Near-Earth Asteroid Sample Return Workshop
December 11-13, 2000
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Houston, Texas
First Announcement
University of Arkansas
Lunar and Planetary Institute
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Derek Sears, Chair, University of Arkansas
Dan Britt, University of Tennessee
Don Brownlee, University of Washington
Andrew Cheng, Johns Hopkins University
Benton Clark, Lockheed Martin Astronautics
Leon Geffert, NASA Glenn Research Center
Steve Goreven, Honeybee Robotics
Marilyn Lindstrom, NASA Johnson Space Center
Carle Pieters, Brown University
Jeff Preble, SpaceWorks, Inc.
Scientific Program:
Derek Sears
Workshop Program Committee Chair
Announcements and Logistics:
LeBecca Simmons
LPI Workshop Coordinator
It is widely recognized that comet, asteroid, and meteorite research is at a point in its history where sample return from a known geologic context is essential, and several past workshops have stressed the need for such missions. Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are also important as potential Earth impactors, targets for human exploration and development of space (HEDS), and
resources for space stations and colonies. Several developments in the last year or so mean that it is now technically feasible to fly NEA sample return missions. The NEAR Shoemaker mission
demonstrated the feasibility of orbiting and performing complex maneuvers near small asteroids. The Deep Space 1 mission validated solar electric propulsion and automatic navigation. Most
important, the explosion in the rate at which NEAs are being discovered means that targets of diverse spectral classification, including some that might be extinct comets, come within range of a multiple NEA sample return mission. The Japanese MUSES-C
mission, which will return samples from asteroid ML 1989, is scheduled for launch in 2002.
The meteorite, comet, and asteroid research communities all recognize the need for sample return from asteroids. Asteroids provide a unique opportunity to investigate primitive solar system materials, including presolar materials and potentially biogenic materials, and processes that occurred in the early solar system and subsequently. Both asteroid and comet nucleus sample return have been advocated in the NASA Space Science Strategic Plan and Roadmaps. A previous workshop was held at Milipitas, California, in 1989.
The purpose of this workshop is to bring together people of highly diverse backgrounds so they can identify the scientific issues best addressed by NEA sample return. Discussion could include recommendations on mission design that would ensure the highest scientific return. The workshop will also explore the role of asteroid sample return in HEDS, impact mitigation, and resource utilization.
The Near-Earth Asteroid Sample Return Workshop will have four goals: (1) to identify the major scientific issues that can be uniquely addressed by NEA sample return; (2) to identify the requirements and constraints this places on the design of such missions; (3) to explore the extent to which such requirements and constraints can be met by existing technologies and identify any necessary technology developments; and (4) to consider the role of NEA sample return missions in HEDS, Earth impact mitigation, and resource utilization.
These goals will be addressed in four theme sessions: Session 1, quot;The Scientific Case for Sample Return," will discuss the progress in asteroid, comet, and meteorite research possible through the analysis of NEA samples. Session 2, "Spacecraft Maneuvers in the Vicinity of Small asteroids," will concern the navigation and control requirements of sampling from the surface of small
asteroids. Session 3, "Sample Collection Devices, Sample Containment, and Planetary Protection Issues," will deal with options for collecting samples and storing them for return to Earth. Discussion may address issues of sampling procedures without contaminating the asteroid, without contaminating the samples during sampling, and returning the samples to Earth without cross contamination. Session 4, "Implications for Near-Earth Asteroid Sample Return for Resource Utilization, Impact Hazard Mitigation, and Human Exploration and Development of Space," will discuss possible wider implications of sample return to life on Earth and our exploration of space. Each session will consist of invited reviews, contributed talks, and poster
presentations. Summary sessions will be the basis for a short report and recommendations.
Contributions to Session 1 ("The Scientific Case for Sample Return") are solicited from asteroid, comet, and meteorite specialists interested in the compositional and physical
properties of small planetary bodies and their histories. Of special interest are contributions discussing the asteroids and comets as potential meteorite parent bodies, and the important scientific issues best addressed by sample return.
Contributions to Session 2 ("Spacecraft Maneuvers in the Vicinity of Small Asteroids") are solicited from experts in orbital dynamics and spacecraft control and navigation. Orbiting small irregular-shaped asteroids presents novel challenges, but many advances have been made in recent years.
Contributions to Session 3 ("Sample Collection Devices, Sample Containment, and Planetary Protection Issues") are invited from industrial and academic specialists with expertise in developing methods for collecting representative samples and storing them for return to Earth. Contributions are also invited from engineers and exobiologists who are experts in planetary protection, sample cross contamination, and contamination of the samples during collection and storage.
Contributions to Session 4 ("Implications for Near-Earth Asteroid Sample Return for Resource Utilization, Impact Hazard Mitigation, and Human Exploration and Development of Space") are invited from the community interested in HEDS, Earth impactors, and NEAs as a natural resources. Emphasis should be on the role of sample return missions in furthering the objectives of these areas of research.
Further details regarding abstract submission, the program, and logistics will be included in the second and final announcements. Indication of interest forms are due to LPI by July 30, 2000. You MUST return either the downloadable Indication of Interest form (PDF format) or complete the electronic Indication of Interest form in order to receive future announcements.
—————————————————————— SCHEDULE
July 30, 2000 Indication of Interest forms due
at LPI
August 11, 2000Second announcement mailed
September 25, HARD-COPY abstract submission
2000 deadline
October 2, 2000ELECTRONIC abstract submission
November 1, 2000Final announcement mailed
November 10,
2000 Preregistration deadline
December 11-13 Near-Earth Asteroid Sample
2000 Return Workshop