This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

25 January 2007

Georgia Tech Undergraduate Teams Designing Apophis Mission

I talked to an aerospace class at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta yesterday on planetary defense. The class is in the second semester of their capstone undergraduate senior design class focused on a science and tagging mission to Apophis (AE 4803: Senior Space Systems Design II, 2007 - Spring Semester). My presentation is on the class website.

If your are interested in these designs, there will be a semi-public review on February 14, 2006 at Georgia Tech (Location: Room 442 - Design Lab, 40 Guggenheim Building, School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia - enter from Knight Building, this should last most of the day, contact class instructor Dr. Robert Braun for more information:

Here is the design problem they have been given and to which they have to respond with a conceptual design (related to an Apophis mission).

Design Problem:
In the Spring 2007, each student team will develop a mission and flight system concept to rendezvous, emplace navigation infrastructure and perform a mineralogical assay of the near-Earth asteroid, Apophis. This asteroid is anticipated to fly near the Earth in 2029 and again in 2035. The present mission and flight system design must complete its in-situ investigation prior to the end of calendar year 2016 to allow for implementation of a follow-on mission (either for resource mining or Earth deflection) in one of these two Earth flyby opportunities. The following project constraints apply:

- Rendezvous with Apophis and return all data prior to Dec 31, 2016
- Total lifecycle cost < $500M (FY07$)
- Investigations must be performed in-situ (no Earth-based observation)
- A complete mission & flight system must be proposed (no instrument-only missions)
The NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study has been implemented as planned and these systems are available for use.

This announcement is open to all types of robotic platforms. The use of advanced technology is encouraged. For all technology not currently spaceflight qualified, a technology development plan must be included.

Link: Class Website

Link: My presentation to the Georgia Tech's AE 4803 Class - Spring 2007 Semester

Link: Georgia Institute of Technology Campus Map

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