Optimal Options for Rendezvous and Impact Missions to NEOs


P. De Pascale (2006), JBIS59, 386-394

Refcode: 2006.59.386
Keywords: NEO, impact missions, sample and return.

In this paper some potentially interesting transfer options for missions to Near Earth Objects have been studied. Due to the high number of potential targets and to the large variety of possible missions that can be considered, especially if resorting to low-thrust propulsion, an extensive analysis of transfer options requires a preliminary approach oriented toward an effective global search, and an appropriately simplified trajectory transcription. Low-thrust options have been modeled through a novel shape-based approach and a global optimization method has been used to look for globally optimal transfers. Different targets have been identified and various mission scenarios have been considered: rendezvous, sample return missions both with and without Earth gravity assist and impact missions.