High energy small body missions using solar sail propulsion

McInnes, Colin and Hughes, Gareth W. and Macdonald, M.; (2006) High energy small body missions using solar sail propulsion. In: Proceedings of the 56th International Astronautical Congress. Curran Associates. ISBN 9781604236484

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Abstract

A range of mission concepts will be discussed which explore the use of solar sail propulsion for high-energy small body missions. It will be shown that a modest sized solar sail can enable high energy small body sample return from extremely demanding targets, while a larger solar sail can quickly deliver a significant payload to high eccentricity comets. Lastly, it will be shown that potentially hazardous near Earth asteroids can be deflected using kinetic energy impacts by using a solar sail to deliver the impactor to a high-energy retrograde orbit.