Deflection of near-Earth asteroids by kinetic energy impacts from retrograde orbits

McInnes, C. R. (2004) Deflection of near-Earth asteroids by kinetic energy impacts from retrograde orbits. Planetary and Space Science, 52(7), pp. 587-590. (doi:10.1016/j.pss.2003.12.010)

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Abstract

Previous studies of non-nuclear diversion of near Earth asteroids have largely ignored the use of pure kinetic energy impacts, partly due to apparent limits on impact speeds of 10–View the MathML source. Here, I will consider the use of a near-term solar sail to deliver an inert projectile onto a retrograde solar orbit, thus raising impact speeds to at least View the MathML source. Such high-energy orbits increase the energy liberated during impact by a factor of 40 or more, while reducing the required projectile mass by at least 95%. This considerable reduction in projectile mass allows kilometre-sized asteroids to be diverted with current launch vehicles, near-term technologies and at a cost comparable to a modest deep space mission.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: McInnes, C. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Planetary and Space Science
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0032-0633
Published Online:12 March 2004

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