Direct Characterization of Comets and Asteroids via Cosmic Dust Analysis from the Deep Space GatewayThe Deep Space Gateway (DSG) may provide a platform for direct sampling of a large number of comets and asteroids, through employment of an instrument for characterizing dust from these bodies. Every year, the Earth traverses through debris streams of dust and small particles from comets and asteroids in Earth-crossing orbits, generating short-lived outbursts of meteor activity commonly known as "meteor showers" (Figure 1). The material in each debris stream originates from a distinct parent body, many of which have been identified. By sampling this material, it is possible to quantitatively analyze the composition of a dozen or more comets and asteroids (See Figure 2, following page) without leaving cislunar space.
Fries, M. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Fisher, K. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)