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Intact capture of hypervelocity particlesKnowledge of the phase, structure, and crystallography of cosmic particles, as well as their elemental and isotopic compositions, would be very valuable information toward understanding the nature of our solar system. This information can be obtained from the intact capture of large mineral grains of cosmic particles from hypervelocity impacts. Hypervelocity experiments of intact capture in underdense media have indicated realistic potential in this endeaver. The recovery of the thermal blankets and louvers from the Solar Max spacecraft have independently verified this potential in the unintended capture of cosmic materials from hypervelocity impacts. Passive underdense media will permit relatively simple and inexpensive missions to capture cosmic particles intact, either by going to a planetary body or by waiting for the particles to come to the Shuttle or the Space Station. Experiments to explore the potential of using various underdense media for an intact comet sample capture up to 6.7 km/s were performed at NASA Ames Research Center Vertical Gun Range. Explorative hypervelocity experiments up to 7.9 km/s were also made at the Ernst Mach Institute. These experiments have proven that capturing intact particles at hypervelocity impacts is definitely possible. Further research is being conducted to achieve higher capture ratios at even higher hypervelocities for even smaller projectiles.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tsou, P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Brownlee, D. E.
(Washington Univ. Seattle., United States)
Albee, A. L.
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena., United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst. Trajectory Determinations and Collection of Micrometeoroids on the Space Station
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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