# Questions tagged [asteroid]

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

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### Legality of asteroid mining

Exploiting the moon's resources is covered by "The Moon Treaty". Is there something similar or in the works for regulating mining asteroids and other non-lunar bodies?
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### Small-bodies landing strategies

Looking at past landing missions on small bodies such as Eros, Itokawa and 67P I found different landing strategies Eros: NEAR Shoemaker probe performed 4 impulsive pre-planned open-loop maneuvers to ...
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### Are there clusters of small asteroids in the Kuiper or asteroid belt which could threaten the Earth?

I watched an episode of Curious Droid talking about the types of impacts of asteroids the size of Near Earth Objects. Are there clusters of small asteroids which are gravitationally bound together (or ...
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### Can an ion drive attached to an asteroid move it into another orbit if given enough power?

After watching one of the videos from Curious Droid on Youtube talking about asteroid deflection and strikes I had an idea. Ion thrusters provide bits of mass velocities at the needed Isp (5-6 km/s ...
336 views

### What is the range of strength for asteroidal materials?

Observed rotation rates of small asteroids point to a limit on the material strength of these bodies. This limit is not very high But that's only part of the picture, because an upper limit on ...
359 views

### Clohessy - Wiltshire equations for use in Asteroid “chasing”

So I'm actually a student studying this sorta thing, and an assignment I have is to chase/rendezvous with an asteroid. I've done my reading on the C-W equations (what little I could understand) and ...
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### If the Tesla Roadster happened to crash into an asteroid, would the asteroid be damaged?

If the car has the luck to find a rock of more or less his mass, taking the mass and speed into account, can it make a considerable amount of damage in an asteroid?
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### How satellites handle obstacles for short or long term missions

Do scientist consider small asteroid/stones/junk in space while sending satellites to orbit or for long range missions like for Mars? If yes, then how can they identify the trajectory and prepare ...
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### How predictable is one asteroid's trajectory?

If one fictitious probe mission was to impact an asteroid fast enough to destroy it using its kinetic energy, could the asteroid's trajectory be predicted accurately enough (plumes or emanations or ...
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### How can a planet “catch” an asteroid?

When an asteroid enters the sphere of influence of a planet and the periapsis is above the atmosphere (if it wasn't and the object doesn't leave the atmosphere at escape velocity, the object would ...
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### Why are low-albedo asteroids thought to be more water-rich?

In this talk, J. L. Galache mentions that asteroid miners are looking for NEAs with: low delta-v (so the asteroid is easy to get to/from from Earth) low synodic period (for frequent launch/return-...
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### How can I derive an asteroid mass/size estimate from JPL parameters?

I want a list of objects with a semi-major axis between 0.95 AU and 1.05 AU that are probably larger than 1 km in diameter. For this, the JPL Small-Body Database Search Engine seems to be the best ...
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### Yikes! How did we miss 2017 VL2?

The Tech Times article NASA Fails To Spot Whale-Sized Asteroid That Skimmed Past Earth says that Asteroid 2017 VL2 passed the Earth within about 120,000 km, or about 1/3 the distance of the Moon on ...
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### Asteroid Catalog

Where can one find asteroids or comets that contain water ice suitable for a human mission. Perhaps there is comprehensive catalog of small bodies that can be searched for characteristics such as: ...
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### Can an asteroid enter Earth orbit?

Can an asteroid pass near Earth at a right velocity and angle to bend its trajectory and make an orbit? Note: I know about objects such as 2016 HO3, which are quasi-satellites of Earth due to ...
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### Why is the Deep Space Industries Prospector 1 using water propellant instead of hydrazine?

A lot of satellites use hydrazine propellant but the Prospector 1 is using water. What are the benefits and drawbacks of that decision?
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### What was/is the Minor Body Exploration Forum?

I just finished reading the Japanese hard science fiction novel Ouroboros Wave. In the afterword, the author writes the following. For context, the book goes into quite a large amount of detail of ...
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### How is it known that asteroid 2011 UW158 has so much platinum?

Today an asteroid, 2011 UW158, is passing within 2.4 million km of Earth. There are a lot of reports of this asteroid containing \$5.4 trillion of platinum in its core. People seem to want to mine it, ...
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### Could a swarm of probes autonomously establish orbit around an asteroid?

To position a spacecraft around an asteroid, one must know the orbital parameters and orientation of the asteroid and the spacecraft. Formation flying will be more complex in terms of positioning ...
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### Theoretical Asteroid Composition and the economy

This is a question that I sort of view as an intersection between economics/science/space, completely hypothetical in nature, so I'm not sure if this is the right forum for it but, here goes: I read ...
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### What resources could be gained from asteroid mining that would be worth the effort?

Obviously asteroids are abundant in many of the raw materials we use today, but considering the (presumably) large expense involved in mining from asteroids it may not be worthwhile to mine some ...
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### Calculation of coordinates from JPL Small-body database parameters?

I would like to write a script that can calculate the distance between two asteroids at some moment in time, given some object in the JPL database of asteroids and comets, so available parameters are ...
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### Spacecraft necessary to deflect extinction event asteroid?

It is believed that the end of the Cretaceous period of the Earth's geology was marked by an asteroid impact which caused a mass extinction event, known as the Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction Event. ...
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### SpaceX ITS - going beyond Mars

Let's assume that Elon Musk's plan to go to Mars is a success and there are several spacecraft which regularly go to Mars and back. At this point, how feasible would it be to start exploring the rest ...
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### How will the Lucy spacecraft move from Jupiter's L4 to its L5 Trojan asteroids?

After having visited the L4 leading Trojans ("Greeks") of Jupiter, almost a decade after launch Lucy will spend almost 4½ years moving on to the trailing L5 Trojans, 5 AU away. Is there a special ...
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### How does the entry angle of a meteor affect the straight line distance traveled?

I'm trying to help a student solve the following problem: A 15 meter in diameter asteroid with a mass of approximately 10,000 metric tons going 20 km/s. The entry and time for disintegration was 28 ...
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### Does Bennu pose a risk to Earth? And how can OSIRIS-REx's mission save us?

OSIRIS-REx has launched and is on its way to 101955 Bennu to... "determine Bennu's physical and chemical properties, which will be critical to know in the event of an impact mitigation mission". ...
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### Would the one million people on Mars be killed by an impact equivalent to an Extinction Level Event on Earth

If there are cities on Mars in the second half of this century with say a million people, they will be living in engineered structures and sustained by agriculture in protected, controlled ...
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### How far could material from Earth or Mars be transported due to asteroid impact?

NASA has issued reports to the effect that small bits of Mars have come to Earth due to asteroid impacts - asteroid hits Mars, chunks are ejected into space far enough to eventually fall into Earth's ...
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### is the asteriod belt linear or 360 degrees

What I'am trying to understand if in space does the asteriod belt "sit" on a linear orbit or does it encompass a 360 degree orbit? (in a plane Cartesian coordinate system)
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### If the Dawn probe visits a third asteroid after Ceres and Vesta, which asteroid could it visit?

The Dawn mission was supposed to end after its rendezvous with Ceres, but now, reports say that the Dawn team has asked NASA to extend the mission to visit a third asteroid. There’s only a small ...
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### Could a cloud of dense gas, such as xenon, deflect a hazardous asteroid?

Impactors or explosive missiles have the advantage of not having to match velocity with an Earth-bound asteroid, so they are cheaper and quicker to launch (or so I understand), and detection need not ...
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### How fast could the rotation of asteroids and planetoids be sped up before they disintegrate?

I am currently reading the The Expanse novel series. In the books there are several space colonies that are basically asteroids or planetoids (in particular Eros and Ceres) that have been spun up to ...
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### How useful is placing an asteroid in Lunar orbit?

Quoting from NASA warned plan to send humans to Mars may fail news article: The Obama administration is opposed to another moon landing, saying such a mission would be too costly. It wants ...
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### Could we launch a rubble pile simulant to LEO for astronauts to practice on before visiting natural milligravity objects?

There are proposals and maybe serious plans to send astronauts to asteroids or Mars' moons, objects which are a few kilometers or just a few meters in diameter. I call them "milligravity" objects ...
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### Is any non-planetary celestial body smaller than a star known to be a spontaneous radiator?

Space is apparently filled with lots of debris that did not make a star, system, or planet. In a pinch asteroids, and comets may serve to illustrate. Asteroids are typically flagged as carbon, stone, ...
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### Would gold in space tend to collect in pockets like it does on Earth?

I was reading Does gold come from outer space?(BBC News). If the majority of gold on Earths surface does come from space would it tend to be equally distributed on comets and asteroids, or would tend ...
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### How do spacecraft navigate through the Asteroid belt to avoid collision?

Have any spacecraft been lost transitioning between Mars and Jupiter? How do spacecraft navigate that field unscathed as well?
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### How feasible will be to inject an object into the asteroid orbit [closed]

I was thinking about asteroids which travel through solar system and I have a question. Is it possible to inject small object into an orbit around one of them and use momentum of this asteroid to ...
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### Asteroid 2013 TX68 March 5, 2016 close approach, and calculating with Skyfield

This NASA webpage describes the close approach of asteroid 2013 TX68 on March 5, 2016 and shows a probability distribution of the point of closest approach based on the only data available at this ...
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### What would it be like to walk on the Asteroid 216 Kleopatra?

Here is some renditions of 216 Kleopatra. Kleopatra is a relatively large asteroid, measuring 217 × 94 × 81 km.Calculations from its radar albedo and the orbits of its moons show it to be a ...
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### How much energy does it take to extract water from silicate?

Browsing Asterank, it seems that people believe many asteroids have large amounts of iron or magnesium silicate. These compounds may come in a hydrated form which contains water, but it is chemically ...
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### Mining a near-Earth passing asteroid with profit?

The answer by PearsonArtPhoto in this question got me thinking, particularly this line: Asteroids would be cheaper to go to than the Moon I suppose the subject here are asteroids that pass in the ...
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### Why is NASA redirecting an asteroid to Lunar Orbit instead of LEO? [duplicate]

One of the missions NASA is planning is to redirect a small asteroid to lunar orbit and land astronauts on it. If it can redirect asteroids, why not just send it to LEO and send a Dragon to it?
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### How can a hedgehog rover be used to explore an asteroid, wouldnt it just fly away?

I was reading about a rover concept ' Hedgehog ' which operates by spinning flywheels very fast and then braking quickly which transfers the momentum thereby causing the rover to move by tumbling. My ...
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### If an extinction capable asteroid was approaching Earth, would we be capable of preventing the collision? [duplicate]

Assuming we just spotted an asteroid, of a similar size to the one that killed the dinosaurs, that is approaching earth and will hit it in an equally fatal way. Presuming we detected this asteroid as ...
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### Is it (or why is it) worse to break up a asteroid on a collision course with Earth?

It is quite common to find (pseudo?) scientific statements to the effect that blowing up asteroids which are heading our way is a very bad idea, and that the movie Armageddon got this point totally ...
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### Detection of 2015 TB145 (Halloween asteroid)

Why was 2015 TB145 detected just weeks before its closest approach, while so many other asteroids (which will make closer approach or farther approach) are detected years before? What made this ...
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### Why are smaller celestial bodies like Ceres spherical?

When we look at larger objects (the Moon, Mars, Earth), they are pulled into spherical shapes by their own gravity. The question I have relates to smaller objects... those close to the threshold at ...
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### Does the Dawn spacecraft have the potential for an extended mission?

The Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to arrive in initial orbit around Ceres in February 2015 with a final planned orbital change in December to reduce its orbit to a 700km altitude. At present I can't ...