Small spacecraft based multiple near-earth asteroid rendezvous and landing with near-term solar sails and ‘Now-Term ‘technologies

  • Physical interaction with small solar system bodies (SSSB) is the next step in planetary science, planetary in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and planetary defense (PD). It requires a broader understanding of the surface properties of the target objects, with particular interest focused on those near Earth. Knowledge of composition, multi-scale surface structure, thermal response, and interior structure is required to design, validate and operate missions addressing these three fields. The current level of understanding is occasionally simplified into the phrase, ”If you’ve seen one asteroid, you’ve seen one asteroid”, meaning that the in-situ characterization of SSSBs has yet to cross the threshold towards a robust and stable scheme of classification. This would enable generic features in spacecraft design, particularly for ISRU and science missions. Currently, it is necessary to characterize any potential target object sufficiently by a dedicated pre-cursor mission to design the mission which then interacts with the object in a complex fashion. To open up strategic approaches, much broader in-depth characterization of potential target objects would be highly desirable. In SSSB science missions, MASCOT-like nano-landers and instrument carriers which integrate at the instrument level to their mothership have met interest. By its size, MASCOT is compatible with small interplanetary missions. The DLR-ESTEC Gossamer Roadmap Science Working Groups‘ studies identified Multiple Near-Earth asteroid (NEA) Rendezvous (MNR) as one of the space science missions only feasible with solar sail propulsion. The Solar Polar Orbiter (SPO) study showed the ability to access any inclination, theDisplaced-L1 (DL1) mission operates close to Earth, where objects of interest to PD and for ISRU reside. Other studies outline the unique capability of solar sails to provide access to all SSSB, at least within the orbit of Jupiter, and significant progress has been made to explore the performance envelope of near-term solar sails for MNR. However, it is difficult for sailcraft to interact physically with a SSSB. We expand and extend the philosophy of the recently qualified DLR Gossamer solar sail deployment technology using efficient multiple sub-spacecraft integration to also include landers for one-way in-situ investigations and sample-return missions by synergetic integration and operation of sail and lander. The MASCOT design concept and its characteristic features have created an ideal counterpart for thisand has already been adapted to the needs of the AIM spacecraft, former part of the NASA-ESA AIDA missionDesigning the 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Bremen, Germany, 1-5 October 2018. IAC-18-F1.2.3 Page 2 of 17 combined spacecraft for piggy-back launch accommodation enables low-cost massively parallel access to the NEA population.

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Author:Jan Thimo Grundmann, Waldemar Bauer, Jens Biele, Ralf Boden, Matteo Ceriotti, Federico Cordero, Bernd Dachwald, Etienne Dumont, Christian D. Grimm, David Herčík, Tra-Mi Ho, Rico Jahnke, Aaron D Koch, Alexander Koncz, Christian Krause, Caroline Lange, Roy Lichtenheldt, Volker Maiwald, Tobias Mikschl, Eugen Mikulz, Sergio Montenegro, Ivanka Pelivan, Alessandro Peloni, Dominik Quantius, Siebo Reershemius, Thomas Renger, Johannes Riemann, Michael Ruffer, Kaname Sasaki, Nicole Schmitz, Wolfgang Seboldt, Patric Seefeldt, Peter Spietz, Tom Spröwitz, Maciej Sznajder, Simon Tardivel, Norbert Tóth, Elisabet Wejmo, Friederike Wolff, Christian Ziach
Parent Title (English):69 th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of Completion:2018
Date of the Publication (Server):2022/06/14
Tag:GOSSAMER-1; MASCOT; multiple NEA rendezvous; small spacecraft; solar sail
First Page:1
Last Page:18
69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Bremen, Germany, 1-5 October 2018.
Institutes:FH Aachen / Fachbereich Luft- und Raumfahrttechnik
FH Aachen / IfB - Institut für Bioengineering