Trajectory design for a lunar mapping and near-Earth-asteroid flyby missionIn August, 1994, the unusual asteroid (1620) Geographos will pass very close to the Earth. This provides one of the best opportunities for a low-cost asteroid flyby mission that can be achieved with the help of a gravity assist from the Moon during the years 1994 and 1995. A Geographos flyby mission, including a lunar orbiting phase, was recommended to the Startegic Defense Initiative (SDI) Office when they were searching for ideas for a deep-space mission to test small imaging systems and other lightweight technologies. The goals for this mission, called Clementine, were defined to consist of a comprehensive lunar mapping phase before leaving the Earth-Moon system to encounter Geographos. This paper describes how the authors calculated a trajectory that met the mission goals within a reasonable total Delta-V budget. The paper also describes some refinements of the initially computed trajectory and alternative trajectories were investigated. The paper concludes with a list of trajectories to fly by other near-Earth asteroids during the two years following the Geographos opportunity. Some of these could be used if the Geographos schedule can not be met. If the 140 deg phase angle of the Geographos encounter turns out to be too risky, a flyby of (2120) Tantalus in January, 1995, has a much more favorable approach illumination. Tantalus apparently can be reached from the same lunar orbit needed to get to Geographos. However, both the flyby speed and distance from the Earth are much larger for Tantalus than for Geographos.
Dunham, David W. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, US, United States)
Farquhar, Robert W. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, US, United States)