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Record 1 of 9052
Observing Campaign for Potential Deep Impact Flyby Target 163249 (2002 GT)
Author and Affiliation:
Pittichova, Jana
Chesley, S. R.(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States)
Abell, P. A.(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States)
Benner, L. A. M.(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States)
Abstract: The Deep Impact spacecraft is currently on course for a Jan. 4, 2020 flyby of the sub-kilometer near-Earth asteroid 163249 (2002 GT). The re-targeting will be complete with a final small maneuver scheduled for Oct. 4, 2012. 2002 GT, which is also designated as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), has a well-determined orbit and is approx 800 m in diameter (H=18.3). Little more is known about the nature of this object, but in mid-2013 it will pass near the Earth, affording an exceptional opportunity for ground-based characterization. At this apparition 2002 GT will be in range of Arecibo. In addition to Doppler measurements, radar delay observations with precisions of a few microseconds are expected and have a good chance of revealing whether the system is binary or not. The asteroid will be brighter than 16th mag., which will facilitate a host of observations at a variety of wavelengths. Light curve measurements across a wide range of viewing perspectives will reveal the rotation rate and ultimately lead to strong constraints on the shape and pole orientation. Visible and infrared spectra will constrain the mineralogy, taxonomy, albedo and size. Along with the radar observations, optical astrometry will further constrain the orbit, both to facilitate terminal guidance operations and to potentially reveal nongravitational forces acting on the asteroid. Coordinating all of these observations will be a significant task and we encourage interested observers to collaborate in this effort. The 2013 apparition of 2002 GT represents a unique opportunity to characterize a potential flyby target, which will aid interpretation of the high-resolution flyby imagery and aid planning and development of the flyby imaging sequence. The knowledge gained from this flyby will be highly relevant to the human exploration program at NASA, which desires more information on the physical characteristics of sub-kilometer near-Earth asteroids.
Publication Date: Jul 19, 2012
Document ID:
(Acquired Nov 23, 2012)
Subject Category: ASTRONOMY
Report/Patent Number: JSC-CN-27100
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: Division of Planetary Sciences Meeting 2012; 14-19 Oct. 2012; Reno, NV; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Astronautical Society; Springfield, VA, United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Organization Source: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Description: 2p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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