A prospecting plan is presented to assay near Earth objects (NEO) for their potential to yield rocket fuel. The plan calls out small satellites as the near-term means to achieve low cost surveys and deep subsurface sampling of NEO composition. The water bearing classes of NEO to be considered are limited to those accessible in short time and with small thrusters. These include the water bearing clay objects (phylosilicates) at nearly trivial distances from Earth, and the recently identified water ice objects such as comet (#4015) 1979 VA. These objects are evaluated as small satellite prospecting and assay vehicle targets.
NASA STI/Recon Technical Report N
- Pub Date:
- September 1992
- Aircraft Fuels;
- Low Cost;
- Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance