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ExploreNEOs. III. Physical characterization of 65 potential spacecraft target asteroids

Mueller, M. and Delbo, M. and Hora, J.L. and Trilling, D.E. and Bhattacharya, B. and Bottke, W.F. and Chesley, S. and Emery, J.P. and Fazio, G. and Harris, A.W. and Mainzer, A. and Mommert, M. and Penprase, B. and Smith, H.A. and Spahr, T.B. and Stansberry, J.A. and Thomas, C.A. (2011) ExploreNEOs. III. Physical characterization of 65 potential spacecraft target asteroids. Astronomical Journal, 141 (4), pp. 1-9. American Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/141/4/109

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Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-3881/141/4/109/pdf/aj_141_4_109.pdf

Abstract

Space missions to near-Earth objects (NEOs) are being planned at all major space agencies, and recently a manned mission to an NEO was announced as a NASA goal. Efforts to find and select suitable targets (plus backup targets) are severely hampered by our lack of knowledge of the physical properties of dynamically favorable NEOs. In particular, current mission scenarios tend to favor primitive low-albedo objects. For the vast majority of NEOs, the albedo is unknown. Here we report new constraints on the size and albedo of 65 NEOs with rendezvous Δv < 7 kms−1. Our results are based on thermal-IR flux data obtained in the framework of our ongoing (2009–2011) ExploreNEOs survey using NASA’s “Warm-Spitzer” space telescope. As of 2010 July 14, we have results for 293 objects in hand (including the 65 low-Δv NEOs presented here); before the end of 2011, we expect to have measured the size and albedo of∼700 NEOs (including probably∼160 low-Δv NEOs). While there are reasons to believe that primitive volatile-rich materials are universally low in albedo, the converse need not be true: the orbital evolution of some dark objects likely has caused them to lose their volatiles by coming too close to the Sun. For all our targets, we give the closest perihelion distance they are likely to have reached (using orbital integrations from Marchi et al. 2009) and corresponding upper limits on the past surface temperature. Low-Δv objects for which both albedo and thermal history may suggest a primitive composition include (162998) 2001 SK162, (68372) 2001 PM9, and (100085) 1992 UY4.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/69512/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Article i.d: The Astronomical Journal, Volume 141, Issue 4, article id. 109 (2011)
Title:ExploreNEOs. III. Physical characterization of 65 potential spacecraft target asteroids
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Mueller, M.Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Delbo, M.Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Hora, J.L.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USAUNSPECIFIED
Trilling, D.E.Northern Arizona University, USAUNSPECIFIED
Bhattacharya, B.NASA Herschel Science Center Caltech, USAUNSPECIFIED
Bottke, W.F.Southwest Research Institute, USAUNSPECIFIED
Chesley, S.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USAUNSPECIFIED
Emery, J.P.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, USAUNSPECIFIED
Fazio, G.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USAUNSPECIFIED
Harris, A.W.alan.harris (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mainzer, A.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USAUNSPECIFIED
Mommert, M.michael.mommert (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Penprase, B.Department of Physics and Astronomy, Pomona College, USAUNSPECIFIED
Smith, H.A.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USAUNSPECIFIED
Spahr, T.B.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USAUNSPECIFIED
Stansberry, J.A.Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, USAUNSPECIFIED
Thomas, C.A.Northern Arizona University, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:April 2011
Journal or Publication Title:Astronomical Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:141
DOI : 10.1088/0004-6256/141/4/109
Page Range:pp. 1-9
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
Status:Published
Keywords:Asteroids, Near-Earth objects, Spitzer Space telescope
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Asteroiden und Kometen (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Deposited By: Harris, Prof. Alan
Deposited On:11 May 2011 14:07
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 15:46

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