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.

21 January 2010

NEO Related Highlights from the Upcoming 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 1–5, 2010

Here are some selected sessions and specific papers from those sessions related to NEOs that will be presented at the upcoming 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 1–5, 2010 in Houston, Texas.

Session 251:
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
1:30 p.m. Waterway Ballroom 1

Session 252:
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
3:15 p.m. Waterway Ballroom 1

Session 313:
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
7:00 p.m. Town Center Exhibit Area

Nathues A. Reddy V. Schaeff S. Wiegand A. Michelsen R. Sanchez J. A. Boehnhardt H.
Ground-based Mineralogical Characterization of low Δv ASTEX Mission Targets [#1047]
ASTEX is an in situ exploration mission study to two near-Earth asteroids for which we have identified target candidates. Since many of the potential targets are without compositional information we have started a spectral survey.

Murdoch N. Rozitis B. Michel P. Losert W. de Lophem T-L. Green S. F.
AstEx Microgravity Experiment: Simulating Asteroid Regoliths [#1715]
This experiment aims to characterise the response of granular material to rotational shear forces in a microgravity environment in order to help design an asteroid sampling mechanism and interpret the fascinating geology found on asteroids.

Mainzer A. K. Masiero J. Bauer J. M. Grav T. Cutri R. McMillan R. Walker R. Wright E. L. WISE Team
WISE Solar System Research – Clearer Views of the Darkest Objects [#2505]
The WISE mission will be capable of performing a vast array of solar system observations. WISE will observe and detect thousands of main-belt asteroids and hundreds of near-Earth objects, providing IR-derived diameters and albedos for many of these bodies.

Grav T. Bauer J. M. Dailey J. Mainzer A. K. Cutri R. Masiero J. McMillan R. Walker R. Wright E. L.
WISE Preliminary Detection Statistics of Minor Planets [#2320]
We present the preliminary detection statistics of moving objects from the first two months of WISE scan operations discuss such topics as survey efficiency, pipeline reliability and orbit determination accuracy.

Bauer J. M. Grav T. Dailey J. Myers J. Mainzer A. K. Masiero J. Cutri R. McMillan R. Jedicke R. Denneau L. Walker R. Wright E. L. WISE Team
The WISE Moving Object Pipeline Subsystem — Design and Implementation [#2466]
WISE will detect a large number of solar system bodies, a large fraction of which have been previously unknown. We describe the design and implementation of the moving object detection subsystem for the spacecraft imaging data.

Masiero J. Mainzer A. Grav T. Delbó M. Mueller M. WISE Team
The WISE Survey of the Albedo Distribution of Main Belt Asteroids [#1283]
Using date from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) we investigate the albedo distribution across the main belt of asteroids. When complete WISE will measure albedos and diameters for ~100,000 asteroids.

Bauer J. M. Grav T. Mainzer A. K. Masiero J. Cutri R. Dailey J. McMillan R. Walker R. Wright E. L. WISE Team
WISE and the Outer Solar System — Searching for Objects in “The Back Forty” (AU) [#2418]
The vast majority of objects observed by the WISE mission will be in the inner solar system. However, several larger solar system objects beyond 5 AU will also be imaged. We will present an overview of outer solar system object observations to date.

Session 336:
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
7:00 p.m. Town Center Exhibit Area

Klaus K. Cook T. S. Smith D. B.
Small Body Landers for Near Earth Object Missions [#1077]
We are developing a small body lander product line that leverages the significant investments that have been made in the highly successful DARPA Orbital Express program.

Smith D. B. Klaus K. Caplin G. Elsperman M. S. Horsewood J.
Low Cost Multiple Near Earth Object Missions [#1464]
Our Commercial spacecraft are available with efficient high power solar arrays and hybrid propulsion systems (Chemical and Solar Electric) that make possible multiple Near Earth Object Missions within Discovery budget limits.

Lee P. Veverka J. Bellerose J. Boucher M. Boynton J. Braham S. Gellert R. Hildebrand A. Manzella D. Mungas G. Oleson S. Richards R. Thomas P. C. West M. D.
Hall: A Phobos and Deimos Sample Return Mission [#1633]
Hall is a proposed NASA-led New Frontiers-class international robotic lander and sample return mission to explore and return samples from the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos.

Farnham T. Gaskell R. Gim Y. Heggy E. Klaasen K. Kofman W. Kreslavsky M. Lisse C. McFadden L. Pettinelli E. Plaut J. Scheeres D. Turtle E. Weissman P. Wu R.
Deep Interior Radar Imaging of Comets [#2670]
Deep Interior is a comet rendezvous mission using a high heritage planetary sounding radar to derive a high definition image of the global interior.

Session 553:
Thursday, March 4, 2010
1:30 p.m. Waterway Ballroom 4

Cheng A. * Barnouin O. S.
Eros and Itokawa Comparisons: NEAR Shoemaker and Hayabusa [#2747]
NEAR and Hayabusa have studied two S-type near-Earth asteroids with similar compositions, but with distinct internal structures and surface geologies. What does surface geology, in the form of lineaments, craters, and small surface features, tell us about strength and cohesion?

Yoshikawa M. * Kawaguchi J. Yano H. Hayabusa Mission Team Hayabusa Science Team
Asteroid Sample Return Mission Hayabusa, Its Engineering Challenges and Scientific Results [#2746]
Asteroid explorer Hayabusa will come back to the Earth in June 2010. We overcame many engineering difficulties and obtained many scientific data about the tiny S-type asteroid Itokawa. We summarize engineering and the scientific results of Hayabusa.

Benner L. A. M. *
Arecibo and Goldstone Radar Imaging of Near-Earth Asteroid [#2748]
Radar is the most powerful ground-based astronomical technique for studying the physical properties of near-Earth objects and for refining their orbits, principally through its ability to achieve resolutions as fine as several meters/pixel that can spatially resolve small objects.

Mainzer A. K. * Bauer J. M. Masiero J. Grav T. Cutri R. McMillan R. Walker R. Wright E. L. WISE Team
NEOWISE — The WISE Near Earth Object Survey [#2534]
The WISE spacecraft is expected to observe roughly 700 near-Earth objects, more than a third newly discovered. These measurements will provide a relatively unbiased and uniform sampling of this small body sub-population down to sizes of a few hundred meters.

Emery J. P. * Fernández Y. R. Kelley M. S. Hergenrother C. Ziffer J. Lauretta D. S. Drake M. J. Campins H.
Thermophysical Characterization of Potential Spacecraft Target (101955) 1999 RQ36 [#2282]
We report on thermal emission measurements of 1999 RQ36 from Spitzer. The derived size is in agreement with radar measurements, and we find a moderately high thermal inertia and homogeneous surface properties.

Gaskell R. W. * Barnouin O. S. Scheeres D. J.
The NEAR Shoemaker Landing on Eros [#2093]
NEAR imaging and NLR data are being used to determine the spacecraft’s approach trajectory and final landing site.

Binzel R. P. * Morbidelli A. Merouane S. DeMeo F. E. Birlan M. Vernazza P. Thomas C. A. Rivkin A. S. Bus S. J. Tokunaga A. T.
Good Vibrations: Recent Near-Earth Encounters as the Missing Piece of the S-Asteroid and Ordinary Chondrite Meteorite Puzzle [#1226]
Close Earth encounters that induce seismic shaking of near-Earth asteroids are found to produce surfaces free of space weathering. These “Q-type asteroids” are direct spectral matches to the most commonly falling meteorites, the ordinary chondrites.

Gaffey M. J. * Reddy V.
Mineralogical Diversity in the S-Type NEA Population [#1864]
Mineralogically diagnostic spectral parameters derived from VNIR spectra of near-Earth asteroids confirm previous suggestions that LL-chondrite-like assemblages appear overrepresented in the NEA population relative to the meteorite fall population.

Scheeres D. J. * Hartzell C. M.
The Relevance and Role of Cohesive Forces for Small Asteroids [#1839]
A comparison of forces at asteroids shows that van der Waals cohesion between regolith grains is significant. Consideration of this effect as a function of grain size suggests a new model for the terminal evolution of rubble pile asteroids.

Jacobson S. A. * Scheeres D. J.
The Evolution of Binary Asteroids Formed by Spin Fission [#2098]
The mass ratio determines the evolution after a YORP spin-fission event. High mass ratio systems (>0.2) evolve to a tidally locked state. Low mass ratio systems (<0.2) disrupt, but may undergo secondary fission events that can stabilize the system.

Lasue J. * De Sanctis M. C. Capria M. T. Turrini D. Coradini A. Thermal Model of Comet Nuclei: Implications for Rosetta [#1675]We investigate the effect of shape, orbital history, obliquity and dust covering on the thermal properties and the activity of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Implications for the Rosetta mission timeline are derived. 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2010) sess553.pdf

Link: Abstracts for 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (March 1–5, 2010) [PDF]

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