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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  NASA identifies asteroids for human exploration

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Author Topic:   NASA identifies asteroids for human exploration
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-11-2010 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation Week: NASA IDs 3 Asteroids For Human Exploration
Although NASA knows of 44 Near Earth Objects (NEOs) in orbits that could be accessible given a heavy-lift rocket roughly equivalent to the canceled Ares V, only three meet the necessary requirements for a future visit by astronauts, according to NASA officials speaking at a NEO event in Washington Aug. 10.

The list of asteroids was winnowed down according to mission constraints, including that any visit by astronauts be no longer than 180 days round trip, and any object visited be larger than 50 meters (164 ft.) across.

Out of the 44 reachable asteroids, 27 were too small, and only 15 have orbits that allow for exploration between 2020 and 2050 -- the timeframe NASA wants to pursue for NEO missions. The 180-day mission constraint further cuts the list to three. The specifics of those objects -- such as composition, spin state and possible moons -- are yet to be determined.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 08-11-2010 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is starting to get interesting.

328KF
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posted 09-01-2010 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on this article, asteroids as a target doesn't sound too promising.
While NASA admits more knowledge about objects that pass within 28 million miles (45 million km) of Earth could increase the number of possible destinations, only two currently meet the guidelines set out by the space agency in its attempt to send a manned mission to an asteroid by 2025, a goal set by President Barack Obama. One of the asteroids could be reached in 2020 and the other in 2025.

A third candidate would not be within range until 2045.

But I'll give it one thing... the plan requires that a deadline be set based on orbital mechanics.

One other problem I see - The objects are so small it will only take one trip to see the whole thing!

The "it'll always be there" mentality no doubt has contributed to our lack of progress toward a moon or even Mars mission.

All times are CT (US)

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