Mega-Archive is growing. Here we present some of the most important results obtained with our data-mining software and some new planned search options of Mega-Precovery. Particularly, the following capabilities will be added soon: the ING archive (all imaging cameras) will be included and new search options will be made available (such as query by orbital elements and by observations) to be able to target new Solar System objects such as Virtual Impactors, bolides, planetary satellites, TNOs (besides the comets added recently). In order to better characterize the archives, we introduce the ''AOmegaA'' factor (archival etendue) proportional to the AOmega (etendue) and the number of images in an archive. With the aim to enlarge the Mega-Archive database, we invite the

  9. Studies of asteroids, comets, and Jupiter's outer satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowell, Edward

    1988-01-01

    The work comprises observational, theoretical, and computational research on asteroids, together with a smaller effort concerning the astrometry of comets and Jupiter's satellites JVI through JXIII. Two principal areas of research, centering on astrometry and photometry, are interrelated in their aim to study the overall structure of the asteroid belt and the physical and orbital properties of individual asteroids. About 2000 accurate photographic positions of asteroids and comets, including a number from the Lowell, Palomar, and Goethe-Link archival plate collections, the last of which was donated to us last winter by Indiana University were measured and published. Charge coupled device (CCD) astrometry of 36 faint targets was undertaken, including 4 comets; JVI, JVII, JVIII, JLX, JXI, and JXII; and 26 asteroids, most of which are Earth-approachers. A deep, bias-correctable asteroid survey (LUKAS), the aim of which is to determine the true spatial distribution of asteroids down to subkilometer diameters was started. A series of eight plates at the UK Schmidt telescope that contain images of asteroids as faint as V approximately 22 mag was obtained. Analysis of microdensitometric scans of two plates has shown that about 98 percent of the asteroid images could be identified completely automatically.

  10. High-Resolution Bistatic Radar Imaging of Near-Earth Asteroids in 2015 using New Capabilities of Goldstone and Green Bank Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naidu, S.; Benner, L.; Brozovic, M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Jao, J. S.; Lee, C. G.; Busch, M.; Ghigo, F. D.; Ford, A.; Kobelski, A.; Marshall, S.

    2015-12-01

    We present new results from bistatic Goldstone to Green Bank Telescope (GBT) high-resolution radar imaging of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Previously, most radar observations used either the 305-m Arecibo radar or the 70-m DSS-14 radar at Goldstone. Following the installation of new data-taking equipment at the GBT in late 2014, the number of bistatic Goldstone/GBT observations has increased substantially. Receiving Goldstone radar echoes at the 100-m GBT improves the signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) two- to three-fold relative to monostatic reception at DSS-14. The higher SNRs allow us to obtain higher resolution images than is possible with DSS-14 both transmitting and receiving. Thus far in 2015, we have used the GBT receiver in combination with the 450 kW DSS-14 antenna and a new low-power 80kW transmitter on the 34-m DSS-13 antenna at the Goldstone complex to image five and two NEAs respectively. Asteroids 2005 YQ96, 2004 BL86, and 1994 AW1 are binary systems. 2011 UW158 has a spin period of 36 minutes that is unusually fast among asteroids its size (~500 m). 1999 JD6 is a deeply bifurcated double-lobed object. 2015 HM10 is an elongated 80 m asteroid with a spin period of 22 minutes. Our best images of these objects resolve the surface with resolutions of 3.75 m and reveal numerous features. Such images are useful to estimate the 3D shape, spin state, and other physical and dynamical properties of the objects. This knowledge is of particular interest for spacecraft mission planning, impact threat assessment, and resource utilization. Over the long term, such observations will help answer fundamental questions regarding the origin of the diversity in asteroid morphologies, the importance of spin-up mechanisms and collisional influences, the interior structure and thermal properties of asteroids, and the variety of dynamical states.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

    Introduction: 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. Dynamical Assessment: The current near-term NASA human spaceflight capability is in the process of being defined while the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Space Launch System (SLS) are still in development. Hence, those NEAs in more accessible heliocentric orbits relative to a minimal interplanetary exploration capability will be considered for the first missions. If total mission durations for the first voyages to NEAs are to be kept to less than one year, with minimal velocity changes, then NEA rendezvous missions ideally will take place within 0.1 AU of Earth (approx about 5 million km or 37 lunar distances). Human Exploration Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to inter-planetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Missions to NEAs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting detailed scientific investigations of these primitive objects. Current analyses of operational concepts suggest that stay times of 15 to 30 days may be possible at these destinations. In addition, the

  12. Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Revised Eros Orbit Phase Trajectory Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfrich, J; Miller, J. K.; Antreasian, P. G.; Carranza, E.; Williams, B. G.; Dunham, D. W.; Farquhar, R. W.; McAdams, J. V.

    1999-01-01

    Trajectory design of the orbit phase of the NEAR mission involves a new process that departs significantly from those procedures used in previous missions. In most cases, a precise spacecraft ephemeris is designed well in advance of arrival at the target body. For NEAR, the uncertainty in the dynamic environment around Eros does not allow the luxury of a precise spacecraft trajectory to be defined in advance. The principal cause of this uncertainty is the limited knowledge oi' the gravity field a,-id rotational state of Eros. As a result, the concept for the NEAR trajectory design is to define a number of rules for satisfying spacecraft, mission, and science constraints, and then apply these rules to various assumptions for the model of Eros. Nominal, high, and low Eros mass models are used for testing the trajectory design strategy and to bracket the ranges of parameter variations that are expected upon arrival at the asteroid. The final design is completed after arrival at Eros and determination of the actual gravity field and rotational state. As a result of the unplanned termination of the deep space rendezvous maneuver on December 20, 1998, the NEAR spacecraft passed within 3830 km of Eros on December 23, 1998. This flyby provided a brief glimpse of Eros, and allowed for a more accurate model of the rotational parameters and gravity field uncertainty. Furthermore, after the termination of the deep space rendezvous burn, contact with the spacecraft was lost and the NEAR spacecraft lost attitude control. During the subsequent gyrations of the spacecraft, hydrazine thruster firings were used to regain attitude control. This unplanned thruster activity used Much of the fuel margin allocated for the orbit phase. Consequently, minimizing fuel consumption is now even more important.

  13. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Widespread mixing and burial of Earth's Hadean crust by asteroid impacts.

    PubMed

    Marchi, S; Bottke, W F; Elkins-Tanton, L T; Bierhaus, M; Wuennemann, K; Morbidelli, A; Kring, D A

    2014-07-31

    The history of the Hadean Earth (∼4.0-4.5 billion years ago) is poorly understood because few known rocks are older than ∼3.8 billion years old. The main constraints from this era come from ancient submillimetre zircon grains. Some of these zircons date back to ∼4.4 billion years ago when the Moon, and presumably the Earth, was being pummelled by an enormous flux of extraterrestrial bodies. The magnitude and exact timing of these early terrestrial impacts, and their effects on crustal growth and evolution, are unknown. Here we provide a new bombardment model of the Hadean Earth that has been calibrated using existing lunar and terrestrial data. We find that the surface of the Hadean Earth was widely reprocessed by impacts through mixing and burial by impact-generated melt. This model may explain the age distribution of Hadean zircons and the absence of early terrestrial rocks. Existing oceans would have repeatedly boiled away into steam atmospheres as a result of large collisions as late as about 4 billion years ago.

  15. Physical characterization of (333358) 2001 WN1: a large, possibly water-rich, low delta-V near-Earth asteroid.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hicks, M.; Dombroski, D.

    2012-12-01

    The near-Earth asteroid (333358) 2001 WN1 was discovered on 2001 November 17 by the LINEAR NEO survey (MPEC 2001-W30). We obtained one night of Bessel BVRI on 2012 November 25 at the JPL Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) 0.6-m telescope. The observational circumstances are summarized in Table 1, with heliocentric, geocentric, solar phase angle, lunar elongation, and expected V magnitude as computed by the JPL HORIZONS ephemeris service.

  16. Injecting asteroid fragments into resonances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farinella, Paolo; Gonczi, R.; Froeschle, Christiane; Froeschle, Claude

    1992-01-01

    We have quantitatively modeled the chance insertion of asteroid collisional fragments into the 3:1 and g = g(sub 6) resonances, through which they can achieve Earth-approaching orbits. Although the results depend on some poorly known parameters, they indicate that most meteorites and near-earth asteroids probably come from a small and non-representative sample of asteroids, located in the neighborhood of the two resonances.

  17. Finding Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Destinations for Human Exploration: Implications for Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Rob; Abell, Paul; Barbee, Brent; Johnson, Lindley

    2012-01-01

    The current number of known potential NEA targets for HSF is limited to those objects whose orbital characteristics are similar to that of the Earth. This is due to the projected capabilities of the exploration systems currently under consideration and development at NASA. However, NEAs with such orbital characteristics often have viewing geometries that place them at low solar elongations and thus are difficult to detect from the vicinity of Earth. While ongoing ground-based surveys and data archives maintained by the NEO Program Observation Program Office and the Minor Planet Center (MPC) have provided a solid basis upon which to build, a more complete catalog of the NEO population is required to inform a robust and sustainable HSF exploration program. Since all the present NEO observing assets are currently confined to the vicinity of the Earth, additional effort must be made to provide capabilities for detection of additional HSF targets via assets beyond Earth orbit. A space-based NEO survey telescope located beyond the vicinity of the Earth, has considerable implications for planetary science and astrobiology. Such a telescope will provide foundational knowledge of our Solar System small body population and detect targets of interest for both the HSF and scientific communities. Data from this asset will yield basic characterization data on the NEOs observed (i.e., albedo, size determination, potential for volatiles and organics, etc.) and help down select targets for future HSF missions. Ideally, the most attractive targets from both HSF and astrobiology perspectives are those NEAs that may contain organic and volatile materials, and which could be effectively sampled at a variety of locations and depths. Presented here is an overview of four space-based survey concepts; any one of which after just a few years of operation will discover many highly accessible NEO targets suitable for robotic and human exploration. Such a space-based survey mission will reveal

  18. 280 one-opposition near-Earth asteroids recovered by the EURONEAR with the Isaac Newton Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Hudin, L.; Mocnik, T.; Char, F.; Sonka, A.; Tudor, V.; Ordonez-Etxeberria, I.; Díaz Alfaro, M.; Ashley, R.; Errmann, R.; Short, P.; Moloceniuc, A.; Cornea, R.; Inceu, V.; Zavoianu, D.; Popescu, M.; Curelaru, L.; Mihalea, S.; Stoian, A.-M.; Boldea, A.; Toma, R.; Fields, L.; Grigore, V.; Stoev, H.; Lopez-Martinez, F.; Humphries, N.; Sowicka, P.; Ramanjooloo, Y.; Manilla-Robles, A.; Riddick, F. C.; Jimenez-Lujan, F.; Mendez, J.; Aceituno, F.; Sota, A.; Jones, D.; Hidalgo, S.; Murabito, S.; Oteo, I.; Bongiovanni, A.; Zamora, O.; Pyrzas, S.; Génova-Santos, R.; Font, J.; Bereciartua, A.; Perez-Fournon, I.; Martínez-Vázquez, C. E.; Monelli, M.; Cicuendez, L.; Monteagudo, L.; Agulli, I.; Bouy, H.; Huélamo, N.; Monguió, M.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Steeghs, D.; Gentile-Fusillo, N. P.; Hollands, M. A.; Toloza, O.; Manser, C. J.; Dhillon, V.; Sahman, D.; Fitzsimmons, A.; McNeill, A.; Thompson, A.; Tabor, M.; Murphy, D. N. A.; Davies, J.; Snodgrass, C.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Groot, P. J.; Macfarlane, S.; Peletier, R.; Sen, S.; İkiz, T.; Hoekstra, H.; Herbonnet, R.; Köhlinger, F.; Greimel, R.; Afonso, A.; Parker, Q. A.; Kong, A. K. H.; Bassa, C.; Pleunis, Z.

    2018-01-01

    Context. One-opposition near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are growing in number, and they must be recovered to prevent loss and mismatch risk, and to improve their orbits, as they are likely to be too faint for detection in shallow surveys at future apparitions. Aims: We aimed to recover more than half of the one-opposition NEAs recommended for observations by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) using the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) in soft-override mode and some fractions of available D-nights. During about 130 h in total between 2013 and 2016, we targeted 368 NEAs, among which 56 potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), observing 437 INT Wide Field Camera (WFC) fields and recovering 280 NEAs (76% of all targets). Methods: Engaging a core team of about ten students and amateurs, we used the THELI, Astrometrica, and the Find_Orb software to identify all moving objects using the blink and track-and-stack method for the faintest targets and plotting the positional uncertainty ellipse from NEODyS. Results: Most targets and recovered objects had apparent magnitudes centered around V 22.8 mag, with some becoming as faint as V 24 mag. One hundred and three objects (representing 28% of all targets) were recovered by EURONEAR alone by Aug. 2017. Orbital arcs were prolonged typically from a few weeks to a few years; our oldest recoveries reach 16 years. The O-C residuals for our 1854 NEA astrometric positions show that most measurements cluster closely around the origin. In addition to the recovered NEAs, 22 000 positions of about 3500 known minor planets and another 10 000 observations of about 1500 unknown objects (mostly main-belt objects) were promptly reported to the MPC by our team. Four new NEAs were discovered serendipitously in the analyzed fields and were promptly secured with the INT and other telescopes, while two more NEAs were lost due to extremely fast motion and lack of rapid follow-up time. They increase the counting to nine NEAs discovered by the EURONEAR in 2014 and

  19. The Shape of Near-Earth Asteroid 275677 (2000 RS11) From Inversion of Arecibo and Goldstone Radar Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, Kaley; Busch, Michael W.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Brozovic, Marina; Howell, Ellen S.; Nolan, Michael C.; Springmann, Alessondra; Giorgini, Jon D.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Jao, Joseph S.

    2015-11-01

    We observed near-Earth asteroid 2000 RS11 with the Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars during a 0.035 au approach in March 2014, obtaining delay-Doppler images between March 13 and March 17. The finest-resolution images have range resolution of 7.5 m/pixel and show that RS11 is a contact binary with complex topography. We used the SHAPE software package (Magri et al., Icarus 186, 156-160 2007) to create a physical model of RS11 and its spin state from these delay-Doppler images.The rotation period of RS11 is well constrained from optical lightcurves, P = 4.444 ± 0.001 h (Warner et al., Minor Planet Bulletin 41, 160; 2014 and Benishek, Minor Planet Bulletin 41, 257; 2014). We found two possible pole directions and corresponding shape models, mirror images of one another, which provide equally good fits to the radar data. RS11’s pole direction is either (λ , β) = (155°, 30°) ± 10° or (335°, -30°) ± 10° in J2000 ecliptic coordinates. The most likely pole directions of RS11 are not aligned with the heliocentric orbit normal and instead have an obliquity within 10° of 56° or 124°.Our best-fit shape models are 1400-vertex polyhedra comprising two lobes in contact. The lengths of RS11’s principal axes are 698 ± 71 m, 578 ± 59 m, and 758 ± 77 m. RS11 has a volume of 0.086 ± 0.026 km^3. The long axis of RS11’s larger lobe is 751 ± 77 m and the long axis of the smaller lobe is 398 ± 41 m; the volume ratio between these lobes is roughly 2.7 ± 10%. Spectral data informs us that RS11 is an S-class object (Lazzarin et al., Icarus 169, 379; 2004).RS11's shape is unusual compared with those of other contact binary NEAs imaged by radar. Its larger lobe is flattened. Additionally, while the neck between the smaller and larger lobes of most contact binaries is located near the larger lobe's longest principal axis (such as in the cases of 25143 Itokawa and 4179 Toutatis), RS11's neck is near its larger lobe's shortest principal axis. RS11 is the first

  20. New Technologies and Strategies to Exploit Near Earth Asteroids for Breakthrough Space Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rather, John; Powell, James; Maise, George

    2010-01-01

    The past two decades have brought a profound expansion of knowledge of near earth objects (NEO). If creatively exploited, NEOs can significantly increase human safety while reducing costs of exploration and development of the moon, Mars and the solar system. Synergistically, the ability to defend the Earth from devastating impacts will become very effective. A spherical volume having a radius equivalent to the moon's orbit, 400,000 km, is visited every day by approximately ten NEOs having diameters of ~10 meters, while ~30 meter diameter encounters occur about once per month. Because these objects are usually very faint and only within detectable range for a few days, they require specialized equipment to discover them with high probability of detection and to enable accurate determination of orbital parameters. Survey systems are now being implemented that are cataloging many thousands of objects larger than 30 meters, but numerous advantages will result from extending the complete NEO census down to 10 meter diameters. The typical compositions of such NEOs will range from ~80% that are low density dust & rock ``rubble piles'' to perhaps 2% containing heavy metals-properties well known from meteorite samples. It is quite possible that there will also be some fragments of short period comets that are rich in water ice and other volatile components. In this paper we will propose a set of new technologies and strategies for exploiting NEO resources that can yield important space development breakthroughs at much lower costs than existing concepts. Solar powered ``Tugboats'' deployed at the space station can rendezvous with carefully selected NEOs and steer them into captured orbits in the lunar L4 & L5 regions. Robotic equipment will then modify them for a plethora of benefits. Notably, the problem of radiation shielding against the Van Allen belts, solar flares and cosmic rays will be solved. Free transportation from low earth orbit to the moon and beyond will be

  1. Dependence of Polarization of the near-Earth Asteroids (1036) Ganymed and (5143) Heracles on Wavelength and Phase Angle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maleszewski, C.; McMillan, R.; Smith, P.

    2012-12-01

    becomes steeper. This is similar to the behavior seen in S-type MBAs, except that the trend in phase angle is less pronounced in the MBAs. For Heracles, high phase angle observations were made in the first half of 2012. The slope of the positive branch of Heracles's phase angle curve is consistent with our Ganymed measurements. Slopes of Heracles' spectral dependence follow similar trends to our Ganymed results and the aggregate MBA data. However, the magnitudes of the Heracles slopes are lower. Because differences of spectra between these asteroid types are thought to be due to resurfacing, that process may affect the polarimetric spectral dependence as well. Further polarimetric studies of S-, Sq- and Q-type asteroids and spectroscopic surveys designed to classify additional Q-types are thus encouraged. This research is funded by the Brinson Foundation of Chicago, Illinois. Links to Cited Material: Belskaya et al. 2009: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009Icar..199...97B DeMeo et al. 2009: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009Icar..202..160D Gil-Hutton and Cañada-Assandri 2011: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011A%26A...529A..86G

  2. Studies of Asteroids and Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowell, Edward L. G.

    1998-01-01

    Research under this grant was carried out between 1989 and 1998. It comprised observational, theoretical, and computational research, mainly on asteroids. Two principal areas of research, centering on astrometry and photometry, were interrelated in their aim to study the overall structure of the asteroid belt and the orbital and physical properties of individual asteroids.

  3. Volatiles in asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campins, H.

    2014-07-01

    For more than three decades, hydrated minerals have been identified in asteroids. The distribution of these minerals among asteroid spectral types and heliocentric distance has been somewhat unexpected, and there is also diversity in the composition of these hydrated minerals (e.g., Takir and Emery 2012). In addition, water ice and organic molecules have been detected on two asteroids (Campins et al. 2010; Rivkin and Emery 2010; Licandro et al. 2011) and water vapor is emanating from (1) Ceres (Küppers et al. 2014). These discoveries have important implications on current views of primitive asteroids, the nature of active asteroids or main-belt comets, the dynamics of the early Solar System, and the delivery of water and organic molecules to the Earth. They are also relevant to several space missions, including Dawn, Gaia, Hayabusa2, OSIRIS-REx ,and WISE.

  4. Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS): An Authentic, Open-Inquiry Research Experience for High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaner, A. J.; Allen, J. S.; Shipp, S. S.; Kramer, G. Y.; Nahm, A.; Balazs, L.; Fuller, J.; Newland, J.; Snyder, R. D.; Kring, D. A.

    2014-12-01

    The National Research Council (2012) has expressed a need for participatory science experiences for students. Opportunities are needed for students which 1) allow them to understand how scientific knowledge develops and 2) can heighten their curiosity, capture their interest, and motivate their continued study of science. Studies (e.g., Aydeniz et al., 2011) have also recommend educators provide students with opportunities to do science through extracurricular work with scientists. In addition to being given the opportunity to fully participate in the scientific enterprise, students must also be explicitly guided in their attempts to develop a more appropriate understanding of the nature of the scientific enterprise (McDonald, 2010; Rudge & Howe, 2010; Yacoubian & BouJaoude, 2010). Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students, or ExMASS, provides such an opportunity for students. The ExMASS program is an education effort managed by the LPI/NASA JSC-led Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE), one of nine teams comprising NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). Over the course of one academic year, teams of high school students conduct their own scientific investigations of either Earth's Moon or asteroids, with guidance from a scientist mentor. The program includes two elements: 1) a guided inquiry introductory research activity that builds student knowledge of current lunar/asteroid science and lunar/asteroid data, and 2) an open inquiry research project in which the students apply their knowledge to a self-defined project. Evaluation data collected during the predecessor program to ExMASS revealed many successes, but also room for improvement. In response, an Advisory Group consisting of past teachers and mentors was formed to address the gaps revealed in the evaluation data. The ExMASS program will continue to collect similar evaluation data including assessment of changes in students' lunar/asteroid content

  5. Geological implications of impacts of large asteroids and comets on the earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silver, L. T. (Editor); Schultz, P. H. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    The present conference discusses such topics as large object fluxes in near-earth space and the probabilities of terrestrial impacts, the geological record of impacts, dynamics modeling for large body impacts on continents and oceans, physical, chemical, and biological models of large impacts' atmospheric effects, dispersed impact ejecta and their signatures, general considerations concerning mass biological extinctions, the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary event, geochemical signatures in the stratigraphic record, and other phanerozoic events. Attention is given to terrestrial impact rates for long- and short-period comets, estimates of crater size for large body impact, a first-order estimate of shock heating and vaporization in oceanic impacts, atmospheric effects in the first few minutes after an impact, a feasibility test for biogeographic extinction, and the planktonic and dinosaur extinctions.

  6. Near-Earth Asteroids 2006 RH120 And 2009 BD: Proxies For Maximally Accessible Objects?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barbee, Brent W.; Chodas, Paul W.

    2015-01-01

    Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study(NHATS): http://neo.jpl.nasa.govnhats/. As of mid-July 2015: 1,434 of the 12,778 currently known NEAs are more astrodynamically accessible than is Mars (requiring less Delta v and or less flight time for round-trip missions). Within those 1,434 NEAs: 605 NEAs can be visited round-trip for less Delta v (9 km/s) than the lunar surface. 51 NEAs can be visited round-trip for less v (5 km/s) than low circular lunar orbit. NEO population statistical models:Tens of thousands of NEAs greater than 100 m yet to be discovered. At least several million NEAs less than or equal to100 m in size (down to approximately 3 m in size) yet to be discovered. How accessible are the NEAs that haven't yet been discovered?

  7. Size and Perihelion Distribution of S and Q-type Asteroid Spectral Slopes from the Near Earth Region Through the Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    High resolution spectral observations of small S-type and Q-type Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) have shown two important trends. The spectral slope of these asteroids, which is a good indication of the amount of space weathering the surface has received, has been shown to decrease with decreasing perihelion and size. Specifically, these trends show that there are less weathered surfaces at low perihelion and small sizes. With recent results from all-sky surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's (SDSS) Moving Object Catalog, we have gained an additional data set to test the presence of these trends in the NEAs as well as the Mars Crossers (MCs) and the Main Belt. We use an analog to the spectral slope in the SDSS data which is the slope through the g', r' and i' filters, known as the gri-slope, to investigate the amount of weathering that is present among small asteroids throughout the inner solar system. We find that the trend of the gri-slope decreases with decreasing size at nearly the same rate in the Main Belt as in the MC and NEA regions. We propose that these results suggest a ubiquitous presence of Q-types and S-types with low spectral slopes at small sizes throughout the inner solar system, from the Main Belt to the NEA region. Additionally, we suggest that the trend of decreasing spectral slope with perihelion may only be valid at perihelia of approximately less than 1 AU. These results suggest a change in the interpretation for the formation of Q-type asteroids. Planetary encounters may help to explain the high fraction of Q-types at low perihelia, but another process which is present everywhere must also be refreshing the surfaces of these asteroids. We suggest the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect as a possible mechanism.

  8. Two Years of NEOWISE Asteroid Data

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-04-04

    NASA's asteroid hunting NEOWISE survey uses infrared to detect and characterize asteroids and comets. Since the mission was restarted in December 2013, NEOWISE has discovered 72 near-Earth objects and characterized 439 others.

  9. Thematic Mapper research in the earth sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salomonson, Vincent V.; Stuart, Locke

    1989-01-01

    This paper's studies were initiated under the NASA program for the purpose of conducting the earth sciences research using the Landsat Thematic Mapper. The goals of the program include studies of the factors influencing the growth, health, condition, and distribution of vegetation on the earth; the processes controlling the evolution of the earth's crust; the earth's water budget and the hydrologic processes that operate at local, regional, and global scales; the physical and chemical interaction between different types of surficial materials; and the interaction between the earth's surface and its atmosphere. Twenty-seven domestic and five foreign investigations were initiated in 1985, with the results from most of them already published (one study was terminated due to the delay in the TDRSS). Twelve of the studies addressed hydrology, snow and ice, coastal processes, and near-shore oceanographic phenomena; seven addressed vegetation, soils, or animal habitat; and twelve addressed geologic subjects.

  10. Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket Sizing and Trade Matrix for Lunar, Near Earth Asteroid and Mars Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCurdy, David R.; Krivanek, Thomas M.; Roche, Joseph M.; Zinolabedini, Reza

    2006-01-01

    The concept of a human rated transport vehicle for various near earth missions is evaluated using a liquid hydrogen fueled Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (BNTP) approach. In an effort to determine the preliminary sizing and optimal propulsion system configuration, as well as the key operating design points, an initial investigation into the main system level parameters was conducted. This assessment considered not only the performance variables but also the more subjective reliability, operability, and maintainability attributes. The SIZER preliminary sizing tool was used to facilitate rapid modeling of the trade studies, which included tank materials, propulsive versus an aero-capture trajectory, use of artificial gravity, reactor chamber operating pressure and temperature, fuel element scaling, engine thrust rating, engine thrust augmentation by adding oxygen to the flow in the nozzle for supersonic combustion, and the baseline turbopump configuration to address mission redundancy and safety requirements. A high level system perspective was maintained to avoid focusing solely on individual component optimization at the expense of system level performance, operability, and development cost.

  11. The Use of the Integrated Medical Model for Forecasting and Mitigating Medical Risks for a Near-Earth Asteroid Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerstman, Eric; Saile, Lynn; Freire de Carvalho, Mary; Myers, Jerry; Walton, Marlei; Butler, Douglas; Lopez, Vilma

    2011-01-01

    Introduction The Integrated Medical Model (IMM) is a decision support tool that is useful to space flight mission managers and medical system designers in assessing risks and optimizing medical systems. The IMM employs an evidence-based, probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) approach within the operational constraints of space flight. Methods Stochastic computational methods are used to forecast probability distributions of medical events, crew health metrics, medical resource utilization, and probability estimates of medical evacuation and loss of crew life. The IMM can also optimize medical kits within the constraints of mass and volume for specified missions. The IMM was used to forecast medical evacuation and loss of crew life probabilities, as well as crew health metrics for a near-earth asteroid (NEA) mission. An optimized medical kit for this mission was proposed based on the IMM simulation. Discussion The IMM can provide information to the space program regarding medical risks, including crew medical impairment, medical evacuation and loss of crew life. This information is valuable to mission managers and the space medicine community in assessing risk and developing mitigation strategies. Exploration missions such as NEA missions will have significant mass and volume constraints applied to the medical system. Appropriate allocation of medical resources will be critical to mission success. The IMM capability of optimizing medical systems based on specific crew and mission profiles will be advantageous to medical system designers. Conclusion The IMM is a decision support tool that can provide estimates of the impact of medical events on human space flight missions, such as crew impairment, evacuation, and loss of crew life. It can be used to support the development of mitigation strategies and to propose optimized medical systems for specified space flight missions. Learning Objectives The audience will learn how an evidence-based decision support tool can be

  12. Arecibo Radar Observation of Near-Earth Asteroids: Expanded Sample Size, Determination of Radar Albedos, and Measurements of Polarization Ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lejoly, Cassandra; Howell, Ellen S.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Springmann, Alessondra; Virkki, Anne; Nolan, Michael C.; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Brozovic, Marina; Giorgini, Jon D.

    2017-10-01

    The Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population ranges in size from a few meters to more than 10 kilometers. NEAs have a wide variety of taxonomic classes, surface features, and shapes, including spheroids, binary objects, contact binaries, elongated, as well as irregular bodies. Using the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar system, we have measured apparent rotation rate, radar reflectivity, apparent diameter, and radar albedos for over 350 NEAs. The radar albedo is defined as the radar cross-section divided by the geometric cross-section. If a shape model is available, the actual cross-section is known at the time of the observation. Otherwise we derive a geometric cross-section from a measured diameter. When radar imaging is available, the diameter was measured from the apparent range depth. However, when radar imaging was not available, we used the continuous wave (CW) bandwidth radar measurements in conjunction with the period of the object. The CW bandwidth provides apparent rotation rate, which, given an independent rotation measurement, such as from lightcurves, constrains the size of the object. We assumed an equatorial view unless we knew the pole orientation, which gives a lower limit on the diameter. The CW also provides the polarization ratio, which is the ratio of the SC and OC cross-sections.We confirm the trend found by Benner et al. (2008) that taxonomic types E and V have very high polarization ratios. We have obtained a larger sample and can analyze additional trends with spin, size, rotation rate, taxonomic class, polarization ratio, and radar albedo to interpret the origin of the NEAs and their dynamical processes. The distribution of radar albedo and polarization ratio at the smallest diameters (≤50 m) differs from the distribution of larger objects (>50 m), although the sample size is limited. Additionally, we find more moderate radar albedos for the smallest NEAs when compared to those with diameters 50-150 m. We will present additional trends we

  13. Scattering of trajectories of hazardous asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sokolov, Leonid; Petrov, Nikita; Kuteeva, Galina; Vasilyev, Andrey

    2018-05-01

    Early detection of possible collisions of asteroids with the Earth is necessary to exept the asteroid-comet hazard. Many collisions associate with resonant returns after preceding approaches. The difficulty of collisions prediction is associated with a resonant returns after encounters with the Earth due to loss of precision in these predictions. On the other hand, we can use the fly-by effect to avoid hazardous asteroid from collision. The main research object is the asteroid Apophis (99942), for which we found about 100 orbits of possible impacts with the Earth and more than 10 - with the Moon. It is shown that the early (before 2029) change of the Apophis orbit allows to avoid all main impacts with the Earth in 21st century, associated with resonant returns, and such a change of the orbit, in principle, is feasible. The scattering of possible trajectories of Apophis after 2029 and after 2051, as well as 2015 RN35 and other dangerous objects, is discussed.

  14. Asteroid Composite Tape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. Flying Through Dust From Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-11-01

    How can we tell what an asteroid is made of? Until now, weve relied on remote spectral observations, though NASAs recently launched OSIRIS-REx mission may soon change this by landing on an asteroid and returning with a sample.But what if we could learn more about the asteroids near Earth without needing to land on each one? It turns out that we can by flying through their dust.The aerogel dust collector of the Stardust mission. [NASA/JPL/Caltech]Ejected CluesWhen an airless body is impacted by the meteoroids prevalent throughout our solar system, ejecta from the body are flung into the space around it. In the case of small objects like asteroids, their gravitational pull is so weak that most of the ejected material escapes, forming a surrounding cloud of dust.By flying a spacecraft through this cloud, we could perform chemical analysis of the dust, thereby determining the asteroids composition. We could even capture some of the dust during a flyby (for example, by using an aerogel collector like in the Stardust mission) and bring it back home to analyze.So whats the best place to fly a dust-analyzing or -collecting spacecraft? To answer this, we need to know what the typical distribution of dust is around a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) a problem that scientists Jamey Szalay (Southwest Research Institute) and Mihly Hornyi (University of Colorado Boulder) address in a recent study.The colors show the density distribution for dust grains larger than 0.3 m around a body with a 10-km radius. The distribution is asymmetric, with higher densities on the apex side, shown here in the +y direction. [Szalay Hornyi 2016]Moon as a LaboratoryTo determine typical dust distributions around NEAs, Szalay and Hornyi first look at the distribution of dust around our own Moon, caused by the same barrage of meteorites wed expect to impact NEAs. The Moons dust cloud was measured in situ in 2013 and 2014 by the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) on board the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment

  16. Thermophysics Issues Relevant to High-Speed Earth Entry of Large Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prabhu, D.; Saunders, D.; Agrawal, P.; Allen, G.; Bauschlicher, C.; Brandis, A.; Chen, Y.-K.; Jaffe, R.; Schulz, J.; Stern, E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Physics of atmospheric entry of meteoroids was an active area of research at NASA ARC up to the early 1970s (e.g., the oft-cited work of Baldwin and Sheaffer). However, research in the area seems to have ended with the Apollo program, and any ties with an active international meteor physics community seem to have significantly diminished thereafter. In the decades following the 1970s, the focus of entry physics at NASA ARC has been on improvement of the math models of shock-layer physics (especially in chemical kinetics and radiation) and thermal response of ablative materials used for capsule heatshields. With the overarching objectives of understanding energy deposition into the atmosphere and fragmentation, could these modern analysis tools and processes be applied to the problem of atmospheric entry of meteoroids as well? In the presentation we will explore: (i) the physics of atmospheric entries of meteoroids using our current state-of-the-art tools and processes, (ii) how multiple bodies interact, and (iii) the influence of wall blowing on flow dynamics.

  17. Planetary radar targets 1999 AP10, 2000 TO64, 2000 UJ1, and 2000 XK44: Four S-complex near-Earth asteroids.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hicks, M.; Lawrence, K.

    2009-12-01

    We report taxonomic classifications of four near-Earth asteroids (1999 AP10, 2000 TO64, 2000 UJ1, and 2000 XK44) scheduled for radar observation by the JPL radar group at the Arecibo facility in Oct-Nov 2009, using long-slit CCD spectroscopy acquired at the Palomar 5-m telescope on 2009 Nov 09 UT. Table 1 lists the observation circumstances. Normalized reflectance spectra are shown in Figures 1-4 [1]Goldstone radar evidence for short-axis mode non-principal-axis rotation of near-Earth asteroid (214869) 2007 PA8

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozović, Marina; Benner, Lance A. M.; Magri, Christopher; Scheeres, Daniel J.; Busch, Michael W.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Nolan, Michael C.; Jao, Joseph S.; Lee, Clement G.; Snedeker, Lawrence G.; Silva, Marc A.; Lawrence, Kenneth J.; Slade, Martin A.; Hicks, Michael D.; Howell, Ellen S.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Sanchez, Juan A.; Reddy, Vishnu; Dykhuis, Melissa; Le Corre, Lucille

    2017-04-01

    We report radar and optical photometric observations of near-Earth asteroid (214869) 2007 PA8 obtained during October 2-November 13, 2012. We observed 2007 PA8 on sixteen days with Goldstone (8560 MHz, 3.5 cm) and on five days with the 0.6 m telescope at Table Mountain Observatory. Closest approach was on November 5 at a distance of 0.043 au. Images obtained with Goldstone's new chirp system achieved range resolutions as fine as 3.75 m, placing thousands of pixels on the asteroid's surface, and revealing that 2007 PA8 is an elongated, asymmetric object. Surface features include angularities, facets, and a concavity approximately 400 m in diameter. We used the Shape software to estimate the asteroid's 3D shape and spin state. 2007 PA8 has a broad, rounded end and a tapered, angular end with sharp-crested ridges. The asteroid's effective diameter is 1.35 ± 0.07 km, which in combination with the absolute magnitude of 16.30 ± 0.52 gives an optical albedo of pV = 0.29 ± 0.14. The shape modeling of the radar data revealed that 2007 PA8 is a non-principal axis (NPA) rotator in the short-axis mode with an average period of precession by the long axis around the angular momentum vector of 4.26 ± 0.02 days and an oscillatory period around the long axis of 20.55 ± 3.75 days. The amplitude of rolling around the long axis is 42 ± 7° . The angular momentum vector points toward ecliptic longitude and latitude of 273.6 ± 10°, +16.9 ± 5°. 2007 PA8 is only the second confirmed short-axis mode NPA rotator known in the near-Earth asteroid population after (99942) Apophis (Pravec et al., 2014). 2007 PA8 has a geopotential high at the equator, where the equator is defined as the plane that contains the long and intermediate axis. This geopotential extreme could be interpreted as a large, hidden surface depression, or as evidence that 2007 PA8 is a multi-component body.

  18. Russian Earth Science Research Program on ISS

    SciTech Connect

    Armand, N. A.; Tishchenko, Yu. G.

    1999-01-22

    Version of the Russian Earth Science Research Program on the Russian segment of ISS is proposed. The favorite tasks are selected, which may be solved with the use of space remote sensing methods and tools and which are worthwhile for realization. For solving these tasks the specialized device sets (submodules), corresponding to the specific of solved tasks, are working out. They would be specialized modules, transported to the ISS. Earth remote sensing research and ecological monitoring (high rates and large bodies transmitted from spaceborne information, comparatively stringent requirements to the period of its processing, etc.) cause rather high requirements tomore » the ground segment of receiving, processing, storing, and distribution of space information in the interests of the Earth natural resources investigation. Creation of the ground segment has required the development of the interdepartmental data receiving and processing center. Main directions of works within the framework of the ISS program are determined.« less

  19. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Andrew; Michel, Patrick; Ulamec, Stephan; Reed, Cheryl; Galvez, Andres; Carnelli, Ian

    On Feb. 15, 2013, an exceptionally close approach to Earth by the small asteroid 2012 DA14 was eagerly awaited by observers, but another small asteroid impacted Earth over Chelyabinsk, Russia the same day without warning, releasing several hundred kilotons TNT of energy and injuring over 1500 people. These dramatic events remind us of the needs to discover hazardous asteroids and to learn how to mitigate them. The AIDA mission is the first demonstration of a mitigation technique to protect the Earth from a potential asteroid impact, by performing a spacecraft kinetic impact on an asteroid to deflect it from its trajectory. We will provide an update on the status of parallel AIDA mission studies supported by ESA and NASA. AIDA is an international collaboration consisting of two independent but mutually supporting missions, one of which is the asteroid kinetic impactor, and the other is the characterization spacecraft which will orbit the asteroid system to monitor the deflection experiment and measure the results. These two missions are the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which is the kinetic impactor, and the European Space Agency's Asteroid Impact Monitoring (AIM) mission, which is the characterization spacecraft. The target of the AIDA mission will be a binary asteroid, in which DART will target the secondary, smaller member in order to deflect the binary orbit. The resulting period change can be measured to within 10% by ground-based observations. The asteroid deflection will be measured to higher accuracy, and additional results of the DART impact, like the impact crater, will be studied in great detail by the AIM mission. AIDA will return vital data to determine the momentum transfer efficiency of the kinetic impact and key physical properties of the target asteroid. The two mission components of AIDA, DART and AIM, are each independently valuable, but when combined they provide a greatly increased knowledge return. The AIDA mission will combine

  1. Cloud Computing Technologies Facilitate Earth Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2015-01-01

    Under a Space Act Agreement, NASA partnered with Seattle-based Amazon Web Services to make the agency's climate and Earth science satellite data publicly available on the company's servers. Users can access the data for free, but they can also pay to use Amazon's computing services to analyze and visualize information using the same software available to NASA researchers.

  2. Asteroid 1999 JD6

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-07-31

    This collage of radar images of near-Earth asteroid 1999 JD6 was collected by NASA scientists on July 25, 2015. The images show the rotation of the asteroid, which made its closest approach on July 24 at 9:55 p.m. PDT (12:55 a.m. EDT on July 25) at a distance of about 4.5 million miles (7.2 million kilometers, or about 19 times the distance from Earth to the moon). The asteroid appears to be a contact binary -- an asteroid with two lobes that are stuck together. These views, which are radar echoes, were obtained by pairing NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, with the 330-foot (100-meter) National Science Foundation Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. Using this approach, the Goldstone antenna beams a radar signal at an asteroid and Green Bank receives the reflections. The technique, referred to as a bistatic observation, dramatically improves the amount of detail that can be seen in radar images. The new views obtained with the technique show features as small as about 25 feet (7.5 meters) wide. The images show the asteroid is highly elongated, with a length of approximately 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) on its long axis. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19647

  3. Asteroids and Comets Outreach Compilation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Contents include various different animations in the area of Asteroids and Comets. Titles of the short animated clips are: STARDUST Mission; Asteroid Castallia Impact Simulation; Castallia, Toutatis and the Earth; Simulation Asteroid Encounter with Earth; Nanorover Technology Task; Near Earth Asteroid Tracking; Champollian Anchor Tests; Early Views of Comets; Exploration of Small Bodies; Ulysses Resource Material from ESA; Ulysses Cometary Plasma Tail Animation; and various discussions on the Hale-Bopp Comet. Animation of the following are seen: the Stardust aerogel collector grid collecting cometary dust particles, comet and interstellar dust analyzer, Wiper-shield and dust flux monitor, a navigation camera, and the return of the sample to Earth; a comparison of the rotation of the Earth to the Castallia and Tautatis Asteroids; an animated land on Tautatis and the view of the motion of the sky from its surface; an Asteroid collision with the Earth; the USAF Station in Hawaii; close-up views of asteroids; automatic drilling of the Moon; exploding Cosmic Particles; and the dropping off of the plasma tail of a comet as it travels near the sun.

  4. Analyzing Earth Science Research Networking through Visualizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasnain, S.; Stephan, R.; Narock, T.

    2017-12-01

    Using D3.js we visualize collaboration amongst several geophysical science organizations, such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP). We look at historical trends in Earth Science research topics, cross-domain collaboration, and topics of interest to the general population. The visualization techniques used provide an effective way for non-experts to easily explore distributed and heterogeneous Big Data. Analysis of these visualizations provides stakeholders with insights into optimizing meetings, performing impact evaluation, structuring outreach efforts, and identifying new opportunities for collaboration.

  5. Metamorphosed CM and CI Carbonaceous Chondrites Could Be from the Breakup of the Same Earth-crossing Asteroid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolensky, Michael; Abell, Paul; Tonui, Eric

    2005-01-01

    Far from being the relatively unprocessed materials they were once believed to be, we now know that a significant number of carbonaceous chondrites were thermally metamorphosed on their parent asteroid(s). Numerous studies indicate that 7 "CM" and 2 "CI" chondrites have been naturally heated, variously, at from 400 to over 700 C on their parent asteroid(s). Petrographic textures reveal that this thermal metamorphism occurred after the dominant aqueous alteration phase, although some meteorites show evidence of a heating event between two aqueous alteration episodes, i.e. pro- and retrograde aqueous alteration. Aside from the issues of the identification of the transient heat source, timing of metamorphism, and the relation of these materials (if any) to conventional CM and CI chondrites, there is also a mystery related to their recovery. All of these meteorites have been recovered from the Antarctic; none are falls or finds from anyplace else. Indeed, the majority have been collected by the Japanese NIPR field parties in the Yamato Mountains. In fact, one estimate is that these meteorites account for approx. 64 wt% of the CM carbonaceous chondrites at the NIPR. The reasons for this are unclear and might be due in part to simple sampling bias. However we suggest that this recovery difference is related to the particular age of the Yamato Mountains meteorite recovery surfaces, and differences in meteoroid fluxes between the Yamato meteorites and recent falls and substantially older Antarctic meteorites. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  6. Comet or Asteroid?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-11-01

    ://www.skypub.com/comets/1996n2pw.html - Are They Comets or Asteroids? (adapted version of article by Stuart J. Goldman in Sky & Telescope, November 1996) * http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~graff/pressreleases/1996PW.html - Two Unusual Objects: 1996 PW and C/1996 N2 (Press information from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) * Abstract of research article : Origin and Evolution of the Unusual Object 1996 PW: Asteroids from the Oort Cloud? by Paul R. Weissman and Harold F. Levison * Abstract of research article : The Main Asteroid Belt - Comet Graveyard or Nursery? by Mark Hammergren * Preprint of research article : The Lightcurve and Colours of Unusual Minor Planet 1996 PW by J.K. Davies et al. This Press Release is accompanied by ESO PR Photo 31a/97 [JPG, 120k] , ESO PR Photo 31b/97 [JPG, 45k] and ESO PR Photo 31c/97 [JPG, 52k]. A larger version of ESO PR Photo 31c/97 [JPG, 384k] is also available. They may be reproduced, if credit is given to the European Southern Observatory. How to obtain ESO Press Information ESO Press Information is made available on the World-Wide Web (URL: http://www.eso.org ).

  7. Lewis Research Center earth resources program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mark, H.

    1972-01-01

    The Lewis Research Center earth resources program efforts are in the areas of: (1) monitoring and rapid evaluation of water quality; (2) determining ice-type and ice coverage distribution to aid operations in a possible extension of the Great Lakes ice navigation and shipping season; (3) monitoring spread of crop viruses; and (4) extent of damage to strip mined areas as well as success of efforts to rehabilitate such areas for agriculture.

  8. The bering small vehicle asteroid mission concept.

    PubMed

    Michelsen, Rene; Andersen, Anja; Haack, Henning; Jørgensen, John L; Betto, Maurizio; Jørgensen, Peter S

    2004-05-01

    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. 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 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 is on main belt objects, but the mission profile will enable mapping of objects inside the Earth orbit as well.

  9. Halloween Asteroid Rotation

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-11-03

    The 230-foot 70-meter DSS-14 antenna at Goldstone, Ca. obtained these radar images of asteroid 2015 TB145 on Oct. 31, 2015. Asteroid 2015 TB145 is depicted in eight individual radar images collected on Oct. 31, 2015 between 5:55 a.m. PDT (8:55 a.m. EDT) and 6:08 a.m. PDT (9:08 a.m. EDT). At the time the radar images were taken, the asteroid was between 440,000 miles (710,000 kilometers) and about 430,000 miles (690,000 kilometers) distant. Asteroid 2015 TB145 safely flew past Earth on Oct. 31, at 10:00 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) at about 1.3 lunar distances (300,000 miles, 480,000 kilometers). To obtain the radar images, the scientists used the 230-foot (70-meter) DSS-14 antenna at Goldstone, California, to transmit high power microwaves toward the asteroid. The signal bounced of the asteroid, and their radar echoes were received by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's 100-meter (330-foot) Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The images achieve a spatial resolution of about 13 feet (4 meters) per pixel. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20043

  10. COVER Project and Earth resources research transition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Botkin, D. B.; Estes, J. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1986-01-01

    Results of research in the remote sensing of natural boreal forest vegetation (the COVER project) are summarized. The study objectives were to establish a baseline forest test site; develop transforms of LANDSAT MSS and TM data for forest composition, biomass, leaf area index, and net primary productivity; and perform tasks required for testing hypotheses regarding observed spectral responses to changes in leaf area index in aspen. In addition, the transfer and documentation of data collected in the COVER project (removed from the Johnson Space Center following the discontinuation of Earth resources research at that facility) is described.

  11. Goldstone radar imaging of near-Earth asteroids (469896) 2007 WV4, 2014 JO25, 2017 BQ6, and 2017 CS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naidu, S.; Benner, L.; Brozovic, M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Busch, M.; Jao, J. S.; Lee, C. G.; Snedeker, L. G.; Silva, M. A.; Slade, M. A.; Lawrence, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present Goldstone radar imaging of four near-Earth asteroids during Feb-Jun 2017. The signal-to-noise ratios were very strong for each object and we obtained detailed images with range resolutions as fine as 3.75 m/pixel. 2017 BQ6 was discovered on Jan 26 and approached Earth within 6.5 lunar distances on Feb 7. Radar images show that it is a strikingly angular object roughly 200 m in diameter with a rotation period of 3 h. Its multi-faceted shape challenges the expectation that it is a rubble pile. 2017 CS was discovered on Feb 2 and approached within 8 lunar distances on May 29. It appears rounded on large scales but has considerable fine-scale topography evident along its leading edges. The images suggest a diameter of 1 km and a spin period consistent with the 40 h period obtained from photometry by P. Pravec (pers. comm.). The highest resolution images show evidence for meter-size boulders, ridges, and broad concavities. 2007 WV4 was imaged in late May and early June, has a diameter of 900 meters, and appears distinctly angular with at least three large facets > 100 m in extent. Tracking of features in the images gives a rotation period of about 12 hours. 2014 JO25 approached within 4.6 lunar distances on April 19. This was the closest encounter by an asteroid with an absolute magnitude brighter than 18 known in advance until 2027, when 1999 AN10 will approach within one lunar distance. Radar imaging shows that 2014 JO25 is an irregular object, consisting of two components connected by a narrow neck. The asteroid has pole on dimensions of roughly 1 x 0.6 km in the images. Imaging with 3.75 m/pixel resolution places thousands of pixels on the object and reveals ridges, concavities, flat regions up to 200 meters long, and radar-bright spots suggestive of boulders. Tracking of features in the images yields a rotation period of about 4.5 hours that is among the fastest of the 50 known contact binaries in the near-Earth population.

  12. Asteroid exploration and utilization: The Hawking explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  13. Asteroid exploration and utilization: The Hawking explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-12-01

    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.

  14. Asteroid photometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Li, Jian-Yang; Helfenstein, Paul; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Takir, Driss; Beth Ellen Clark,; Michel, Patrick; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Bottke, William F.

    2015-01-01

    Asteroid photometry has three major applications: providing clues about asteroid surface physical properties and compositions, facilitating photometric corrections, and helping design and plan ground-based and spacecraft observations. The most significant advances in asteroid photometry in the past decade were driven by spacecraft observations that collected spatially resolved imaging and spectroscopy data. In the mean time, laboratory measurements and theoretical developments are revealing controversies regarding the physical interpretations of models and model parameter values. We will review the new developments in asteroid photometry that have occurred over the past decade in the three complementary areas of observations, laboratory work, and theory. Finally we will summarize and discuss the implications of recent findings.

  15. The Asteroid Impact Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carnelli, Ian; Galvez, Andres; Mellab, Karim

    2016-04-01

    The Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is a small and innovative mission of opportunity, currently under study at ESA, intending to demonstrate new technologies for future deep-space missions while addressing planetary defense objectives and performing for the first time detailed investigations of a binary asteroid system. It leverages on a unique opportunity provided by asteroid 65803 Didymos, set for an Earth close-encounter in October 2022, to achieve a fast mission return in only two years after launch in October/November 2020. AIM is also ESA's contribution to an international cooperation between ESA and NASA called Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA), consisting of two mission elements: the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission and the AIM rendezvous spacecraft. The primary goals of AIDA are to test our ability to perform a spacecraft impact on a near-Earth asteroid and to measure and characterize the deflection caused by the impact. The two mission components of AIDA, DART and AIM, are each independently valuable but when combined they provide a greatly increased scientific return. The DART hypervelocity impact on the secondary asteroid will alter the binary orbit period, which will also be measured by means of lightcurves observations from Earth-based telescopes. AIM instead will perform before and after detailed characterization shedding light on the dependence of the momentum transfer on the asteroid's bulk density, porosity, surface and internal properties. AIM will gather data describing the fragmentation and restructuring processes as well as the ejection of material, and relate them to parameters that can only be available from ground-based observations. Collisional events are of great importance in the formation and evolution of planetary systems, own Solar System and planetary rings. The AIDA scenario will provide a unique opportunity to observe a collision event directly in space, and simultaneously from ground-based optical and

  16. Deflection Missions for Asteroid 2011 AG5

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grebow, Daniel; Landau, Damon; Bhaskaran, Shyam; Chodas, Paul; Chesley, Steven; Yeomans, Don; Petropoulos, Anastassios; Sims, Jon

    2012-01-01

    The recently discovered asteroid 2011 AG5 currently has a 1-in-500 chance of impacting Earth in 2040. In this paper, we discuss the potential of future observations of the asteroid and their effects on the asteroid's orbital uncertainty. Various kinetic impactor mission scenarios, relying on both conventional chemical as well as solar-electric propulsion, are presented for deflecting the course of the asteroid safely away from Earth. The times for the missions range from pre-keyhole passage (pre-2023), and up to five years prior to the 2040 Earth close approach. We also include a brief discussion on terminal guidance, and contingency options for mission planning.

  17. Earth Observation Research for GMES Initial Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Beijma, Sybrand; Balzter, Heiko; Nicolas-Perea, Virginia

    2013-04-01

    GMES Initial Operations - Network for Earth Observation Research Training (GIONET) is a Marie Curie funded project that aims to establish the first of a kind European Centre of Excellence for Earth Observation Research Training. GIONET is a partnership of leading Universities, research institutes and private companies from across Europe aiming to cultivate a community of early stage researchers in the areas of optical and radar remote sensing skilled for the emerging GMES land monitoring services during the GMES Initial Operations period (2011-2013) and beyond. GIONET is expected to satisfy the demand for highly skilled researchers and provide personnel for operational phase of the GMES and monitoring and emergency services. It will achieve this by: * Providing postgraduate training in Earth Observation Science that exposes students to different research disciplines and complementary skills, providing work experiences in the private and academic sectors, and leading to a recognized qualification (Doctorate). * Enabling access to first class training in both fundamental and applied research skills to early-stage researchers at world-class academic centres and market leaders in the private sector. * Building on the experience from previous GMES research and development projects in the land monitoring and emergency information services. * Developing a collaborative training network, through the placement of researchers for short periods in other GIONET organizations. Reliable, thorough and up-to-date environmental information is essential for understanding climate change the impacts it has on people's lives and ways to adapt to them. The GIONET researchers are being trained to understand the complex physical processes that determine how electromagnetic radiation interacts with the atmosphere and the land surface ultimately form the signal received by a satellite. In order to achieve this, the researchers have been placed in industry and universities across Europe, as

  18. Earth Science Research as IPY Priority

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotlyakov, V.; Leonov, Y.; Coakley, B.; Grikurov, G.; Johnson, L.; Kaminsky, V.; Kristoffersen, Y.; Leitchenkov, G.; Pavlenko, V.

    2004-05-01

    The preparations for IPY 2007/2008 are evolving from conceptual to implementation planning. Many earth scientists are concerned that the emerging plans for IPY are too narrowly focused on environmental processes and therefore appear discriminatory with respect to other fundamental sciences. National/international efforts such as USGCRP (U.S. Global Change Research program) and IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) are also involved in the multitude of climate change issues, and just how the proposed IPY program could augment and complement these ongoing activities without reproducing them requires careful analysis and coordination. In particular, the polar research is unthinkable without study of the geological history of the Arctic and the Southern Oceans as a clue to tectonic evolution of the entire planet and test of the current geodynamic paradigm. In addition to these fundamental objectives, the circum-polar continental margins of the Arctic and Antarctica are likely to become the scenes of geopolitical intrigue provoked by implementation of the provisions of the Law of the Sea that require acquisition of specific earth science knowledge at internationally recognized levels of credibility. Interdisciplinary international programs (e. g. JEODI), based on geophysical data acquisition and analysis that would lead, where appropriate, to scientific drilling, had independently been proposed for studying the coupled tectonic and oceanographic history of the polar regions. Admitting the importance of identifying fundamental constraints for paleooceanography and climatic history of the high latitudes, and acknowledging the progress achieved so far in promoting IPY activities, the international earth science community has suggested developing the proposed approach into a major IPY endeavor - to examine the Polar Ocean Gateway Evolution (POGE). Such study would enable linking the geological history of the Polar Regions during the last 100 Ma and related

  19. Radar investigation of asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ostro, S. J.

    1984-07-01

    The initial radar observations of the mainbelt asteroids 9 Metis, 27 Euterpe, and 60 Echo are examined. For each target, data are taken simultaneously in the same sense of circular polarization as transmitted as well as in the opposite (OC) sense. Estimates of the radar cross sections provide estimates of the circular polarization ratio, and the normalized OC radar cross section. The circular polarization ratio, is comparable to values measured for other large S type asteroids and for a few much smaller, Earth approaching objects, most of the echo is due to single reflection backscattering from smooth surface elements.

  20. Radar investigation of asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ostro, S. J.

    1984-01-01

    The initial radar observations of the mainbelt asteroids 9 Metis, 27 Euterpe, and 60 Echo are examined. For each target, data are taken simultaneously in the same sense of circular polarization as transmitted as well as in the opposite (OC) sense. Estimates of the radar cross sections provide estimates of the circular polarization ratio, and the normalized OC radar cross section. The circular polarization ratio, is comparable to values measured for other large S type asteroids and for a few much smaller, Earth approaching objects, most of the echo is due to single reflection backscattering from smooth surface elements.

  1. Asteroid Redirect Mission Update

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Dr. Holdren (left), Administrator Bolden (center) and Dr. Michele Gates (right) discuss the ARM mission during a live NASA TV briefing. Behind them is a mockup of robotic capture module for the Asteroid Redirect Mission. More info: Asteroid Redirect Mission Update – On Sept. 14, 2016, NASA provided an update on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and how it contributes to the agency’s journey to Mars and protection of Earth. The presentation took place in the Robotic Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Dr. John P. Holdren, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NASA’s ARM Program Director, Dr. Michele Gates discussed the latest update regarding the mission. They explained the mission’s scientific and technological benefits and how ARM will demonstrate technology for defending Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids. The briefing aired live on NASA TV and the agency’s website. For more information about ARM go to www.nasa.gov/arm. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Debbie Mccallum NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  2. Asteroid Redirect Mission Update

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Dr. Holdren (left), Administrator Bolden (center) and Dr. Michele Gates (right) discuss the ARM mission during a live NASA TV briefing. Behind them is a mockup of robotic capture module for the Asteroid Redirect Mission. More info: Asteroid Redirect Mission Update – On Sept. 14, 2016, NASA provided an update on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and how it contributes to the agency’s journey to Mars and protection of Earth. The presentation took place in the Robotic Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Dr. John P. Holdren, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NASA’s ARM Program Director, Dr. Michele Gates discussed the latest update regarding the mission. They explained the mission’s scientific and technological benefits and how ARM will demonstrate technology for defending Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids. The briefing aired live on NASA TV and the agency’s website. For more information about ARM go to www.nasa.gov/arm. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Peter Sooy NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  3. Targeting an asteroid: The DSPSE encounter with asteroid 1620 Geographos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    1993-01-01

    Accurate targeting of the Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE) spacecraft to achieve a 100 km sunward flyby of asteroid 1620 Geographos will require that the ground-based ephemeris of Geographos be well known in advance of the encounter. Efforts are underway to ensure that precision optical and radar observations are available for the final asteroid orbit update that takes place several hours prior to the DSPSE flyby. Because the asteroid passes very close to the Earth six days prior to the DSPSE encounter, precision ground-based optical and radar observations should be available. These ground-based data could reduce the asteroid's position uncertainties (1-sigma) to about 10 km. This ground-based target ephemeris error estimate is far lower than for any previous comet or asteroid that has been under consideration as a mission target.

  4. Industrializing the near-earth asteroids: Speculations on human activities in space in the latter half of the 21st century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sercel, Joel C.

    1990-01-01

    The use of solar system resources for human industry can be viewed as a natural extension of the continual growth of our species' habitat. Motivations for human activities in space can be discussed in terms of five distinct areas: (1) information processing and collection; (2) materials processing; (3) energy production to meet terrestrial power needs; (4) the use of extraterrestrial materials; and (5) disaster avoidance. When considering 21st-Century activities in space, each of these basic motivations must be treated in light of issues likely to be relevant to the 21st-Century earth. Many of the problems facing 21st-Century earth may stem from the need to maintain the world population of 8 to 10 billion people as is projected from expected growth rates. These problems are likely to include managing the impact of industrial processes on the terrestrial biosphere while providing adequate energy production and material goods for the growing population. The most important human activities in space in the latter half of the 21st Century may be associated with harnessing the resources of the near-earth asteroids for industrial processes. These above topics are discussed with an emphasis on space industrialization.

  5. Earth Radiation Budget Research at the NASA Langley Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, G. Louis; Harrison, Edwin F.; Gibson, Gary G.

    2014-01-01

    In the 1970s research studies concentrating on satellite measurements of Earth's radiation budget started at the NASA Langley Research Center. Since that beginning, considerable effort has been devoted to developing measurement techniques, data analysis methods, and time-space sampling strategies to meet the radiation budget science requirements for climate studies. Implementation and success of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) was due to the remarkable teamwork of many engineers, scientists, and data analysts. Data from ERBE have provided a new understanding of the effects of clouds, aerosols, and El Nino/La Nina oscillation on the Earth's radiation. CERES spacecraft instruments have extended the time coverage with high quality climate data records for over a decade. Using ERBE and CERES measurements these teams have created information about radiation at the top of the atmosphere, at the surface, and throughout the atmosphere for a better understanding of our climate. They have also generated surface radiation products for designers of solar power plants and buildings and numerous other applications

  6. HUBBLE: ON THE ASTEROID TRAIL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Astronomers Karl Stapelfeldt and Robin Evans have tracked down about 100 small asteroids by hunting through more than 28,000 archival images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Here is a sample of what they have found: four archival images that show the curved trails left by asteroids. [Top left]: Hubble captured a bright asteroid, with a visual magnitude of 18.7, roaming in the constellation Centaurus. Background stars are shown in white, while the asteroid trail is depicted in blue at top center. The trail has a length of 19 arc seconds. This asteroid has a diameter of one and one-quarter miles (2 kilometers), and was located 87 million miles from Earth and 156 million miles from the sun. Numerous orange and blue specks in this image and the following two images were created by cosmic rays, energetic subatomic particles that struck the camera's detector. [Top right]: Here is an asteroid with a visual magnitude of 21.8 passing a galaxy in the constellation Leo. The trail is seen in two consecutive exposures, the first shown in blue and the second in red. This asteroid has a diameter of half a mile (0.8 kilometers), and was located 188 million miles from Earth and 233 million miles from the sun. [Lower left]: This asteroid in the constellation Taurus has a visual magnitude of 23, and is one of the faintest seen so far in the Hubble archive. It moves from upper right to lower left in two consecutive exposures; the first trail is shown in blue and the second in red. Because of the asteroid's relatively straight trail, astronomers could not accurately determine its distance. The estimated diameter is half a mile (0.8 kilometers) at an Earth distance of 205 million miles and a sun distance of 298 million miles. [Lower right]: This is a broken asteroid trail crossing the outer regions of galaxy NGC 4548 in Coma Berenices. Five trail segments (shown in white) were extracted from individual exposures and added to a cleaned color image

  7. The International Solid Earth Research Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, G.; Pierce, M.; Rundle, J.; Donnellan, A.; Parker, J.; Granat, R.; Lyzenga, G.; McLeod, D.; Grant, L.

    2004-12-01

    We describe the architecture and initial implementation of the International Solid Earth Research Virtual Observatory (iSERVO). This has been prototyped within the USA as SERVOGrid and expansion is planned to Australia, China, Japan and other countries. We base our design on a globally scalable distributed "cyber-infrastructure" or Grid built around a Web Services-based approach consistent with the extended Web Service Interoperability approach. The Solid Earth Science Working Group of NASA has identified several challenges for Earth Science research. In order to investigate these, we need to couple numerical simulation codes and data mining tools to observational data sets. This observational data are now available on-line in internet-accessible forms, and the quantity of this data is expected to grow explosively over the next decade. We architect iSERVO as a loosely federated Grid of Grids with each country involved supporting a national Solid Earth Research Grid. The national Grid Operations, possibly with dedicated control centers, are linked together to support iSERVO where an International Grid control center may eventually be necessary. We address the difficult multi-administrative domain security and ownership issues by exposing capabilities as services for which the risk of abuse is minimized. We support large scale simulations within a single domain using service-hosted tools (mesh generation, data repository and sensor access, GIS, visualization). Simulations typically involve sequential or parallel machines in a single domain supported by cross-continent services. We use Web Services implement Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) using WSDL for service description and SOAP for message formats. These are augmented by UDDI, WS-Security, WS-Notification/Eventing and WS-ReliableMessaging in the WS-I+ approach. Support for the latter two capabilities will be available over the next 6 months from the NaradaBrokering messaging system. We augment these

  8. Asteroid taxonomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.; Barucci, M. Antonietta

    1989-01-01

    The spectral reflectivity of asteroid surfaces over the wavelength range of 0.3 to 1.1 micron can be used to classify these objects into several broad groups with similar spectral characteristics. The three most recently developed taxonomies group the asteroids into 9, 11, or 14 different clases, 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.

  9. Asteroids@Home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Evolutionary Pathways for Asteroid Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, Seth Andrew

    2015-08-01

    The YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis is a proposed mechanism for the creation of small asteroid binaries, which make up approximately 1/6-th of the near-Earth asteroid and small Main Belt asteroid populations. The YORP effect is a radiative torque that rotationally accelerates asteroids on timescales of thousands to millions of years. As asteroids rotationally accelerate, centrifugal accelerations on material within the body can match gravitational accelerations holding that material in place. When this occurs, that material goes into orbit. Once in orbit that material coalesces into a companion that undergoes continued dynamical evolution.Observations with radar, photometric and direct imaging techniques reveal a diverse array of small asteroid satellites. These systems can be sorted into a number of morphologies according to size, multiplicity of members, dynamical orbit and spin states, and member shapes. For instance, singly synchronous binaries have short separation distances between the two members, rapidly rotating oblate primary members, and tidally locked prolate secondary members. Other confirmed binary morphologies include doubly synchronous, tight asynchronous and wide asynchronous binaries. Related to these binary morphologies are unbound paired asteroid systems and bi-lobate contact binaries.A critical test for the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis is whether the binary asteroids produced evolve to the observed binary and related systems. In this talk I will review how this evolution is believed to occur according to gravitational dynamics, mutual body tides and the binary YORP effect.

  11. Goldstone radar images of near-Earth asteroids (469896) 2007 WV4, 2014 JO25, 2017 BQ6, and 2017 CS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozovic, Marina; Benner, Lance A. M.; Naidu, Shantanu P.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Busch, Michael; Jao, Joseph; Lee, Clement; Snedeker, Lawrence; Silva, Marc; Slade, Martin A.; Lawrence, Kenneth J.

    2017-10-01

    We report Goldstone delay-Doppler radar imaging of four NEAs obtained during February-June 2017. The signal-to-noise ratios were very strong for each object and we obtained detailed images with range resolutions as fine as 3.75 m/pixel. Delay-Doppler imaging revealed that 2017 BQ6 is a strikingly angular object roughly ~200 m in diameter with a rotation period of ~3 h. The multi-faceted shape is puzzling assuming a rubble-pile structure of this asteroid. 2017 CS was discovered by Pan-STARRS 1 on February 2 and approached within 8 lunar distances on May 29. 2017 CS appears rounded on large scales but has considerable fine-scale topography evident along its leading edges. The images suggest a diameter of ~1 km and rotation visible in the images is consistent with the 40 h rotation period obtained independently by from photometry by P. Pravec (pers. comm.). The highest resolution images show evidence for meter-size boulders, ridges, and broad concavities. 2007 WV4 was imaged in late May and early June. 2007 WV4 appears distinctly angular, with a diameter in the realm of 900 meters, and with at least three large facets more than 100 m in extent. Tracking of features in the images gives a rotation period of about 12 hours. The echoes show a persistent, small topographic feature that extends out from the surface. The nature of this feature is unknown, but it may be a large boulder similar to Yoshinodai seen on 25143 Itokawa. 2014 JO25 approached within 4.6 lunar distances on April 19. This was the closest encounter by an asteroid with an absolute magnitude brighter than 18 known in advance until 2027, when 1999 AN10 will approach within one lunar distance. Radar imaging shows that 2014 JO25 is an irregular object, which consists of two components connected by a narrow neck. The asteroid has a long axis of about 1 km and a short axis of roughly 600 m. The 3.75 m range resolution imaging placed thousands of pixels on the object and reveals ridges, hills, concavities, flat

  12. Grid-Free 2D Plasma Simulations of the Complex Interaction Between the Solar Wind and Small, Near-Earth Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, M. I.; Farrell, W. M.; Poppe, A. R.

    2014-01-01

    We present results from a new grid-free 2D plasma simulation code applied to a small, unmagnetized body immersed in the streaming solar wind plasma. The body was purposely modeled as an irregular shape in order to examine photoemission and solar wind plasma flow in high detail on the dayside, night-side, terminator and surface-depressed 'pocket' regions. Our objective is to examine the overall morphology of the various plasma interaction regions that form around a small body like a small near-Earth asteroid (NEA). We find that the object obstructs the solar wind flow and creates a trailing wake region downstream, which involves the interplay between surface charging and ambipolar plasma expansion. Photoemission is modeled as a steady outflow of electrons from illuminated portions of the surface, and under direct illumination the surface forms a non-monotonic or ''double-sheath'' electric potential upstream of the body, which is important for understanding trajectories and equilibria of lofted dust grains in the presence of a complex asteroid geometry. The largest electric fields are found at the terminators, where ambipolar plasma expansion in the body-sized night-side wake merges seamlessly with the thin photoelectric sheath on the dayside. The pocket regions are found to be especially complex, with nearby sunlit regions of positive potential electrically connected to unlit negative potentials and forming adjacent natural electric dipoles. For objects near the surface, we find electrical dissipation times (through collection of local environmental solar wind currents) that vary over at least 5 orders of magnitude: from 39 Micro(s) inside the near-surface photoelectron cloud under direct sunlight to less than 1 s inside the particle-depleted night-side wake and shadowed pocket regions

  13. Project RAMA: Reconstructing Asteroids Into Mechanical Automata

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  14. Astronomical Prospecting of Asteroid Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elvis, M.

    2017-09-01

    To make asteroid mining profitable will require professional astronomers using some of the largest telescopes on Earth to make precision measurements. This "astronomical prospecting" information is cheaper to obtain than flying even one or two spacecraft and will drastically cut the number of space probes that have to be sent to find an ore-bearing rock in space. Astronomical prospecting could make the business case for asteroid mining a solid one.

  15. Observations of Planet Crossing Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.

    1999-01-01

    This grant funds the investigation of the Solar System's planet crossing asteroid population, principally the near Earth and trans-Neptunian objects, but also the Centaurs. Investigations include colorimetry at both visible and near infrared wavelengths, light curve photometry, astrometry, and a pilot project to find near Earth objects with small aphelion distances, which requires observations at small solar elongations.

  16. Asteroid-Generated Tsunami and Impact Risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  18. Mining the apollo and amor asteroids.

    PubMed

    O'leary, B

    1977-07-22

    Earth-approaching asteroids could provide raw materials for space manufacturing. For certain asteroids the total energy per unit mass for the transfer of asteroidal resources to a manufacturing site in high Earth orbit is comparable to that for lunar materials. For logistical reasons the cost may be many times less. Optical studies suggest that these asteroids have compositions corresponding to those of carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites, with some containing large quantities of iron and nickel; others are thought to contain carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen, elements that appear to be lacking on the moon. The prospect that several new candidate asteroids will be discovered over the next few years increases the likelihood that a variety of asteroidal resource materials can be retrieved on low-energy missions.

  19. Mining the Apollo and Amor asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleary, B.

    1977-01-01

    Earth-approaching asteroids could provide raw materials for space manufacturing. For certain asteroids the total energy per unit mass for the transfer of asteroidal resources to a manufacturing site in high earth orbit is comparable to that for lunar materials. For logistical reasons the cost may be many times less. Optical studies suggest that these asteroids have compositions corresponding to those of carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites, with some containing large quantities of iron and nickel; other are thought to contain carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen, elements that appear to be lacking on the moon. The prospect that several new candidate asteroids will be discovered over the next few years increases the likelihood that a variety of asteroidal resource materials can be retrieved on low-energy missions.

  20. Analyzing Serendipitous Asteroid Observations in Imaging Data using PHOTOMETRYPIPELINE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ard, Christopher; Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David E.

    2016-10-01

    Asteroids are nearly ubiquitous in the night sky, making them present in the majority of imaging data taken every night. Serendipitous asteroid observations represent a treasure trove to Solar System researchers: accurate positional measurements of asteroids provide important constraints on their sometimes highly uncertain orbits, whereas calibrated photometric measurements can be used to establish rotational periods, intrinsic colors, or photometric phase curves.We present an add-on to the PHOTOMETRYPIPELINE (PP, github.com/mommermi/photometrypipeline, see Poster presentation 123.42) that identifies asteroids that have been observed serendipitously and extracts astrometry and calibrated photometry for these objects. PP is an open-source Python 2.7 software suite that provides image registration, aperture photometry, photometric calibration, and target identification with only minimal human interaction.Asteroids are identified based on approximate positions that are pre-calculated for a range of dates. Using interpolated coordinates, we identify potential asteroids that might be in the observed field and query their exact positions and positional uncertainties from the JPL Horizons system. The method results in robust astrometry and calibrated photometry for all asteroids in the field as a function of time. Our measurements will supplement existing photometric databases of asteroids and improve their orbits.We present first results using this procedure based on imaging data from the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope.This work was done in the framework of NAU's REU summer program that is supported by NSF grant AST-1461200. PP was developed in the framework of the "Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey" (MANOS) and is supported by NASA SSO grants NNX15AE90G and NNX14AN82G.

  1. Silicates in Alien Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead 'white dwarf' star contains silicates a common mineral on Earth. The data were taken primarily by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that breaks light apart into its basic constituents. The yellow dots show averaged data from the spectrograph, while the orange triangles show older data from Spitzer's infrared array camera. The white dwarf is called GD 40.

  2. On the hypothesis of hyperimpact-induced ejection of asteroid-size bodies from Earth-type planets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drobyshevski, E. M.

    During the last two decades a number of facts have brought to life a seemingly fantastic idea of ejection of large rocky fragments from planets into space, like for example SNC meteorites or many-km-size fragments of Vesta. The theoretical description of impact processes of this ejection lags behind. Considerable efforts have been spent to show the possibility of ejection of bodies several meters in size from large impact craters on Mars. In general, the possibility of impact self-destruction of inner planets may drastically alter traditional models of the origin of the Solar System. However, non-destructive gasdynamic ejection of large fragments from planets requires a mechanism for fast conversion of shock-wave energy into heat. The extrapolation of data from laboratory impact experiments (≡10 kJ) and nuclear explosions (<1 Mt TNT) in order to describe hyperimpact processes with 105 - 106 Mt TNT energies can hardly be justified, that is why these calculations give relatively small gas production and, consequently, small velocities of fragment ejection from impact craters. It is predicted that at such energies some instabilities may lead to formation of new dissipation channels, that would increase the part of the overheated gas fraction in the hyperimpact ejection products. This would eliminate numerous contradictions in the impact history of planets, asteroids, meteorites etc.

  3. VLBI Radar of the 2012 DA14 Asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nechaeva, M. B.; Dugin, N. A.; Antipenko, A. A.; Bezrukov, D. A.; Bezrukov, V. V.; Voytyuk, V. V.; Dement'ev, A. F.; Jekabsons, N.; Klapers, M.; Konovalenko, A. A.; Kulishenko, V. F.; Nabatov, A. S.; Nesteruk, V. N.; Putillo, D.; Reznichenko, A. M.; Salerno, E.; Snegirev, S. D.; Tikhomirov, Yu. V.; Khutornoy, R. V.; Skirmante, K.; Shmeld, I.; Chagunin, A. K.

    2015-03-01

    An experiment on VLBI radar of the 2012 DA14 asteroid was carried out on February 15-16, 2011 at the time of its closest approach to the Earth. The research teams of Kharkov (Institute of Radio Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), Evpatoria (National Space Facilities Control and Test Center), Nizhny Novgorod (Radiophysical Research Institute), Bologna (Istituto di Radioastronomia (INAF)), and Ventspils (Ventspils International Radioastronomy Center) took part in the experiment. The asteroid was irradiated by the RT-70 planetary radar (Evpatoria) at a frequency of 5 GHz. The reflected signal was received using two 32-m radio telescopes in Medicina (Italy) and Irbene (Latvia) in radiointerferometric mode. The Doppler frequency shifts in bi-static radar mode and interference frequency in VLBI mode were measured. Accuracy of the VLBI radar method for determining the radial and angular velocities of the asteroid were estimated.

  4. Asteroid Exploration and Exploitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, John S.

    2006-01-01

    John S. Lewis is Professor of Planetary Sciences and Co-Director of the Space Engineering Research Center at the University of Arizona. He was previously a Professor of Planetary Sciences at MIT and Visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology. Most recently, he was a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing for the 2005-2006 academic year. His research interests are related to the application of chemistry to astronomical problems, including the origin of the Solar System, the evolution of planetary atmospheres, the origin of organic matter in planetary environments, the chemical structure and history of icy satellites, the hazards of comet and asteroid bombardment of Earth, and the extraction, processing, and use of the energy and material resources of nearby space. He has served as member or Chairman of a wide variety of NASA and NAS advisory committees and review panels. He has written 17 books, including undergraduate and graduate level texts and popular science books, and has authored over 150 scientific publications.

  5. Spectroscopy of asteroids in unusual orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cochran, W. D.; Cochran, A. L.; Barker, E. S.

    1986-01-01

    Medium-resolution spectroscopy of a collection of nonmain-belt asteroids has been obtained in order to search for possible cometlike spectral features. The asteroids include nine earth approachers, two Trojans, and the unusual object 2060 Chiron. All spectra were obtained and reduced in the same manner as comet data in the McDonald Observatory Faint Comet Survey. No indication of cometary activity was found in any of the asteroids observed.

  6. Research and Teaching About the Deep Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Michael L.; Mogk, David W.; McDaris, John

    2010-08-01

    Understanding the Deep Earth: Slabs, Drips, Plumes and More; Virtual Workshop, 17-19 February and 24-26 February 2010; Images and models of active faults, subducting plates, mantle drips, and rising plumes are spurring new excitement about deep-Earth processes and connections between Earth's internal systems and plate tectonics. The new results and the steady progress of Earthscope's USArray across the country are also providing a special opportunity to reach students and the general public. The pace of discoveries about the deep Earth is accelerating due to advances in experimental, modeling, and sensing technologies; new data processing capabilities; and installation of new networks, especially the EarthScope facility. EarthScope is an interdisciplinary program that combines geology and geophysics to study the structure and evolution of the North American continent. To explore the current state of deep-Earth science and ways in which it can be brought into the undergraduate classroom, 40 professors attended a virtual workshop given by On the Cutting Edge, a program that strives to improve undergraduate geoscience education through an integrated cooperative series of workshops and Web-based resources. The 6-day two-part workshop consisted of plenary talks, large and small group discussions, and development and review of new classroom and laboratory activities.

  7. An Irish Tale: One City, Two Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This MISR nadir-camera image of Ireland was acquired on May 5, 2000 during Terra orbit 2026. The location of the town of Armagh in Northern Ireland is marked. Armagh is the site of the 200-year-old Armagh Observatory. The observatory's contributions to astronomical research were recently commemorated by the official naming of two asteroids, 'ArmaghObs' and 'Ardmacha.' The latter is the ancient Gaelic name for the town, which was founded in 445 A.D. by St. Patrick.

    The asteroids were discovered in July 1987 by planetary astronomer Eleanor Helin, Principal Investigator of JPL's Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program. The new names were published in the January 2001 Minor Planet Circular of the International Astronomical Union.

    The Irish Sea and the Isle of Man are located on the right-hand side of this image. Southwestern Scotland is visible in the upper right corner, and portions of northwestern Wales can be seen in the lower right.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  8. Radar investigation of asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ostro, S. J.

    1986-01-01

    The number of radar detected asteroids has climbed from 6 to 40 (27 mainbelt plus 13 near-Earth). The dual-circular-polarization radar sample now comprises more than 1% of the numbered asteroids. Radar results for mainbelt asteroids furnish the first available information on the nature of these objects at macroscopic scales. At least one object (2 Pallas) and probably many others are extraordinarily smooth at centimeter-to-meter scales but are extremely rough at some scale between several meters and many kilometers. Pallas has essentially no small-scale structure within the uppermost several meters of the regolith, but the rms slope of this regolith exceeds 20 deg., much larger than typical lunar values (approx. 7 deg.). The origin of these slopes could be the hypervelocity impact cratering process, whose manifestations are likely to be different on low-gravity, low-radius-of-curvature objects from those on the terrestrial planets. The range of mainbelt asteroid radar albedoes is very broad and implies big variations in regolith porosity or metal concentration, or both. The highest albedo estimate, for 16 Psyche, is consistent with a surface having porosities typical of lunar soil and a composition nearly completely metallic. Therefore, Psyche might be the collisionally stripped core of a differentiated small plant, and might resemble mineralogically the parent bodies of iron meteorites.

  9. NASA's Earth Science Research and Environmental Predictions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hilsenrath, E.

    2004-01-01

    NASA Earth Science program began in the 1960s with cloud imaging satellites used for weather observations. A fleet of satellites are now in orbit to investigate the Earth Science System to uncover the connections between land, Oceans and the atmosphere. Satellite systems using an array of active and passive remote sensors are used to search for answers on how is the Earth changing and what are the consequences for life on Earth? The answer to these questions can be used for applications to serve societal needs and contribute to decision support systems for weather, hazard, and air quality predictions and mitigation of adverse effects. Partnerships with operational agencies using NASA's observational capabilities are now being explored. The system of the future will require new technology, data assimilation systems which includes data and models that will be used for forecasts that respond to user needs.

  10. Satellite tracking and earth dynamics research programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    The SAO laser site in Arequipa continued routine operations throughout the reporting period except for the months of March and April when upgrading was underway. The laser in Orroral Valley was operational through March. Together with the cooperating stations in Wettzell, Grasse, Kootwikj, San Fernando, Helwan, and Metsahove the laser stations obtained a total of 37,099 quick-look observations on 978 passes of BE-C, Starlette, and LAGEOS. The Network continued to track LAGEOS at highest priority for polar motion and Earth rotation studies, and for other geophysical investigations, including crustal dynamics, Earth and ocean tides, and the general development of precision orbit determination. The Network performed regular tracking of BE-C and Starlette for refined determinations of station coordinate and the Earth's gravity field and for studies of solid earth dynamics. Monthly statistics of the passes and points are given by station and by satellite.

  11. Design of Spacecraft Missions to Test Kinetic Impact for Asteroid Deflection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hernandez, Sonia; Barbee, Brent W.

    2011-01-01

    There are currently over 8,000 known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), and more are being discovered on a continual basis. More than 1,200 of these are classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) because their Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) with Earth's orbit is <= 0.05 AU and their estimated diameters are >= 150 m. To date, 178 Earth impact structures have been discovered, indicating that our planet has previously been struck with devastating force by NEAs and will be struck again. Such collisions are aperiodic events and can occur at any time. A variety of techniques have been proposed to defend our planet from NEA impacts by deflecting the incoming asteroid. However, none of these techniques have been tested. Unless rigorous testing is conducted to produce reliable asteroid deflection systems, we will be forced to deploy completely untested -- and therefore unreliable -- deflection missions when a sizable asteroid on a collision course with Earth is discovered. Such missions will have a high probability of failure. We propose to address this problem with a campaign of deflection technology test missions deployed to harmless NEAs. The objective of these missions is to safely evaluate and refine the mission concepts and asteroid deflection system designs. Our current research focuses on the kinetic impactor, one of the simplest proposed asteroid deflection techniques in which a spacecraft is sent to collide with an asteroid at high relative velocity. By deploying test missions in the near future, we can characterize the performance of this deflection technique and resolve any problems inherent to its execution before needing to rely upon it during a true emergency. In this paper we present the methodology and results of our survey, including lists of NEAs for which safe and effective kinetic impactor test missions may be conducted within the next decade. Full mission designs are also presented for the NEAs which offer the best mission opportunities.

  12. Spectral properties of binary asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Spectral properties of binary asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2018-07-01

    We present the first attempt to characterize the distribution of taxonomic class among the population of binary asteroids (15 per cent of all small asteroids). For that, an analysis of 0.8-2.5 µm near-infrared spectra obtained with the SpeX instrument on the NASA/IRTF (Infrared Telescope Facility) is presented. Taxonomic class and meteorite analogue is determined for each target, increasing the sample of binary asteroids with known taxonomy by 21 per cent. 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.

  14. Goldstone Radar Images of Asteroid 2013 ET

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-03-18

    This sequence of radar images of asteroid 2013 ET was obtained on Mar. 10, 2013, by NASA scientists using the 230-foot 70-meter DSN antenna at Goldstone, CA, when the asteroid was about 693,000 mi 1.1 million km from Earth.

  15. Bringing Earth Magnetism Research into the High School Physics Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, A. V.; Bluth, G.; Engel, E.; Kurpier, K.; Foucher, M. S.; Anderson, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    We present our work in progress from an NSF CAREER project that aims to integrate paleomagnetic research and secondary school physics education. The research project is aimed at quantifying the strength and geometry of the Precambrian geomagnetic field. Investigation of the geomagnetic field behavior is crucial for understanding the mechanisms of field generation, and the development of the Earth's atmosphere and biosphere, and can serve as a focus for connecting high-level Earth science research with a standard physics curriculum. High school science teachers have participated in each summer field and research component of the project, gaining field and laboratory research experience, sets of rock and mineral samples, and classroom-tested laboratory magnetism activities for secondary school physics and earth science courses. We report on three field seasons of teacher field experiences and two years of classroom testing of paleomagnetic research materials merged into physics instruction on magnetism. Students were surveyed before and after dedicated instruction for both perceptions and attitude towards earth science in general, then more specifically on earth history and earth magnetism. Students were also surveyed before and after instruction on major earth system and magnetic concepts and processes, particularly as they relate to paleomagnetic research. Most students surveyed had a strongly positive viewpoint towards the study of Earth history and the importance of studying Earth Sciences in general, but were significantly less drawn towards more specific topics such as mineralogy and magnetism. Students demonstrated understanding of Earth model and the basics of magnetism, as well as the general timing of life, atmospheric development, and magnetic field development. However, detailed knowledge such as the magnetic dynamo, how the magnetic field has changed over time, and connections between earth magnetism and the development of an atmosphere remained largely

  16. Thermal History of Planetary Objects: From Asteroids to super-Earths, from plate-tectonics to life (Runcorn-Florensky Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohn, Tilman

    2013-04-01

    Convection in the interiors of planetesimals (asteroids), planets, and satellites is driving the thermal and chemical evolution of these bodies including the generation of possible magnetic fields. The wide size range induces a wide of range of time scales from hundreds of thousands of years for small planetesimals to a few tens of Gigayears for massive super-Earths. Evolution calculations are often based on energy (and entropy) balances parameterizing the transport properties of the interior in suitable ways. These thereby allow incorporating (in parameterized forms) interesting physical processes that depend in one way or another on the transport properties of the interior. The interior will usually be chemically layered in mantles and cores and include ice layers if icy satellites are considered. In addition to magnetic field generation calculated via energy balances of the core and using semi-empirical dynamo strength relations, processes that can be considered include sintering and compaction for small bodies and mantle (or ice) melting, differentiation and even continental growth for full-scaled terrestrial planets. The rheology of the interior is considered temperature and pressure dependent and the concentration of volatiles can be important. For super-Earths, probably the most critical consideration is how the mantle rheology would vary with pressure and thus with depth. It is possible that the increasing pressure will frustrate deep mantle convection thereby reducing the vigor of mantle convection. Possibly, the generation of a magnetic field in a putative iron-rich core will be impossible, if super-Earths at all have earth-like cores. On a much smaller scale, the decay of short-lived radioactives suffices to heat and melt planetesimals, the melting being helped by the low thermal conductivity of the initially porous body. This allows planets to form from pre-differentiated planetesimals thus helping to differentiate and form cores rapidly. On active

  17. Update on an Interstellar Asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  18. Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission: Kinetic impactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will be the first space experiment to demonstrate asteroid impact hazard mitigation by using a kinetic impactor to deflect an asteroid. AIDA is an international cooperation, consisting of two mission elements: the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission and the ESA Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) rendezvous mission. The primary goals of AIDA are (i) to test our ability to perform a spacecraft impact on a potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid and (ii) to measure and characterize the deflection caused by the impact. The AIDA target will be the binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos, with the deflection experiment to occur in late September, 2022. The DART impact on the secondary member of the binary at 7 km/s is expected to alter the binary orbit period by about 4 minutes, assuming a simple transfer of momentum to the target, and this period change will be measured by Earth-based observatories. The AIM spacecraft will characterize the asteroid target and monitor results of the impact in situ at Didymos. The DART mission is a full-scale kinetic impact to deflect a 150 m diameter asteroid, with known impactor conditions and with target physical properties characterized by the AIM mission. Predictions for the momentum transfer efficiency of kinetic impacts are given for several possible target types of different porosities, using Housen and Holsapple (2011) crater scaling model for impact ejecta mass and velocity distributions. Results are compared to numerical simulation results using the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code of Jutzi and Michel (2014) with good agreement. The model also predicts that the ejecta from the DART impact may make Didymos into an active asteroid, forming an ejecta coma that may be observable from Earth-based telescopes. The measurements from AIDA of the momentum transfer from the DART impact, the crater size and morphology, and the evolution of an ejecta coma will

  19. Astronomical Research Institute Photometric Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linder, Tyler R.; Sampson, Ryan; Holmes, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The Astronomical Research Institute (ARI) conducts astrometric and photometric studies of asteroids with a concentration on near-Earth objects (NEOs). A 0.76-m autoscope was used for photometric studies of seven asteroids of which two were main-belt targets and five were NEOs, including one potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA). These objects are: 3122 Florence, 3960 Chaliubieju, 5143 Heracles, (6455) 1992 HE, (36284) 2000 DM8, (62128) 2000 SO1, and 2010 LF86.

  20. Geotechnical Tests on Asteroid Simulant Orgueil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  1. Expedition Earth and Beyond: Student Scientist Guidebook. Model Research Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graff, Paige Valderrama

    2009-01-01

    The Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook is designed to help student researchers model the process of science and conduct a research investigation. The Table of Contents listed outlines the steps included in this guidebook

  2. Satellite-tracking and earth-dynamics research programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    The activities and progress in the satellite tracking and earth dynamics research during the first half of calendar year 1975 are described. Satellite tracking network operations, satellite geodesy and geophysics programs, GEOS 3 project support, and atmospheric research are covered.

  3. The Asteroid Impact Mission - Deflection Demonstration (AIM - D2)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Küppers, M.; Michel, P.; Carnelli, I.

    2017-09-01

    The Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is ESA's contribution to the international Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA) cooperation, targeting the demonstration of deflection of a hazardous near-earth asteroid. AIM will also be the first in-depth investigation of a binary asteroid and make measurements that are relevant for the preparation of asteroid resource utilisation. AIM is foreseen to rendezvous with the binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos and to observe the system before, during, and after the impact of NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft. Here we describe the observations to be done by the simplified version Asteroid Impact Mission - Deflection Demonstration (AIM-D2) and show that most of the original AIM objectives can still be achieved.

  4. NETL’s Rare Earth Elements Research

    SciTech Connect

    None

    The National Energy Technology Laboratory has established a Rare Earth Elements (REE) program. REEs are a series of 17 chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are an essential component to technology, health care, transportation and national defense.

  5. A mission concept for a Grand Tour of Multiple Asteroid Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchis, F.; Dankanich, J.; Tricarico, P.; Bellerose, J.

    2009-12-01

    In 1993, the Galileo spacecraft imaged the first companion of asteroid, Dactyl orbiting 243 Ida, a main-belt asteroid. Since then, discoveries have been accumulated thanks to the development of high angular resolution imaging on ground-based telescopes (adaptive optics), radar observations and accurate photometric light curve measurements. To date, 180 companions of small solar system bodies (SSSBs) are known in various populations, including 100 in the asteroid main belt, 33 Near Earth Asteroids, 4 Jupiter-Trojan asteroids and 44 in the Kuiper Belt. Multiple Asteroids have been shown to be complex worlds in their own with a wide range of morphologies, dynamical histories, and structural evolution. To the exception of 243 Ida, no spacecraft has visited any of them. Investigating binary asteroid systems can verify and validate current theories on their formation and on the influence of the sun in their formation (YORP effect) and evolution (space weathering). In particular, assessing the origin of the secondary satellite, if it is of common origin or capture, can provide clue of their formation. To a larger extend, the determination of their nature, scenario formation and evolution are key to understand how planet formation occurred but also to understand i) the population and compositional structure of the SSSB today ii) how the dynamics and collisions modify this structure over time iii) what the physical properties of asteroids are (density, porosity) iv) how the surface modification processes affect our ability to determine this structure (e.g. space weathering). In addition, being able to study these properties on closeby asteroids will give a relative scale accounting for the sizes, shape, rotation periods and cratering rate of these small and young bodies. In the framework of the NASA Discovery program, we propose a mission consisting of a Grand Tour of several multiple asteroid systems, including the flyby of a near earth binary asteroid and the rendezvous

  6. Solar wind tans young asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-04-01

    A new study published in Nature this week reveals that asteroid surfaces age and redden much faster than previously thought -- in less than a million years, the blink of an eye for an asteroid. This study has finally confirmed that the solar wind is the most likely cause of very rapid space weathering in asteroids. This fundamental result will help astronomers relate the appearance of an asteroid to its actual history and identify any after effects of a catastrophic impact with another asteroid. ESO PR Photo 16a/09 Young Asteroids Look Old "Asteroids seem to get a ‘sun tan' very quickly," says lead author Pierre Vernazza. "But not, as for people, from an overdose of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, but from the effects of its powerful wind." It has long been known that asteroid surfaces alter in appearance with time -- the observed asteroids are much redder than the interior of meteorites found on Earth [1] -- but the actual processes of this "space weathering" and the timescales involved were controversial. Thanks to observations of different families of asteroids [2] using ESO's New Technology Telescope at La Silla and the Very Large Telescope at Paranal, as well as telescopes in Spain and Hawaii, Vernazza's team have now solved the puzzle. When two asteroids collide, they create a family of fragments with "fresh" surfaces. The astronomers found that these newly exposed surfaces are quickly altered and change colour in less than a million years -- a very short time compared to the age of the Solar System. "The charged, fast moving particles in the solar wind damage the asteroid's surface at an amazing rate [3]", says Vernazza. Unlike human skin, which is damaged and aged by repeated overexposure to sunlight, it is, perhaps rather surprisingly, the first moments of exposure (on the timescale considered) -- the first million years -- that causes most of the aging in asteroids. By studying different families of asteroids, the team has also shown that an asteroid

  7. Planetary Defense From Space: Part 2 (Simple) Asteroid Deflection Law

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccone, Claudio

    2006-06-01

    A system of two space bases housing missiles for an efficient Planetary Defense of the Earth from asteroids and comets was firstly proposed by this author in 2002. It was then shown that the five Lagrangian points of the Earth Moon system lead naturally to only two unmistakable locations of these two space bases within the sphere of influence of the Earth. These locations are the two Lagrangian points L1 (in between the Earth and the Moon) and L3 (in the direction opposite to the Moon from the Earth). In fact, placing missiles based at L1 and L3 would enable the missiles to deflect the trajectory of incoming asteroids by hitting them orthogonally to their impact trajectory toward the Earth, thus maximizing the deflection at best. It was also shown that confocal conics are the only class of missile trajectories fulfilling this “best orthogonal deflection” requirement. The mathematical theory developed by the author in the years 2002 2004 was just the beginning of a more expanded research program about the Planetary Defense. In fact, while those papers developed the formal Keplerian theory of the Optimal Planetary Defense achievable from the Earth Moon Lagrangian points L1 and L3, this paper is devoted to the proof of a simple “(small) asteroid deflection law” relating directly the following variables to each other:the speed of the arriving asteroid with respect to the Earth (known from the astrometric observations);the asteroid's size and density (also supposed to be known from astronomical observations of various types);the “security radius” of the Earth, that is, the minimal sphere around the Earth outside which we must force the asteroid to fly if we want to be safe on Earth. Typically, we assume the security radius to equal about 10,000 km from the Earth center, but this number might be changed by more refined analyses, especially in the case of “rubble pile” asteroids;the distance from the Earth of the two Lagrangian points L1 and L3 where the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. Amor: Investigating The Triple Asteroid System 2001 SN263

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, T.; Bellerose, Julie; Lee, P.; Prettyman, T.; Lawrence, D.; Smith, P.; Gaffey, M.; Nolan, M.; Goldsten, J.; Thomas, P.; Veverka, J.; Farquhar, R.; Heldmann, J.; Reddy, V.; Williams, B.; Chartres, J.; DeRosee, R.; Dunham, D.

    2010-10-01

    The Amor mission will rendezvous and land at the triple Near-Earth Asteroid system (153591) 2001 SN263 and execute detailed, in-situ science investigations. The spacecraft reaches 2001 SN263 by using a two-year ΔVEGA (ΔV-Earth Gravity Assist) trajectory with a relatively low launch C3 of 33.5 km2/s2. Rendezvous will enable reconnaissance activities including global and regional imaging, shape modeling, system dynamics, and compositional mapping. After landing, Amor will conduct in-situ imaging (panoramic to microscopic scale) and compositional measurements to include elemental abundance. The main objectives are to 1) establish in-situ the long-hypothesized link between C-type asteroids and the primitive carbonaceous chondrite (CC) meteorites, 2) investigate the nature, origin and evolution of C-type asteroids, and 3) investigate the origin and evolution of a multiple asteroid system. The mission also addresses the distribution of volatiles and organic materials, impact hazards, and resources for future exploration. Amor is managed by NASA Ames Research Center in partnership with Orbital Sciences, KinetX, MDA, and Draper with heritage instruments provided by Ball Aerospace, JHU/APL, and Firestar Engineering. The science team brings experience from NEAR, Hayabusa, Deep Impact, Dawn, LCROSS, Kepler, and Mars missions. In this paper, we describe the science, mission design, and main operational challenges of performing in-situ science at this triple asteroid system. Challenges include landing on the asteroid components, thermal environment, short day-night cycles, and the operation of deployed instruments in a low gravity (10^-5 g) environment.

  10. First of Many Asteroid Finds

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-01-23

    The red dot at the center of this image is the first near-Earth asteroid discovered by NASA Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE -- an all-sky mapping infrared mission designed to see all sorts of cosmic objects.

  11. Earth Science

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-01-31

    The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft embarks on a journey that will culminate in a close encounter with an asteroid. The launch of NEAR inaugurates NASA's irnovative Discovery program of small-scale planetary missions with rapid, lower-cost development cycles and focused science objectives. NEAR will rendezvous in 1999 with the asteroid 433 Eros to begin the first long-term, close-up look at an asteroid's surface composition and physical properties. NEAR's science payload includes an x-ray/gamma ray spectrometer, an near-infrared spectrograph, a laser rangefinder, a magnetometer, a radio science experiment and a multi-spectral imager.

  12. Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS): Preliminary Space-Based Concept and Study Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Antol, Jeffrey; Park, Sang-Young; Koons, Robert H.; Bremer, James C.; Murphy, Douglas G.; Hoffman, James A.; Kumar, Renjith R.; Seywald, Hans

    2005-01-01

    There exists an infrequent, but significant hazard to life and property due to impacting asteroids and comets. There is currently no specific search for long-period comets, smaller near-Earth asteroids, or smaller short-period comets. These objects represent a threat with potentially little or no warning time using conventional ground-based telescopes. These planetary bodies also represent a significant resource for commercial exploitation, long-term sustained space exploration, and scientific research. The Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS) is a future space-based system concept that provides permanent, continuous asteroid and comet monitoring, and rapid, controlled modification of the orbital trajectories of selected bodies. CAPS would expand the current detection effort to include long-period comets, as well as small asteroids and short-period comets capable of regional destruction. A space-based detection system, despite being more costly and complex than Earth-based initiatives, is the most promising way of expanding the range of detectable objects, and surveying the entire celestial sky on a regular basis. CAPS would provide an orbit modification system capable of diverting kilometer class objects, and modifying the orbits of smaller asteroids for impact defense and resource utilization. This Technical Memorandum provides a compilation of key related topics and analyses performed during the CAPS study, which was performed under the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) program, and discusses technologies that could enable the implementation of this future system.

  13. Asteroid Ida and Its Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This is the first full picture showing both asteroid 243 Ida and its newly discovered moon to be transmitted to Earth from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Galileo spacecraft--the first conclusive evidence that natural satellites of asteroids exist. Ida, the large object, is about 56 kilometers (35 miles) long. Ida's natural satellite is the small object to the right. This portrait was taken by Galileo's charge-coupled device (CCD) camera on August 28, 1993, about 14 minutes before the Jupiter-bound spacecraft's closest approach to the asteroid, from a range of 10,870 kilometers (6,755 miles). Ida is a heavily cratered, irregularly shaped asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter--the 243rd asteroid to be discovered since the first was found at the beginning of the 19th century. Ida is a member of a group of asteroids called the Koronis family. The small satellite, which is about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) across in this view, has yet to be given a name by astronomers. It has been provisionally designated '1993 (243) 1' by the International Astronomical Union. ('1993' denotes the year the picture was taken, '243' the asteroid number and '1' the fact that it is the first moon of Ida to be found.) Although appearing to be 'next' to Ida, the satellite is actually in the foreground, slightly closer to the spacecraft than Ida is. Combining this image with data from Galileo's near-infrared mapping spectrometer, the science team estimates that the satellite is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away from the center of Ida. This image, which was taken through a green filter, is one of a six-frame series using different color filters. The spatial resolution in this image is about 100 meters (330 feet) per pixel.

  14. Velocity distributions among colliding asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bottke, William F., Jr.; Nolan, Michael C.; Greenberg, Richard; Kolvoord, Robert A.

    1994-01-01

    The probability distribution for impact velocities between two given asteroids is wide, non-Gaussian, and often contains spikes according to our new method of analysis in which each possible orbital geometry for collision is weighted according to its probability. An average value would give a good representation only if the distribution were smooth and narrow. Therefore, the complete velocity distribution we obtain for various asteroid populations differs significantly from published histograms of average velocities. For all pairs among the 682 asteroids in the main-belt with D greater than 50 km, we find that our computed velocity distribution is much wider than previously computed histograms of average velocities. In this case, the most probable impact velocity is approximately 4.4 km/sec, compared with the mean impact velocity of 5.3 km/sec. For cases of a single asteroid (e.g., Gaspra or Ida) relative to an impacting population, the distribution we find yields lower velocities than previously reported by others. The width of these velocity distributions implies that mean impact velocities must be used with caution when calculating asteroid collisional lifetimes or crater-size distributions. Since the most probable impact velocities are lower than the mean, disruption events may occur less frequently than previously estimated. However, this disruption rate may be balanced somewhat by an apparent increase in the frequency of high-velocity impacts between asteroids. These results have implications for issues such as asteroidal disruption rates, the amount/type of impact ejecta available for meteoritical delivery to the Earth, and the geology and evolution of specific asteroids like Gaspra.

  15. Asteroid Ida and Its Moon

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-02-01

    This is the first full picture showing both asteroid 243 Ida and its newly discovered moon to be transmitted to Earth from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Galileo spacecraft--the first conclusive evidence that natural satellites of asteroids exist. Ida, the large object, is about 56 kilometers (35 miles) long. Ida's natural satellite is the small object to the right. This portrait was taken by Galileo's charge-coupled device (CCD) camera on August 28, 1993, about 14 minutes before the Jupiter-bound spacecraft's closest approach to the asteroid, from a range of 10,870 kilometers (6,755 miles). Ida is a heavily cratered, irregularly shaped asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter -- the 243rd asteroid to be discovered since the first was found at the beginning of the 19th century. Ida is a member of a group of asteroids called the Koronis family. The small satellite, which is about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) across in this view, has yet to be given a name by astronomers. It has been provisionally designated '1993 (243) 1' by the International Astronomical Union. ('1993' denotes the year the picture was taken, '243' the asteroid number and '1' the fact that it is the first moon of Ida to be found.) Although appearing to be 'next' to Ida, the satellite is actually in the foreground, slightly closer to the spacecraft than Ida is. Combining this image with data from Galileo's near-infrared mapping spectrometer, the science team estimates that the satellite is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away from the center of Ida. This image, which was taken through a green filter, is one of a six-frame series using different color filters. The spatial resolution in this image is about 100 meters (330 feet) per pixel. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00136

  16. The role of the space station in earth science research

    SciTech Connect

    Kaye, Jack A.

    1999-01-22

    The International Space Station (ISS) has the potential to be a valuable platform for earth science research. By virtue of its being in a mid-inclination orbit (51.5 deg.), ISS provides the opportunity for nadir viewing of nearly 3/4 of the Earth's surface, and allows viewing to high latitudes if limb-emission or occultation viewing techniques are used. ISS also provides the opportunity for viewing the Earth under a range of lighting conditions, unlike the polar sun-synchronous satellites that are used for many earth observing programs. The ISS is expected to have ample power and data handling capability to support Earth-viewing instruments,more » provide opportunities for external mounting and retrieval of instruments, and be in place for a sufficiently long period that long-term data records can be obtained. On the other hand, there are several questions related to contamination, orbital variations, pointing knowledge and stability, and viewing that are of concern in consideration of ISS for earth science applications. The existence of an optical quality window (the Window Observational Research Facility, or WORF), also provides the opportunity for Earth observations from inside the pressurized part of ISS. Current plans by NASA for earth science research from ISS are built around the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) instrument, planned for launch in 2002.« less

  17. Images of an Activated Asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-08-01

    In late April of this year, asteroid P/2016 G1 (PANSTARRS) was discovered streaking through space, a tail of dust extending behind it. What caused this asteroids dust activity?Asteroid or Comet?Images of asteroid P/2016 G1 at three different times: late April, late May, and mid June. The arrow in the center panel points out an asymmetric feature that can be explained if the asteroid initially ejected material in a single direction, perhaps due to an impact. [Moreno et al. 2016]Asteroid P/2016 G1 is an interesting case: though it has the orbital elements of a main-belt asteroid it orbits at just under three times the EarthSun distance, with an eccentricity of e ~ 0.21 its appearance is closer to that of a comet, with a dust tail extending 20 behind it.To better understand the nature and cause of this unusual asteroids activity, a team led by Fernando Moreno (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, in Spain) performed deep observations of P/2016 G1 shortly after its discovery. The team used the 10.4-meter Great Canary Telescope to image the asteroid over the span of roughly a month and a half.A Closer Look at P/2016 G1P/2016 G1 lies in the inner region of the main asteroid belt, so it is unlikely to have any ices that suddenly sublimated, causing the outburst. Instead, Moreno and collaborators suggest that the asteroids tail may have been caused by an impact that disrupted the parent body.To test this idea, the team used computer simulations to model their observations of P/2016 G1s dust tail. Based on their models, they demonstrate that the asteroid was likely activated on February 10 2016 roughly 350 days before it reached perihelion in its orbit and its activity was a short-duration event, lasting only ~24 days. The teams models indicate that over these 24 days, the asteroid lost around 20 million kilograms of dust, and at its maximum activity level, it was ejecting around 8 kg/s!Comparison of the observation from late May (panel a) and two models: one in which

  18. Asteroid Redirect Mission Update

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Benjamin Reed (right), deputy program manager of NASA’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, shows Dr. Holdren the technologies that NASA is developing for the Restore-L satellite servicing mission. NASA will launch the Restore-L servicer in 2020 to refuel a live satellite and demonstrate that a suite of satellite-servicing technologies are operational. More info: Asteroid Redirect Mission Update – On Sept. 14, 2016, NASA provided an update on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and how it contributes to the agency’s journey to Mars and protection of Earth. The presentation took place in the Robotic Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Dr. John P. Holdren, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NASA’s ARM Program Director, Dr. Michele Gates discussed the latest update regarding the mission. They explained the mission’s scientific and technological benefits and how ARM will demonstrate technology for defending Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids. The briefing aired live on NASA TV and the agency’s website. For more information about ARM go to www.nasa.gov/arm. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Debbie Mccallum NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  19. Asteroid Redirect Mission Update

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Benjamin Reed, deputy program manager of NASA’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, shows Dr. Holdren the technologies that NASA is developing for the Restore-L satellite servicing mission. NASA will launch the Restore-L servicer in 2020 to refuel a live satellite and demonstrate that a suite of satellite-servicing technologies are operational. More info: Asteroid Redirect Mission Update – On Sept. 14, 2016, NASA provided an update on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and how it contributes to the agency’s journey to Mars and protection of Earth. The presentation took place in the Robotic Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Dr. John P. Holdren, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NASA’s ARM Program Director, Dr. Michele Gates discussed the latest update regarding the mission. They explained the mission’s scientific and technological benefits and how ARM will demonstrate technology for defending Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids. The briefing aired live on NASA TV and the agency’s website. For more information about ARM go to www.nasa.gov/arm. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Debbie Mccallum NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  20. Asteroids in the High Cadence Transient Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peña, J.; Fuentes, C.; Förster, F.; Maureira, J. C.; San Martín, J.; Littín, J.; Huijse, P.; Cabrera-Vives, G.; Estévez, P. A.; Galbany, L.; González-Gaitán, S.; Martínez, J.; de Jaeger, Th.; Hamuy, M.

    2018-03-01

    We report on the serendipitous observations of solar system objects imaged during the High cadence Transient Survey 2014 observation campaign. Data from this high-cadence wide-field survey was originally analyzed for finding variable static sources using machine learning to select the most-likely candidates. In this work, we search for moving transients consistent with solar system objects and derive their orbital parameters. We use a simple, custom motion detection algorithm to link trajectories and assume Keplerian motion to derive the asteroid’s orbital parameters. We use known asteroids from the Minor Planet Center database to assess the detection efficiency of the survey and our search algorithm. Trajectories have an average of nine detections spread over two days, and our fit yields typical errors of {σ }a∼ 0.07 {au}, σ e ∼ 0.07 and σ i ∼ 0.°5 in semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination, respectively, for known asteroids in our sample. We extract 7700 orbits from our trajectories, identifying 19 near-Earth objects, 6687 asteroids, 14 Centaurs, and 15 trans-Neptunian objects. This highlights the complementarity of supernova wide-field surveys for solar system research and the significance of machine learning to clean data of false detections. It is a good example of the data-driven science that Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will deliver.

  1. Asteroid Deflection Mission Design Considering On-Ground Risks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumpf, Clemens; Lewis, Hugh G.; Atkinson, Peter

    The deflection of an Earth-threatening asteroid requires high transparency of the mission design process. The goal of such a mission is to move the projected point of impact over the face of Earth until the asteroid is on a miss trajectory. During the course of deflection operations, the projected point of impact will match regions that were less affected before alteration of the asteroid’s trajectory. These regions are at risk of sustaining considerable damage if the deflecting spacecraft becomes non-operational. The projected impact point would remain where the deflection mission put it at the time of mission failure. Hence, all regions that are potentially affected by the deflection campaign need to be informed about this risk and should be involved in the mission design process. A mission design compromise will have to be found that is acceptable to all affected parties (Schweickart, 2004). A software tool that assesses the on-ground risk due to deflection missions is under development. It will allow to study the accumulated on-ground risk along the path of the projected impact point. The tool will help determine a deflection mission design that minimizes the on-ground casualty and damage risk due to deflection operations. Currently, the tool is capable of simulating asteroid trajectories through the solar system and considers gravitational forces between solar system bodies. A virtual asteroid may be placed at an arbitrary point in the simulation for analysis and manipulation. Furthermore, the tool determines the asteroid’s point of impact and provides an estimate of the population at risk. Validation has been conducted against the solar system ephemeris catalogue HORIZONS by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Asteroids that are propagated over a period of 15 years show typical position discrepancies of 0.05 Earth radii relative to HORIZONS’ output. Ultimately, results from this research will aid in the identification of requirements for

  2. Asteroid Detection Results Using the Space Surveillance Telescope

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-18

    Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release, distribution unlimited. Asteroid Detection Results Using the Space Surveillance Telescope...issued a series of directives to the National Air and Space Administration (NASA), setting Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) search and discovery targets in...order to protect the Earth and its inhabitants from the threat of asteroid impact. The focus of the original 1998 Congressional mandate was to catalog

  3. Raising awareness for research on earth walls, and earth scientific aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Ancker, Hanneke; Jungerius, Pieter Dirk; Baas, Henk; Groenewoudt, Bert; Peen, Charlotte

    2013-04-01

    A conference to raise awareness In the Netherlands, little research on earth walls has been done. To improve attention for earth walls, a number of organisations, including Geoheritage NL, organized a conference at the RCE, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. The conference* presented a state-of-the-art of research done. The book with the presentations, and extra case studies added, was published in December 2012. The book concludes with a research action list, including earth science research, and can be downloaded freely from the internet. It has English summaries. The earth science aspects Historical earth walls do not only add cultural value to a landscape, but also geodiversity value. Apart from geomorphological aspects, the walls contain information about past land- and climate conditions: - They cover up a former topography, a past landscape. A relevant source of scientific information where lands are levelled, as is the case in many parts of The Netherlands; - The soil formation under the earth wall is a reference soil. The soil formation in the top of the wall gives insight in the rate of soil formation in relationship with the age and parent material of the wall; - The soil profiles of different age have ecological significance. Older walls with a more pronounced soil formation often hold forest flora that has disappeared from the surrounding environment, such as historical bush or tree species, autogenetic DNA material or a specific soil fauna; - The materials in the earth walls tell about the process of wall-building. Paleosols and sedimentary structures in the earth walls, in the gullies and colluvial fans along the walls contain information about past land management and climate. - The eroded appearance of the earth walls is part of their history, and contain information about past management and land conditions, has ecological relevance, for example for insects, and is often visually more interesting. Insight in the rates of erosion are

  4. The Rafita asteroid family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aljbaae, S.; Carruba, V.; Masiero, J. R.; Domingos, R. C.; Huaman, M.

    2017-05-01

    The Rafita asteroid family is an S-type group located in the middle main belt, on the right-hand side of the 3J:-1A mean-motion resonance. The proximity of this resonance to the family left-hand side in the semimajor axis caused many former family members to be lost. As a consequence, the family shape in the (a, 1/D) domain is quite asymmetrical, with a preponderance of objects on the right-hand side of the distribution. The Rafita family is also characterized by a leptokurtic distribution in inclination, which allows the use of methods of family age estimation recently introduced for other leptokurtic families such as Astrid, Hansa, Gallia and Barcelona. In this work, we propose a new method based on the behaviour of an asymmetry coefficient function of the distribution in the (a, 1/D) plane to date incomplete asteroid families such as Rafita. By monitoring the time behaviour of this coefficient for asteroids simulating the initial conditions at the time of the family formation, we were able to estimate that the Rafita family should have an age of 490 ± 200 Myr, in good agreement with results from independent methods such as Monte Carlo simulations of Yarkovsky and YORP dynamical induced evolution and the time behaviour of the kurtosis of the sin (I) distribution. Asteroids from the Rafita family can reach orbits similar to 8 per cent of the currently known near-Earth objects. During the final 10 Myr of the simulation, ≃1 per cent of the simulated objects are present in NEO space, and thus would be comparable to objects in the present-day NEO population.

  5. CCD scanning for asteroids and comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gehrels, T.; Mcmillan, R. S.

    1986-01-01

    A change coupled device (CCD) is used in a scanning mode to find new asteroids and recover known asteroids and comet nuclei. Current scientific programs include recovery of asteroids and comet nuclei requested by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), discovery of new asteroids in the main belt and of unusual orbital types, and follow-up astrometry of selected new asteroids discovered. The routine six sigma limiting visual magnitude is 19.6 and slightly more than a square degree is scanned three times every 90 minutes of observing time during the fortnight centered on New Moon. Semiautomatic software for detection of moving objects is in routine use; angular speeds as low as 11.0 arcseconds per hour were distinguished from the effects of the Earth's atmosphere on the field of view. A typical set of three 29-minute scans near the opposition point along the ecliptic typically nets at least 5 new main-belt asteroids down to magnitude 19.6. In 18 observing runs (months) 43 asteroids were recovered, astrometric and photometric data on 59 new asteroids were reported, 10 new asteroids with orbital elements were consolidated, and photometry and positions of 22 comets were reported.

  6. Could G Asteroids be the Parent Bodies of the CM Chondrites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burbine, T. H.; Binzel, R. P.

    1995-09-01

    Since almost all meteorites are believed to be derived from asteroidal source bodies, the comparison of asteroid and meteorite spectra should allow for possible meteorite parent bodies to be identified. However only two asteroids with unique spectral characteristics, 4 Vesta with the basaltic achondrites [1] and near-Earth asteroid 3103 Eger with the aubrites [2], have been convincingly linked with any meteorite type. Farinella et al. [3] has done a study of 2355 numbered main-belt asteroids to determine which asteroids have the highest probability of having their fragments injected into the 3:1 mean motion and the nu6 secular resonance regions. Interestingly, asteroids with the third (19 Fortuna), tenth (1 Ceres) and eleventh (13 Egeria) highest theoretical total fragment delivery efficiencies are G-asteroids, a moderately rare type of asteroid with approximately ten known members. (Vesta has the fifth highest theoretical total fragment delivery efficiency.) G-asteroids tend to have the strongest ultraviolet, 0.7 micrometers and 3 micrometers absorption features of all C-type (B, C, F and G) asteroids, appearing to indicate that G-asteroids are at the upper range of the aqueous alteration sequence in the asteroid population. (The 0.7 micrometers feature is apparently due to iron oxides in hydrated silicates and the 3 micrometers feature is apparently due to hydrated minerals.) Meteorites that have reflectance spectra with a 3 micrometers feature of comparable intensity to those of the G-asteroids are the CI, CM and CR chondrites. However, G-asteroids (like all C-types) have ultraviolet absorption features that are weaker than previously measured meteorite spectra. Comparisons of reflectance spectra between Ceres and meteorite samples appear to indicate that Ceres is compositionally different from almost all known carbonaceous chondrites. Both Fortuna and Egeria have an absorption feature centered around 0.7 micrometers [4] that is similar in structure and strength

  7. Reference earth orbital research and applications investigations (blue book). Volume 4: Earth observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    The earth observations capability of the space station and space shuttle program definition is discussed. The stress in the functional program element has been to update the sensor specifications and to shift some of the emphasis from sensors to experiments to be done aboard the facility. The earth observations facility will include provisions for data acquisition, sensor control and display, data analysis, and maintenance and repair. The facility is research and development in nature with a potential for operational applications.

  8. Probability of Causation for Space Radiation Carcinogenesis Following International Space Station, Near Earth Asteroid, and Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Chappell, Lori J.

    2012-01-01

    Cancer risk is an important concern for International Space Station (ISS) missions and future exploration missions. An important question concerns the likelihood of a causal association between a crew members radiation exposure and the occurrence of cancer. The probability of causation (PC), also denoted as attributable risk, is used to make such an estimate. This report summarizes the NASA model of space radiation cancer risks and uncertainties, including improvements to represent uncertainties in tissue-specific cancer incidence models for never-smokers and the U.S. average population. We report on tissue-specific cancer incidence estimates and PC for different post-mission times for ISS and exploration missions. An important conclusion from our analysis is that the NASA policy to limit the risk of exposure-induced death to 3% at the 95% confidence level largely ensures that estimates of the PC for most cancer types would not reach a level of significance. Reducing uncertainties through radiobiological research remains the most efficient method to extend mission length and establish effective mitigators for cancer risks. Efforts to establish biomarkers of space radiation-induced tumors and to estimate PC for rarer tumor types are briefly discussed.

  9. Asteroid Redirection Mission Evaluation Using Multiple Landers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Asteroid Redirection Mission Evaluation Using Multiple Landers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2018-06-01

    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.

  11. Asteroid Properties from Photometric Observations: Constraining Non-Gravitational Processes in Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pravec, P.

    2013-05-01

    From October 2012 we run our NEOSource project on the Danish 1.54-m telescope on La Silla. The primary aim of the project is to study non-gravitational processes in asteroids near the Earth and in their source regions in the main asteroidal belt. In my talk, I will give a brief overview of our current knowledge of the asteroidal non- gravitational processes and how we study them with photometric observations. I will talk especially about binary and paired asteroids that appear to be formed by rotational fission, about detecting the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) and BYORP (binary YORP) effects of anisotropic thermal emission from asteroids that change their spins and satellite orbits, and about non-principal axis rotators (the so called "tumblers") among the smallest, super-critically rotating asteroids with sizes < 100 meters.

  12. Evolution of the orbit of asteroid 4179 Toutatis over 11,550 years.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zausaev, A. F.; Pushkarev, A. N.

    1994-05-01

    The Everhart method is used to study evolution of the orbit of the asteroid 4179 Toutatis, a member of the Apollo group, over the time period 9300 B.C. to 2250 A.D. Minimum asteroid-Earth distances during the evolution process are calculated. It is shown that the asteroid presents no danger to the Earth over the interval studied.

  13. Earth benefits from NASA research and technology. Life sciences applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This document provides a representative sampling of examples of Earth benefits in life-sciences-related applications, primarily in the area of medicine and health care, but also in agricultural productivity, environmental monitoring and safety, and the environment. This brochure is not intended as an exhaustive listing, but as an overview to acquaint the reader with the breadth of areas in which the space life sciences have, in one way or another, contributed a unique perspective to the solution of problems on Earth. Most of the examples cited were derived directly from space life sciences research and technology. Some examples resulted from other space technologies, but have found important life sciences applications on Earth. And, finally, we have included several areas in which Earth benefits are anticipated from biomedical and biological research conducted in support of future human exploration missions.

  14. ATLAS: Finding the Nearest Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinze, Aren; Tonry, John L.; Denneau, Larry; Stalder, Brian

    2017-10-01

    The Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) became fully operational in June 2017. Our two robotic, 0.5 meter telescopes survey the whole accessible sky every two nights from the Hawaiian mountains of Haleakala and Mauna Loa. With sensitivity to magnitude 19.5 over a field of 30 square degrees, we discover several bright near-Earth objects every month - particularly fast moving asteroids, which can slip by other surveys that scan the sky more slowly. Several important developments in 2017 have enhanced our sensitivity to small, nearby asteroids and potential impactors. We report on these developments - including optical adjustments, automated screening of detections, closer temporal spacing of images, and tolerance for large deviations from Great Circle motion on the sky - and we describe their effect in terms of measuring and discovering real objects.

  15. Earth Stewardship Science: International Research Networks based in Africa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaines, S. M.

    2010-12-01

    The role of networking in student and early career years is critical in the development of international interdisciplinary earth system science. These networks - both peer and mentor-based - can build community, foster enthusiasm and further research applications in addition to the traditional goal of identifying and obtaining work. UNESCO has nearly 40 years of experience in building international research teams through the International Geoscience Program (IGCP) and has recently focused their attention on the status of the earth sciences in Africa. UNESCO’s Earth Science Education Initiative in Africa ran a series of regional scoping workshops around the continent in order to develop an integrated status report on the earth sciences in Africa. The results, which are globally relevant, indicate that the field is limited by the level of basic science education of incoming students and restricted laboratory facilities, but also by a lack of connectedness. This isolation relates both to the interaction between researchers within countries and around the world but also the divide between Universities and Industry and the failure of the field to communicate its relevance to the public. In a context where livelihood opportunities are the driver of study and the earth sciences provide a major source of income, practical academic ties to industry are an essential element of the attractiveness of the field to students. Actions and ideas for addressing this situation will be presented to reinforce the role of the earth sciences in improving human and environmental well-being.

  16. Study of the Asteroid Florence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Asteroid Return Mission Feasibility Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Gershman, Robert; Landau, Damon; Polk, James; Porter, Chris; Yeomans, Don; Allen, Carlton; Williams, Willie; Asphaug, Erik

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes an investigation into the technological feasibility of finding, characterizing, robotically capturing, and returning an entire Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) to the International Space Station (ISS) for scientific investigation, evaluation of its resource potential, determination of its internal structure and other aspects important for planetary defense activities, and to serve as a testbed for human operations in the vicinity of an asteroid. Reasonable projections suggest that several dozen candidates NEAs in the size range of interest (approximately 2-m diameter) will be known before the end of the decade from which a suitable target could be selected. The conceptual mission objective is to return an approximately 10,000-kg asteroid to the ISS in a total flight time of approximately 5 years using a single Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. Preliminary calculations indicate that this could be accomplished using a solar electric propulsion (SEP) system with high-power Hall thrusters and a maximum power into the propulsion system of approximately 40 kW. The SEP system would be used to provide all of the post-launch delta V. The asteroid would have an unrestricted Earth return Planetary Protection categorization, and would be curated at the ISS where numerous scientific and resource utilization experiments would be conducted. Asteroid material brought to the ground would be curated at the NASA Johnson Space Center. This preliminary study identified several areas where additional work is required, but no show stoppers were identified for the approach that would return an entire 10,000-kg asteroid to the ISS in a mission that could be launched by the end of this decade.

  18. Flyght Dynamics of Artificial Satellite of the Minor Asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander; Eismont, Natan; Ledkov, Anton; Simonov, Alexander; Pol, Vadim

    During last years the scientific interest to the asteroid is constantly growing. It may be explained by different reasons. One of the most important from them is confirmation of the fact that the asteroids present the real hazard to the Earth. The Chelyabinsk event demonstrates strong in support of this statement. Besides, the asteroids exploration promises to supply new data for understanding of the solar system origin and evolution. And the projects aimed to reach this goal have begun from the NASA NEAR mission to Eros. It was the first one when the spacecraft was landed on the surface of the asteroid. The other successive mission was fulfilled by JAXA with Hayabusa spacecraft which has returned to the Earth soil samples of Itokawa asteroid. In the nearest future the mission to RQ 36 asteroid is planned supposing landing and soil samples return. Unavoidable phase of such missions is the spacecraft flight in vicinity of the target asteroid, for example on the asteroid satellite orbit. It should be mentioned that quite visible number of asteroids has geometric form which is far from being sphere. Accordingly the gravity field of such asteroid cannot be presented as the one close to sphere. The problem is that prior to the mission to the asteroid one cannot receive good enough knowledge of its gravity field and even its gravity field constant. In the paper the flight dynamics problem of spacecraft moving along asteroid satellite orbit is explored. It is supposed that the asteroid is comparatively small with diameter (maximum size) about 300 m, like Apophis asteroid has, or less. To approximate the gravity field of asteroid the last is considered as totality of mass points. We assume such approach as more simple and effective as compared with the commonly accepted use of Legendre polynomial expansion. Different orbits near asteroid are analyzed with the sets of orbital parameters determining the size of orbit, its shape and position with respect to the Sun. The goal

  19. An ISU study of asteroid mining

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, J. D.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  20. Maturation of the Asteroid Threat Assessment Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, J. O..; Burkhard, C. D.

    2017-01-01

    As described at IPPW 12 [1], NASA initiated a new research activity focused on Planetary Defense (PD) on October 1, 2014. The overarching function of the Asteroid Threat Assessment Project (ATAP) is to provide capabilities to assess impact damage of any Near-Earth Object (NEO) that could inflict on the Earth. The activity includes four interrelated efforts: Initial Conditions (at the atmospheric entry interface); Entry Modeling (energy deposition in the atmosphere); Hazards (on the surface including winds, over pressures, thermal exposures, craters, tsunami and earthquakes) and Risk (physics-based). This paper outlines progress by ATAP and highlights achievements that are complimentary to activities of interest to the International Planetary Probe community. The ATAPs work is sponsored by NASAs Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), a part of the agency's Science Mission Directorate [1] Arnold, J. O., et. al., Overview of a New NASA Activity Focused on Planetary Defense, IPPW 12 Cologne Germany, June 15-19. 2015.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  2. A photometric survey of outer belt asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dimartino, M.; Gonano-Beurer, M.; Mottola, Stefano; Neukum, G.

    1992-01-01

    Since 1989, we have been conducting a research program devoted to the study of the Trojans and outer belt asteroids (Hilda and Cybele groups), in order to characterize their rotational properties and shapes. As an outcome of several observational campaigns, we determined rotational periods and lightcurve amplitudes for 23 distant asteroids, using both CCD and photoelectric photometry. In this paper, we compare the rotational properties of main belt asteroids and Trojans, based on the preliminary results of this survey.

  3. NASA Earth Science Research and Applications Using UAVs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guillory, Anthony R.

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Earth Science Enterprise sponsored the UAV Science Demonstration Project, which funded two projects: the Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) and the UAV Coffee Harvest Optimization experiment. These projects were intended to begin a process of integrating UAVs into the mainstream of NASA s airborne Earth Science Research and Applications programs. The Earth Science Enterprise is moving forward given the positive science results of these demonstration projects to incorporate more platforms with additional scientific utility into the program and to look toward a horizon where the current piloted aircraft may not be able to carry out the science objectives of a mission. Longer duration, extended range, slower aircraft speed, etc. all have scientific advantages in many of the disciplines within Earth Science. The challenge we now face are identifying those capabilities that exist and exploiting them while identifying the gaps. This challenge has two facets: the engineering aspects of redesigning or modifying sensors and a paradigm shift by the scientists.

  4. ESA's Earth observation priority research objectives and satellite instrument requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, M. L.

    2018-04-01

    Since 1996 the European Space Agency has been pursuing an Earth Observation strategy based on a resolution endorsed by European Minister at a meeting in Toulouse. This resolution recognised a broad distinction between purely research objectives, on the one hand, and purely application objectives on the other. However, this is not to be understood as an absolute separation, but rather as an identification of the major driving emphasis for the definition of mission requirement. Indeed, application satellites can provide a wealth of data for research objectives and scientific earth observation programmes can equally provide an important source of data to develop and demonstrate new applications. It is sufficient to look at the data utilisation of Meteosat and ERS to find very many examples of this. This paper identifies the priority research objectives defined for scientific Earth Explorer missions and the resulting instrument needs. It then outlines the requirements for optical instruments.

  5. Lunar-based Earth observation geometrical characteristics research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Yuanzhen; Liu, Guang; Ye, Hanlin; Guo, Huadong; Ding, Yixing; Chen, Zhaoning

    2016-07-01

    As is known to all, there are various platforms for carrying sensors to observe Earth, such as automobiles, aircrafts and satellites. Nowadays, we focus on a new platform, Moon, because of its longevity, stability and vast space. These advantages make it to be the next potential platform for observing Earth, enabling us to get the consistent and global measurements. In order to get a better understanding of lunar-based Earth observation, we discuss its geometrical characteristics. At present, there are no sensors on the Moon for observing Earth and we are not able to obtain a series of real experiment data. As a result, theoretical modeling and numerical calculation are used in this paper. At first, we construct an approximate geometrical model of lunar-based Earth observation, which assumes that Earth and Moon are spheres. Next, we calculate the position of Sun, Earth and Moon based on the JPL ephemeris. With the help of positions data and geometrical model, it is possible for us to decide the location of terminator and substellar points. However, in order to determine their precise position in the conventional terrestrial coordinate system, reference frames transformations are introduced as well. Besides, taking advantages of the relative positions of Sun, Earth and Moon, we get the total coverage of lunar-based Earth optical observation. Furthermore, we calculate a more precise coverage, considering placing sensors on different positions of Moon, which is influenced by its attitude parameters. In addition, different ephemeris data are compared in our research and little difference is found.

  6. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Naasz, Bo; Cichy, Benjamin

    2015-11-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a robotic mission to visit a large near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, and redirect it into a stable orbit around the Moon. Once returned to cislunar space in the mid-2020s, astronauts will explore the boulder and return to Earth with samples. This Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is part of NASA’s plan to advance the technologies, capabilities, and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s. Subsequent human and robotic missions to the asteroidal material would also be facilitated by its return to cislunar space. Although ARM is primarily a capability demonstration mission (i.e., technologies and associated operations), there exist significant opportunities to advance our knowledge of small bodies in the synergistic areas of science, planetary defense, asteroidal resources and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and capability and technology demonstrations. In order to maximize the knowledge return from the mission, NASA is organizing an ARM Investigation Team, which is being preceded by the Formulation Assessment and Support Team. These teams will be comprised of scientists, technologists, and other qualified and interested individuals to help plan the implementation and execution of ARM. An overview of robotic and crewed segments of ARM, including the mission requirements, NEA targets, and mission operations, will be provided along with a discussion of the potential opportunities associated with the mission.

  7. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a robotic mission to visit a large near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, and redirect it into a stable orbit around the Moon. Once returned to cislunar space in the mid-2020s, astronauts will explore the boulder and return to Earth with samples. This Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is part of NASA's plan to advance the technologies, capabilities, and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s. Subsequent human and robotic missions to the asteroidal material would also be facilitated by its return to cislunar space. Although ARM is primarily a capability demonstration mission (i.e., technologies and associated operations), there exist significant opportunities to advance our knowledge of small bodies in the synergistic areas of science, planetary defense, asteroidal resources and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and capability and technology demonstrations. In order to maximize the knowledge return from the mission, NASA is organizing an ARM Investigation Team, which is being preceded by the Formulation Assessment and Support Team. These teams will be comprised of scientists, technologists, and other qualified and interested individuals to help plan the implementation and execution of ARM. An overview of robotic and crewed segments of ARM, including the mission requirements, NEA targets, and mission operations, will be provided along with a discussion of the potential opportunities associated with the mission.

  8. Special issue on asteroids - Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. EVEREST: Creating a Virtual Research Environment for Earth Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaves, H.

    2017-12-01

    There is an increasing trend towards researchers working together using common resources whilst being geographically dispersed. The EVER-EST project is developing a range of both generic and domain specific technologies, tailored to the needs of Earth Science (ES) communities, to create a virtual research environment (VRE) that supports this type of dynamic collaborative research. The EVER-EST VRE provides a suite of services to overcome the existing barriers to sharing of Earth Science data and information allowing researchers to discover, access, share and process heterogeneous data, algorithms, results and experiences within and across their communities, and with other domains beyond the Earth Sciences. Researchers will be able to seamlessly manage both the data and the scientific methods applied in their observations and modelling that lead to results that need to be attributable, validated and shared both within their communities and more widely in the form of scholarly communications.To ensure that the EVER-EST VRE meets the specific needs of the Earth Science domain, it is being developed and validated in consultation with four pre-selected virtual research communities (VRC) that include ocean observing, natural hazards, land monitoring and volcanic risk management. The requirements of these individual VRCs for data, software, best practice and community interaction are used to customise the VRE platform This user-centric approach allows the EVER-EST infrastructure to be assessed in terms of its capability to satisfy the heterogeneous needs of Earth Science communities for more effective collaboration, greater efficiency and increasingly innovative research. EVER-EST is a three year project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 674907.

  10. Ames Research Center SR&T program and earth observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poppoff, I. G.

    1972-01-01

    An overview is presented of the research activities in earth observations at Ames Research Center. Most of the tasks involve the use of research aircraft platforms. The program is also directed toward the use of the Illiac 4 computer for statistical analysis. Most tasks are weighted toward Pacific coast and Pacific basin problems with emphasis on water applications, air applications, animal migration studies, and geophysics.

  11. Asteroids Lightcurves Analysis: 2016 November - 2017 June

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. ScienceCast 106: Big Asteroid Flyby

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-05-30

    NASA is tracking a large near-Earth asteroid as it passes by the Earth-Moon system on May 31st. Amateur astronomers in the northern hemisphere may be able to see the space rock for themselves during the 1st week of June.

  13. EarthCube Activities: Community Engagement Advancing Geoscience Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinkade, D.

    2015-12-01

    Our ability to advance scientific research in order to better understand complex Earth systems, address emerging geoscience problems, and meet societal challenges is increasingly dependent upon the concept of Open Science and Data. Although these terms are relatively new to the world of research, Open Science and Data in this context may be described as transparency in the scientific process. This includes the discoverability, public accessibility and reusability of scientific data, as well as accessibility and transparency of scientific communication (www.openscience.org). Scientists and the US government alike are realizing the critical need for easy discovery and access to multidisciplinary data to advance research in the geosciences. The NSF-supported EarthCube project was created to meet this need. EarthCube is developing a community-driven common cyberinfrastructure for the purpose of accessing, integrating, analyzing, sharing and visualizing all forms of data and related resources through advanced technological and computational capabilities. Engaging the geoscience community in EarthCube's development is crucial to its success, and EarthCube is providing several opportunities for geoscience involvement. This presentation will provide an overview of the activities EarthCube is employing to entrain the community in the development process, from governance development and strategic planning, to technical needs gathering. Particular focus will be given to the collection of science-driven use cases as a means of capturing scientific and technical requirements. Such activities inform the development of key technical and computational components that collectively will form a cyberinfrastructure to meet the research needs of the geoscience community.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  15. Dynamics of rotationally fissioned asteroids: Source of observed small asteroid systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2011-07-01

    We present a model of near-Earth asteroid (NEA) rotational fission and ensuing dynamics that describes the creation of synchronous binaries and all other observed NEA systems including: doubly synchronous binaries, high- e binaries, ternary systems, and contact binaries. Our model only presupposes the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, "rubble pile" asteroid geophysics, and gravitational interactions. The YORP effect torques a "rubble pile" asteroid until the asteroid reaches its fission spin limit and the components enter orbit about each other (Scheeres, D.J. [2007]. Icarus 189, 370-385). Non-spherical gravitational potentials couple the spin states to the orbit state and chaotically drive the system towards the observed asteroid classes along two evolutionary tracks primarily distinguished by mass ratio. Related to this is a new binary process termed secondary fission - the secondary asteroid of the binary system is rotationally accelerated via gravitational torques until it fissions, thus creating a chaotic ternary system. The initially chaotic binary can be stabilized to create a synchronous binary by components of the fissioned secondary asteroid impacting the primary asteroid, solar gravitational perturbations, and mutual body tides. These results emphasize the importance of the initial component size distribution and configuration within the parent asteroid. NEAs may go through multiple binary cycles and many YORP-induced rotational fissions during their approximately 10 Myr lifetime in the inner Solar System. Rotational fission and the ensuing dynamics are responsible for all NEA systems including the most commonly observed synchronous binaries.

  16. Comet nucleus and asteroid sample return missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melton, Robert G.; Thompson, Roger C.; Starchville, Thomas F., Jr.; Adams, C.; Aldo, A.; Dobson, K.; Flotta, C.; Gagliardino, J.; Lear, M.; Mcmillan, C.

    1992-01-01

    During the 1991-92 academic year, the Pennsylvania State University has developed three sample return missions: one to the nucleus of comet Wild 2, one to the asteroid Eros, and one to three asteroids located in the Main Belt. The primary objective of the comet nucleus sample return mission is to rendezvous with a short period comet and acquire a 10 kg sample for return to Earth. Upon rendezvous with the comet, a tethered coring and sampler drill will contact the surface and extract a two-meter core sample from the target site. Before the spacecraft returns to Earth, a monitoring penetrator containing scientific instruments will be deployed for gathering long-term data about the comet. A single asteroid sample return mission to the asteroid 433 Eros (chosen for proximity and launch opportunities) will extract a sample from the asteroid surface for return to Earth. To limit overall mission cost, most of the mission design uses current technologies, except the sampler drill design. The multiple asteroid sample return mission could best be characterized through its use of future technology including an optical communications system, a nuclear power reactor, and a low-thrust propulsion system. A low-thrust trajectory optimization code (QuickTop 2) obtained from the NASA LeRC helped in planning the size of major subsystem components, as well as the trajectory between targets.

  17. Digging into Inquiry-Based Earth Science Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Bryan; Yates, Crystal; Schultz, Jayne M.

    2008-01-01

    To help eighth-grade students experience the excitement of Earth science research, the authors developed an inquiry-based project in which students evaluated and cataloged their campus geology and soils. Following class discussions of rock-weathering and soil-forming processes, students worked in groups to excavate multiple soil pits in the school…

  18. Space Radiation Cancer, Circulatory Disease and CNS Risks for Near Earth Asteroid and Mars Missions: Uncertainty Estimates for Never-Smokers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; Chappell, Lori J.; Wang, Minli; Kim, Myung-Hee

    2011-01-01

    history of smoking exposure has a larger impact on GCR risk estimates than amounts of radiation shielding or age at exposure (amongst adults). Risks for never-smokers compared to the average U.S. population are estimated to be reduced between 30% and 60% dependent on model assumptions. Lung cancer is the major contributor to the reduction for never-smokers, with additional contributions from circulatory diseases and cancers of the stomach, liver, bladder, oral cavity and esophagus, and leukemia. The relative contribution of CNS risks to the overall space radiation detriment is potentially increased for never-smokers such as most astronauts. Problems in estimating risks for former smokers and the influence of second-hand smoke are discussed. Compared to the LET approximation, the new track structure derived radiation quality functions lead to a reduced risk for relativistic energy particles and increased risks for intermediate energy particles. Revised estimates for the number of safe days in space at solar minimum for heavy shielding conditions are described for never-smokers and the average U.S. population. Results show that missions to near Earth asteroids (NEA) or Mars violate NASA's radiation safety standards with the current levels of uncertainties. Greater improvements in risk estimates for never-smokers are possible, and would be dependent on improved understanding of risk transfer models, and elucidating the role of space radiation on the various stages of disease formation (e.g. initiation, promotion, and progression).

  19. Asteroid/comet encounter opportunities for the Galileo VEEGA mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johannesen, Jennie R.; Nolan, Brian G.; Byrnes, Dennis V.; D'Amario, Louis A.

    1988-01-01

    The opportunity for the Galileo spacecraft to perform a close flyby of an asteroid or distant observation of a comet while on the Venus-Earth-Earth-Gravity-Assist (VEEGA) mission to Jupiter is discussed. More than 120 nominal trajectories were used in a scan program to identify asteroids passing within 30 million km of the spacecraft. A total of 47 asteroids were examined to determine the propellant cost of a close flyby. The possible flybys include a double asteroid flyby with No. 951 in October, 1991, with a flyby of No. 243 in August 1993. The factors considered in the selection of an asteroid include the propellant margin cost of modifying a nominal trajectory to include a close flyby, the size and type of asteroid, and the Jupiter arrival date.

  20. ASTEROID SIZING BY RADIOGALAXY OCCULTATION AT 5 GHZ

    SciTech Connect

    Lehtinen, K.; Muinonen, K.; Poutanen, M.

    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.more » 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.« less

  1. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  2. A prospectus for Thematic Mapper research in the Earth sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Earth science applications of Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery are discussed. Prospective research themes are defined in a general sense in relation to the technical measurement capabilities of the TM and the various types of Earth information that can potentially be derived from multispectral TM imagery. An overview of the system developed to acquire and reduce TM data is presented. The technical capabilities of this system are presented in detail. The orbital performance of the TM sensor is described, based upon the analysis of LANDSAT 4 and 5 TM data collected to date.

  3. Earth Sciences Division Research Summaries 2006-2007

    SciTech Connect

    DePaolo, Donald; DePaolo, Donald

    2008-07-21

    Research in earth and atmospheric sciences has become increasingly important in light of the energy, climate change, and other environmental issues facing the United States and the world. The development of new energy resources other than fossil hydrocarbons, the safe disposal of nuclear waste and greenhouse gases, and a detailed understanding of the climatic consequences of our energy choices are all critical to meeting energy needs while ensuring environmental safety. The cleanup of underground contamination and the preservation and management of water supplies continue to provide challenges, as they will for generations into the future. To address the critical energymore » and environmental issues requires continuing advances in our knowledge of Earth systems and our ability to translate that knowledge into new technologies. The fundamental Earth science research common to energy and environmental issues largely involves the physics, chemistry, and biology of fluids in and on the Earth. To manage Earth fluids requires the ability to understand their properties and behavior at the most fundamental molecular level, as well as prediction, characterization, imaging, and manipulation of those fluids and their behavior in real Earth reservoirs. The broad range of disciplinary expertise, the huge range of spatial and time scales, and the need to integrate theoretical, computational, laboratory and field research, represent both the challenge and the excitement of Earth science research. The Earth Sciences Division (ESD) of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is committed to addressing the key scientific and technical challenges that are needed to secure our energy fu