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Spacewatch discovery of near-Earth asteroidsOur 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.
Document ID
19930017502
Document Type
Other
Authors
Gehrels, Tom (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Space Engineering Research Center for Utilization of Local Planetary Resources
Subject Category
ASTROPHYSICS
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19930017485Analytic PrimaryNASA Space Engineering Research Center for utilization of local planetary resources