An Exploration of Sample and Return from Rubble Pile Asteroids via Capture of Ejected Particles

Leonard D. Vance, Athip Thirupathi Raj, Jekan Thangavelautham, Erik Asphaug

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Rubble pile asteroids such as (101955) Bennu and (162173) Ryugu are primarily comprised of carbonaceous chondrites, which are solid condensates left over from the original formation of the solar system. Sample and return from these bodies provides science with direct access to material which has orbited the sun effectively unchanged for 4.56 billion years, allowing scientists to establish the basic solar system timeline and formation process. The recent success of OSIRIS-Rex and Hayabusa 2 in collecting material is a remarkable achievement which belies underlying difficulties as about half of all sample and return missions fail. This paper explores an alternative collection method by capturing and returning to Earth the particles being regularly ejected by Bennu, thus avoiding the complexities associated with surface operations. An examination of the ejected particle environment informed by published OSIRIS-Rex material is used as a basis to establish swarm guidance, navigation and control techniques for a nanospacecraft based particle collection mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum 2022
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624106316
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 3 2022Jan 7 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022

Conference

ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period1/3/221/7/22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

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