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Orbital Stability Regions for Hypothetical Natural Satellites of 101955 Bennu (1999 RQ36)The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Investigation, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-Rex) mission will be orbiting and returning a sample from near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu. Ground-based observations have determined that no object greater then 15 m in diameter is orbiting Bennu. This investigation explores the possible size and stability of a natural satellite around Bennu. The focus of this research is soley on the existence of stable orbits for a natural satellite and purposefully places how the natural satellite migrated to this orbit outside the bounds of this research. Numerical simulations modeling J2, third-body dynamics and solar radiation pressue is used on a large set of initial conditions that vary in semi-major axis, inclination, longititude of periapsis and natural satellite diameter. Stable orbital initial conditions for a given natural satellite diameter must remain in orbit for more than a thousand years without escape or collision from Bennu. The data found the possible existence of natural satellites in orbit around Bennu as small as 0.75 cm. Certain mechanisms such as the modified Laplace plane, Kozai resonance and the Sun-terminator plane are explored for yielding stable orbits of a given natural satelllite.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rieger, Samantha
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Sheeres, Daniel
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Barbee, Brent
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
June 5, 2018
Publication Date
February 14, 2016
Subject Category
Astronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
AAS Paper 16-439
Meeting Information
Meeting: AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Location: Napa, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: February 14, 2016
End Date: February 18, 2016
Sponsors: American Astronomical Society
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Use by or on behalf of the US Gov. Permitted.
small bodies
Kozai resonance
Sun Synchronous
Laplace plane
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