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Questions tagged [asteroid]

Questions about asteroids, bodies in the solar system smaller then planets which orbit the sun.

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How well can we predict asteroid impact location?

concern in December 2004 when initial observations indicated a probability up to 2.7% that it would hit Earth on April 13, 2029 - wikipedia on 99942 Apophis So we can predict that something might hit ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 499
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Slowing down 16 Psyche using an enormous solar sail to reach the inner planets

I am writing a sci-fi story and would like my science as hard as possible. I was thinking of using the solar sail as a kind of sea anchor. Slowing down, the asteroid would move down to the inner ...
Tais Teng's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
144 views

Could mirrors used in a Dyson Swarm be made from asteroids in the inner asteroid belt?

In this video from Kurzgesagt they said that one would need to disassemble a whole planet to build a Dyson swarm around the sun. The video went on about mining Mercury and using the materials ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
141 views

What is the prevalence of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the asteroid belt and in comets?

As someone with a light background in controlled-environment agriculture, I'm familiar with the importance and use of N/P/K in growing useful plants. This got me thinking about how common these ...
Michael Bonnet's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
65 views

Are there occurrances of monel (nickel-copper) meteorite materials?

This question is prompted by a Space.com article on the metallic Psyche asteroid - Wendy Caldwell, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, told Space.com that some of her most promising ...
Ken Fabian's user avatar
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1 vote
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Will Ataxite be the type of nickel-iron sought for asteroid mining?

The high value metals in meteorites and asteroids - mostly Platinum Group Metals - appear associated with the nickel content (The Occurrence of Platinum in Meteorites, F. G. Hawley,1939), ie the ...
Ken Fabian's user avatar
  • 1,042
4 votes
0 answers
169 views

What could we produce with a space based industry?

The astroid belt is great place to start humanity’s journey through space. I want to know, what materials and items could be produced from asteroids. I’m mainly going to ask for useful items, such ...
11111's user avatar
  • 181
4 votes
1 answer
314 views

How much ice is there in the inner asteroid belt?

After asking this question (How long would it take before we use up all the ice in the asteroid belt?)I did some research to find out how much ice there is in the inner asteroid belt (Not the Kuiper ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
215 views

How long would it take before we use up all the ice in the asteroid belt? [closed]

Lets say that we have an interplanetary society using the ice from asteroids to convert it into rocket fuel, how long would it take before we have used up all the ice on the asteroids. Conditions: We ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
-6 votes
2 answers
223 views

Why wouldn't you use a star tracker in the asteroid belt? [closed]

I am in a group discussion with some people, and I told them what I wrote below as a reason why using a star tracker does not make sense for a spacecraft in an asteroid belt. Furthermore, I am curious ...
Defrans's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

A Philae Lander (like) anchoring harpoons on M-Type (metallic) asteroid. Can a nail gun and the effect of Cold Welding be a working solution?

Everyone knows what happened to Philae lander (Rosetta mission). It is hard to predict the reliability of anchoring points before we know surface conditions on the asteroid. On the other hand, it is ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to maintain balance and center of gravity when pushing a 100-ton piece of asteroid?

I understand that rotating momentum around a fixed axis can help with the center of balance. But is it enough? In my case, a space tug has to burn its engine for 1 min, accelerate a 100-ton piece of ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
145 views

What would be the most fuel-efficient propulsion solution to accelerate a 100-ton piece of NEO asteroid towards Earth?

We need acceleration to about 300-500 m/s relative to an NEO asteroid - to get to an LEO. What is needed is the lightest package possible, that includes engine, fuel tanks, control module and ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
183 views

1 kiloton nuclear device to clear up debris and dust to expose the iron-nickel core for open-pit mining (on M-Type asteroids)?

My understanding is that initial acceleration from the blast and following solar wind will clear the area around the asteroid for spacecraft navigation (in reasonable time). A 2-3 kilometer M-type ...
user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
222 views

Can Nuclear Pulse Propulsion (Project Orion) accelerate a 100,000 ton M-type (metallic) asteroid to a LEO? [closed]

Project Orion: specific impulse in the range of 6,000 seconds. For example – Starship Interplanetary (SpaceX): Max Fuel (after refueling at orbit) - 1,950 ton Fuel left after arriving at NEO asteroid –...
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3 votes
1 answer
360 views

Gravity assist (flyby/slingshot) from an asteroid?

Could a spacecraft perform a gravity assist maneuver in an asteroid? Has it ever been done? I tend to think that the asteroid would need to be quite massive for a "significant" change of ...
ikerdc's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
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Is there any evidence from previous missions to asteroids that said asteroids have minable minerals?

Claims about asteroid mining talk about how many resources are on each asteroid, with claims of "trillions of dollars" of raw materials. Ignoring the cost of getting to the asteroid, have ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
194 views

How different would a comet impact be vs. an asteroid impact?

If a 50 meter asteroid caused a 1.5 kilometer crater as Barringer Crater is described, how different would the impact of a 50 meter comet be, assuming the comet was 85% water and other volatiles, with ...
FKEinternet's user avatar
  • 1,756
12 votes
10 answers
4k views

Is there an elegant method to stop an asteroid's spin?

There have been proposals to mine asteroids, perhaps after “tugging” them to a more accessible location. As well, proposals have been made to move asteroids which threaten collision with earth. ...
Woody's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Would planetary quarantine have to be used for asteroid mining missions?

Currently, sample return missions have to follow very delicate procedures to move the sample to the return vehicle. This is incredibly complicated and may explain why so few missions have launched. ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
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What caused the jitter in the DART video as it approached Dimorphos?

If you look at the series of images DART took as it approached Dimorphos, the asteroid jumps around a bit as you approach. Does this mean small corrections were being made right up till near the end? ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
388 views

Can DART/Dimorphos impact be seen with naked eye?

Can today's DART/Dimorphos impact be seen with naked eye?
fdkgfosfskjdlsjdlkfsf's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
153 views

Could any of the JWST instruments image the rings around 10199 Chariklo?

The asteroid 10199 Chariklo orbits between Saturn and Uranus. It has two rings with radii 386 and 400 km and widths of about 6.9 km and 0.12 km respectively. It is currently 15.94 AU from Earth. Do ...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
159 views

Asteroid mining: will full asteroid prospecting require sending probes to each asteroid?

It is well known that many characteristics about an asteroid such as orbit, size, rotation and chemical composition can be obtained remotely thanks to passive techniques such as spectrophotometry, ...
Rexcirus's user avatar
  • 481
2 votes
0 answers
55 views

Why would binary asteroids created from YORP spin-up tend to have mutual orbits coplanar to their heliocentric orbit?

Vavilov, et al., "Evidence for widely-separated binary asteroids recorded by craters on Mars", Icarus 383 115045 (2022) says on page 8 that binary asteroids created through the Yarkovsky–O'...
G12's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
183 views

How to calculate the max mass and speed of an asteroid capturable by gravity assist?

After reading this question and the answers, I am wondering about the limits of slingshot method to capture an asteroid into a planet orbit. Is it possible to calculate if an asteroid can be captured ...
jumpjack's user avatar
  • 3,033
9 votes
6 answers
5k views

How could 99942 Apophis, in 2029, be captured and brought into a low Earth orbit?

I'm currently attempting to plan out a mission where, in 2029, during Apophis's close approach to Earth, a rocket is sent up to intercept Apophis and decelerate it, making it orbit the Earth. At it's ...
An Axolotl's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

What processes create an object with an interstellar velocity?

An object like Oumuamua originates in a solar system. This object has roughly the inertia of everything else there. I can imagine stuff on the edge of the accretion zone for a star that...WANDER off......
Chris B. Behrens's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
172 views

Positions of asteroids in heliocentric ecliptic (x,y,z) coordinates

I would like to make positions of asteroids in heliocentric ecliptic (x,y,z) coordinates plot for a given date, like in the image below (Matsuoka N. Ryo (CC-BY 4.0)). For that I need so-called state ...
Tony Macijauskas's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
295 views

Why are Jupiter's trojans even remotely stable?

The spacecraft Lucy is en route to explore Jupiter's trojan asteroids. Lucy is so named because the trojan asteroids are believed to be fossil remnants from the formation of the solar sytem. ...
Roger Wood's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
782 views

Smallest known asteroid with moon

The asteroid Didymos is only 780m in "diameter" with a moon, Dimorphos only 170m across. Is Didymos the smallest object known to have a natural satellite? Also, contact binaries where the ...
Kevin Kostlan's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
223 views

delta-v for a trip to Bennu asteroid

101955 Bennu has a mean diameter of 490 m (1,610 ft; 0.30 mi) and was the target of the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission. What is the delta-v using a Hohmann transfer orbit to do a round trip from low ...
Sheldon's user avatar
  • 555
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Thorium in space

I am looking at the possibility of future space habitats being powered by Thorium. Main question is where to get Thorium? Could there be a metallic asteroid (like 16 Psyche) that contains Thorium and ...
Calcutta's user avatar
  • 291
4 votes
0 answers
166 views

In what year was asteroid Donaldjohanson chosen as a target for Lucy?

Asteroid 52246 Donaldjohanson was officially named in 2015. Was it chosen as a target for Lucy before being named?
usernumber's user avatar
  • 5,048
2 votes
1 answer
215 views

How Much Could You Deflect the Path of a 500 meter Diameter Asteroid with 100 STAR48 Rocket Motors

Assume we detected a 500 meter diameter asteroid hurling toward Earth at 10 Km/sec (about half the speed of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs). Assume it has a density of 2.4 g/cm and that we ...
Vince 49's user avatar
  • 2,611
26 votes
4 answers
6k views

If an extinction-level asteroid were to be detected, could we avert it?

If an extinction-level asteroid were to be detected on an impact course with Earth, could we avert it effectively with existing technology and systems, such as course adjustment via nuclear missiles? (...
DJG's user avatar
  • 804
4 votes
1 answer
181 views

What were the challenges of an exploration mission to Trojan asteroids?

There are many space probes that flew past asteroids, some came close to it, some orbited and some landed on it and took samples but those asteroids belonged in the main belt. Now, Lucy will become ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 1,022
0 votes
2 answers
376 views

Can we land on an asteroid and ride on it?

If we could land on an asteroid, not necessarily a human, we would save the fuel consumed for flying the spacecraft and we will benefit by having the systems on it running for a very long time.. If ...
TTomer's user avatar
  • 177
4 votes
2 answers
317 views

Has there ever been an instance of asteroid discovery by radar; seen first by radar rather than being observed after optical discovery?

In a discussion below this answer to Can we use something like RADAR to detect asteroids? I'm complaining that the answer is essentially wrong; Yes, radar is one of the useful tools for detecting and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can we use something like RADAR to detect asteroids?

I know that detecting asteroids is difficult because many of them we find are the ones that reflect sunlight but can we use something like RADAR to detect others?
Ch.Siva Ram Kishore's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
101 views

Could a laser array and miniature light sails be used to deflect asteroids that are on a collision path with Earth?

Several projects related to interstellar travel have been proposed, like interstellar travel with miniature light sail starships , or the Breakthrough Starshot project Question. Could a laser array ...
Cristian Dumitrescu's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

What asteroids have the least delta-v to reach?

I think the question needs very little clarification - specific asteroids and/or their asteroid orbit type would answer it. My own interest is in what would best suit targeting for asteroid mining on ...
Ken Fabian's user avatar
  • 1,042
3 votes
0 answers
299 views

Is there an estimate for the average mass of all meteoroids and asteroids hitting Earth's atmosphere in one year?

I wonder how much mass is entering Earth's atmosphere every year in the form of meteoroids and asteroids. This excludes micro-meteoroids, dust particles, molecules etc. Quick search result talks only ...
Everyday Astronaut's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
272 views

How can we mine Near Earth Objects?

After skimming this Worldbuilding SE answer, I wonder if any companies or space agencies have plans in place to mine Near Earth Objects(NEOs) in the future.
Kav's user avatar
  • 279
2 votes
0 answers
261 views

Why is the Southern Hemisphere of Mars is heavily struck by asteroids while the northern part is relatively smooth?

The northern hemisphere of Mars is smooth with flats lands but areas particularly below the Tharsis rise is heavily cratered, also Hellas basin, one of the largest impact craters is located in the ...
Pioneer's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
0 answers
39 views

Nomenclature of Interstellar Objects and Stars [closed]

I tried searching the answer to this on Google for hours and visited the IAU website as well, but it didn't really clarify my doubt. I was reading about Black Widow Pulsar, which is an "eclipsing ...
Raghavendra Singh's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
159 views

Likely ways to move asteroids

Asteroids for mining and to make habitats: what are likely ways to move them? Orion project nuclear explosions might be plausible, but would probably be expensive, use very heavy materials from Earth, ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
276 views

Horizons ephemeris - how did they calculate that “Keplerian GM” value?

I’ve been playing with the NAIF’s SPICE library for some time (CSPICE in particular). In order to obtain the state vector of an asteroid from its osculating elements, I’m calling the “conics_c” ...
Georgi Vidinski's user avatar
17 votes
8 answers
6k views

Why do many comets & asteroids keep moving through the solar system, but space ships need fuel to do so?

Why do many comets & asteroids keep moving through the solar system (for centuries), after they were dislodged from their parent bodies after a cosmic event/explosion? But a space-shuttle ...
naxrohan's user avatar
  • 353
5 votes
1 answer
800 views

Minimum delta V required to return a piece of metallic asteroid 16 Psyche to Earth?

Suppose somebody sent a rover to Psyche 16 and found massive concentrated deposits of platinum-group metals near the surface, and turned it into a 10 ton sphere of platinum/iridium/osmium/gold alloy ...
Jonathan Ray's user avatar

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