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Optimal options for rendezvous and impact missions to NEOs

Vasile, Massimiliano and De Pascale, Paolo and Casotto, Stefano (2006) Optimal options for rendezvous and impact missions to NEOs. JBIS, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 59 (11). ISSN 0007-084X

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Abstract

In this paper some potentially interesting transfer options for missions to Near Earth Objects have been studied. Due to thehigh number of potential targets and to the large variety of possible missions that can be considered, especially if resorting to low-thrust propulsion, an extensive analysis of transfer options requires a preliminary approach oriented toward an effective global search, and an appropriately simplified trajectory transcription. Low-thrust options have been modeled through a novel shape-based approach and a global optimization method has been used to look for globally optimal transfers. Different targets have been identified and various mission scenarios have been considered: rendezvous, sample return missions both with and without Earth gravity assist and impact missions.