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Multiple NEO Rendezvous Using Solar Sail PropulsionThe NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office performed an assessment of the feasibility of using a near-term solar sail propulsion system to enable a single spacecraft to perform serial rendezvous operations at multiple Near Earth Objects (NEOs) within six years of launch on a small-to-moderate launch vehicle. The study baselined the use of the sail technology demonstrated in the mid-2000 s by the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Project and is scheduled to be demonstrated in space by 2014 as part of the NASA Technology Demonstration Mission Program. The study ground rules required that the solar sail be the only new technology on the flight; all other spacecraft systems and instruments must have had previous space test and qualification. The resulting mission concept uses an 80-m X 80-m 3-axis stabilized solar sail launched by an Athena-II rocket in 2017 to rendezvous with 1999 AO10, Apophis and 2001 QJ142. In each rendezvous, the spacecraft will perform proximity operations for approximately 30 days. The spacecraft science payload is simple and lightweight; it will consist of only the multispectral imager flown on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission to 433 Eros and 253 Mathilde. Most non-sail spacecraft systems are based on the Messenger mission spacecraft. This paper will describe the objectives of the proposed mission, the solar sail technology to be employed, the spacecraft system and subsystems, as well as the overall mission profile.
Document ID
20120014550
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Johnson, Les (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Alexander, Leslie (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Fabisinski, Leo (ESSSA Huntsville, AL, United States)
Heaton, Andy (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Miernik, Janie (Engineering Research and Consulting, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Stough, Rob (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Wright, Roosevelt (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Young, Roy (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
May 22, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
M12-1796
GLEX-2012.06.2.5x12192
Meeting Information
Global Space Exploration Conference(Washington, DC)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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