22 votes
Accepted

What ever happened to the Asteroid Redirect Mission?

Warning: There is no way to decouple politics from this; I have tried to be objective. What ended as the ARM (Asteroid Redirect Mission) officially began in a speech by then-President Obama in April ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Could the Orion project pusher plate model be used for asteroid deflection?

The challenge here is getting the pusher plate into position. The potential impactor is not generally traveling on an orbit that can be reached with low DV. So the only way with current(ish) ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How many images of Didymos could be transmitted by Dart between the first full size image and the impact?

This paper from Fletcher et.al. (2016) DRACO:DIDYMOS Reconnaissance for OpNav, provides some hints. page 2, second column (image capture rate) As many images as the available down-link supports will ...
Ng Ph's user avatar
  • 2,724
9 votes
Accepted

Will DART fire its ion engine to accelerate prior to impact?

It almost does not matter, with a maximum acceleration of $0.6mm/s^2$ (1/16500th of a g), the probe could only change its velocity by 1m/s over the last ten thousand kilometers of approach. But no, ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Could "Asteroid Redirect" make the moon more dangerous for astronauts for a long time?

The Asteroid Redirect Mission concept shows two strategies that should minimize problems: the asteroid will be transported inside a bag. the asteroid will be placed in a 'distant retrograde orbit',...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
6 votes

Could we launch a rubble pile simulant to LEO for astronauts to practice on before visiting natural milligravity objects?

In short: yes, it could be. But it is needlessly expensive, so they will not do it. First you have to get the junk up there. Then you need to get the astronauts up there, and essentially put them in ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 1,819
6 votes

Asteroid orbiting between Earth and Mars as ferry?

This sounds like the cycler concept, just using a modified asteroid for the cycler. The idea is that you have the cycler carry lots of heavy life support equipment so you don't have to accelerate and ...
Pitto's user avatar
  • 1,196
6 votes
Accepted

Are there any specific plans for how to deal with near-Earth comets? If not, should there be?

The threat from comets gets a lot less attention for several reasons: the threat from comets is about 1% of that from asteroids (executive summary of the 2017 Report of the Near-Earth Object Science ...
astrosnapper's user avatar
  • 2,506
6 votes
Accepted

Have there been any documented mini-moons since 2006 RH120?

Possibly the earliest documented mini-moon was the one associated with the 1913 Great Meteor Procession. After 2006 RH120, that you mentioned, another was identified on October 3, 2015 and designated ...
called2voyage's user avatar
  • 23.7k
5 votes

How many images of Didymos could be transmitted by Dart between the first full size image and the impact?

This JHU Video shows a simulation of the final 1 hour before impact with the caption: This DART simulation video shows how the spacecraft gradually tracks and zeroes in on Dimorphos. The left display ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

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

Yes it would work. But no, it would not work very well at all. If you are going to have the supremely powerful laser array available, you would be better off beaming the asteroid directly. The ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
5 votes

Why are DART's solar panels aligned like this?

DART uses the Roll-Out Solar Arrays (ROSA) and is one of the first spacecraft to do so - certainly the first interplanetary one. ROSA has been demonstrated on the ISS and is going to become a primary ...
John McCarthy's user avatar
5 votes

Could the Orion project pusher plate model be used for asteroid deflection?

This depends on the size and composition of the asteroid. Many asteroids are loose rubble piles, held together by weak gravity only. So you can't really park a small ship on the surface and start ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes
Accepted

What is the largest body in the solar system we could meaningfully and accurately adjust the orbit of?

If "meaningful" means measurable then seeng a half-percent change in the period of a tiny double-asteroid at a few AU is pretty close to as big as possible. @PearsonArtPhotos question Using ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes

Could we launch a rubble pile simulant to LEO for astronauts to practice on before visiting natural milligravity objects?

There is already too much junk in orbit which could collide with satellites and spacecraft, adding 20 tons of loose garbage would be extremely risky - if it got loose it could be a serious hazard. ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 20.1k
4 votes

Spacecraft necessary to deflect extinction event asteroid?

For a first order approximation we can start with the time it will take for the asteroid to impact the Earth, say for example the ship lands on it 1 year before it reaches Earth. The Earth has a ...
Blake Walsh's user avatar
  • 4,221
3 votes
Accepted

Could an ion engine use an asteroid as an in-situ resource for fuel?

Using an asteroid's mass for propulsion is definitely possible. You can chop up pieces of one and use it in a mass accelerator, or ablate it with a nuclear weapon, or use material as fuel in some sort ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 20.1k
3 votes

Asteroid orbiting between Earth and Mars as ferry?

TINSTAAFL. You still have all the delta-V to deal with at both ends of the trip. The expense of "man-rating" the asteroid would be overwhelming in itself.
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
3 votes

Could a Gravity Tractor be used for mining asteroids?

Down the bottom of the linked page is an example case, of an asteroid that needs 1cm/s to not hit earth earth, applied over 10 years. The gravity tractor is not magic, it still needs the tractoring ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
1 vote

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

Yes this solution can be used, but a large amount of time would be required (how much would depend upon the size of the object, and the amount of energy being delivered). Most deflection solutions ...
user42222's user avatar
1 vote

Using DART to measure G

Assuming the asteroid stays in one piece you end up knowing its mass pretty accurately (depending on how big it is compared to the impactor and how accurately you can measure its position). But then ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k

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