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SHEPHERD: A Concept for Gentle Asteroid Retrieval with a Gas-Filled Enclosure

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
New Space
Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2015
Volume
3
Issue
1
Pages
36–43
Source
SETI Institute
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sealing a small asteroid within an enclosure enables innovative approaches to the Asteroid Redirect Mission concept that pave the way for future in situ asteroid resource utilization. A sealed enclosure would make it possible to use an introduced atmosphere of xenon gas to detumble and despin the asteroid, and then to push the asteroid by using a steady xenon gas flow inside this enclosure to transfer the force of the spacecraft s exterior solar electric propulsion engine to the asteroid. The gas will affect the cohesion forces of ...

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