[FPSPACE] Fwd: [lunar-update] Asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of December 2012

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Thu Dec 20 17:31:47 EST 2012



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-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Kellogg
Sent: 12/20/2012 7:52:52 PM
To: lunar-update at mailman1.altair.com
Subject: [lunar-update] Asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of December 2012
Asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of December 2012

Toutatis asteroid went by and China's Chang'E 2 photographed it but I didn't hear much fanfare.
There have been other asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft and hopefully the information obtained will be useful should we want to know how to change their orbits to avoid a collision with Earth or modify an orbit to capture one for space mining.  I hope we have some idea of their radiation history and what risks would be involved with sending humans  to one as I hear mumbles about doing so.
 - LRK -

Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society has put together aN asteroids-and-coments montage.
- LRK -

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http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2012/12181404-asteroids-comets-color-toutatis.html
My ever-popular asteroids-and-comets montage, now in color, with bonus Toutatis

Posted By Emily Lakdawalla<http://www.planetary.org/about/staff/emily-lakdawalla.html>
2012/12/18 04:26 CST

Topics: best of<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=best-of>, pretty pictures<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=pretty-pictures>, amateur image processing<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=amateur-image-processing>, scale comparisons<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=scale-comparisons>, asteroids<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroids>, comets<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=comets>, asteroid 21 Lutetia<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-21-lutetia>, asteroid 243 Ida and Dactyl<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-243-ida-and-dactyl>, asteroid 25143 Itokawa<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-25143-itokawa>, asteroid 253 Mathilde<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-253-mathilde>, asteroid 2867 Steins<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-2867-steins>, asteroid 4 Vesta<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-4-vesta>, asteroid 433 Eros<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-433-eros>, asteroid 951 Gaspra<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=asteroid-951-gaspra>, comet Borrelly<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=comet-borrelly>, comet Halley<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=comet-halley>, comet Hartley 2<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=comet-hartley-2>, comet Tempel 1<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=comet-tempel-1>,comet Wild 2<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=comet-wild-2>, Chang'E program<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=change-program>, Galileo<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=galileo>, comet Halley armada<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=comet-halley-armada>, Deep Space 1<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=deep-space-1>, NEAR<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=near>, Deep Impact<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=deep-impact>, Stardust<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=stardust>,Hayabusa (MUSES-C)<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=hayabusa-muses-c>, Rosetta and Philae<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=rosetta-and-philae>

My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2010/2780.html> on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis, which Chang'E 2 photographed last week<http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2012/12141551-change-2-imaging-of-toutatis.html>. When I first started working on a color version, it didn't seem to hang together very well as a composition, because the colors were all over the map. But when I hit upon the idea of trying to represent the bodies with correct relative brightness, it seemed to come together nicely. Vesta is not included because it dwarfs the others. (I'd have to increase the height and width of the montage by factors of three.)

[https://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/9-small-bodies/2012/20121218_asteroids_comets_sc_0-000-100_2012_color_brightened_f840.png]

Montage by Emily Lakdawalla. Data from NASA / JPL / JHUAPL / UMD / JAXA / ESA / OSIRIS team / Russian Academy of Sciences / China National Space Agency. Processed by Emily Lakdawalla, Daniel Machacek, Ted Stryk, Gordan Ugarkovic.

Asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft as of December 2012, in color, excepting Vesta
A montage of 16 of the 17 asteroids and comets that have been photographed up close as of December 2012, when Chang'E 2 flew past Toutatis. This version is in color and shows the bodies at their correct relative (though not absolute) albedo or brightness. Not included is Vesta, which would cover an area about three times the width and height of this montage.

snip
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Some information on spacecraft that have visited asteroids and coments.
- LRK -

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_asteroids_visited_by_spacecraft
List of asteroids visited by spacecraft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Comets_visited_by_spacecraft
Category:Comets visited by spacecraft

snip
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NASA images Touatis with ground radar.
- LRK -

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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Asteroid_Toutatis_Slowly_Tumbles_by_Earth_999.html
Asteroid Toutatis Slowly Tumbles by Earth
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 17, 2012


Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have generated a series of radar data images of a three-mile-long (4.8-kilometer) asteroid that made its closest approach to Earth on Dec. 12, 2012.

The images that make up the movie clip were generated with data taken on Dec. 12 and 13, 2012. On Dec. 12, the day of its closest approach to Earth, Toutatis was about 18 lunar distances, 4.3 million miles (6.9 million kilometers) from Earth. On Dec. 13, the asteroid was about 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers), or about 18.2 lunar distances.

The radar data images of asteroid Toutatis indicate that it is an elongated, irregularly shaped object with ridges and perhaps craters. Along with shape detail, scientists are also seeing some interesting bright glints that could be surface boulders.

Toutatis has a very slow, tumbling rotational state. The asteroid rotates about its long axis every 5.4 days and precesses (changes the orientation of its rotational axis) like a wobbling, badly thrown football, every 7.4 days.The orbit of Toutatis is well understood. The next time Toutatis will approach at least this close to Earth is in November of 2069, when the asteroid will safely fly by at about 7.7 lunar distances, or 1.8 million miles (3 million kilometers).

snip
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China's flyby of Toutatis with Chang'e-2 spacecraft.
- LRK -

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 http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Chinese_Spacecraft_Conducts_Successful_Encounter_Asteroid_Toutatis_999.html<http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Chinese_Spacecraft_Conducts_Successful_Encounter_Asteroid_Toutatis_999.html>
China Makes First Asteroid Fly By
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Dec 17, 2012
China's space probe Chang'e-2 has successfully conducted a maneuver in which it flew by the asteroid Toutatis, about seven million km away from the Earth.

Travelling in deep space, Chang'e-2 made the flyby on Dec. 13 at 16:30:09 Beijing Time (08:30"09 GMT), the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced on Saturday.

The flyby was the first time an unmanned spacecraft launched from Earth has taken such a close viewing of the asteroid, named after a Celtic god.

It also made China the fourth country after the United States, the European Union and Japan to be able to examine an asteroid by spacecraft.

Chang'e-2 came as close as 3.2 km from Toutatis and took pictures of the asteroid at a relative velocity of 10.73 km per second, the SASTIND said in a statement.

Sources with the administration told Xinhua that Chang'e-2 is continuing its deep space travel and will reach a distance of more than 10 million km away from Earth in January next year.

Chang'e-2 was launched on Oct. 1, 2010 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center and later orbited the moon to finish a more extensive probe than its predecessor Chang'e-1.

Chang'e-2 left its lunar orbit for an extended mission to the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point on June 9, 2011, after finishing its lunar objectives, which collected data for a complete lunar map.

The probe departed from L2 this year and began its mission to Toutatis.snip
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Post Cina . org
- LRK -

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http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-12/15/content_27424117.htm
You are here: Home > China > Nation
Chinese space probe flies by asteroid Toutatis
Xinhua, December 15, 2012

China's space probe Chang'e-2 has successfully conducted a maneuver in which it flew by the asteroid Toutatis, about seven million km away from the Earth.
[http://images.china.cn/attachement/jpg/site1007/20121215/00114321067a12366caa4c.jpg]
China's space probe Chang'e-2 has successfully conducted a maneuver in which it flew by the asteroid Toutatis, about seven million km away from the Earth. [Photo: Chinanews.com]


Travelling in deep space, Chang'e-2 made the flyby on Dec. 13 at 16:30:09 Beijing Time (08:30"09 GMT), the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced on Saturday.

The flyby was the first time an unmanned spacecraft launched from Earth has taken such a close viewing of the asteroid, named after a Celtic god.

It also made China the fourth country after the United States, the European Union and Japan to be able to examine an asteroid by spacecraft.

Chang'e-2 came as close as 3.2 km from Toutatis and took pictures of the asteroid at a relative velocity of 10.73 km per second, the SASTIND said in a statement.

snip
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You can reach these celestial bodies with conventional rockets.  Just be prepared to spend a few years en route.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_Mission

Thanks for looking with me.

- LRK -

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http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/12dec_toutatis/

Dec. 12, 2012: This week, NASA's Goldstone radar is tracking a large asteroid as it passes by Earth, and obtaining unusually clear images of the tumbling space rock.

"There is no danger of a collision with Earth," says Lance Benner of NASA's Near Earth Object Program. "At closest approach on Dec. 12th, asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be 7 million km away or 18 times farther than the Moon."

Asteroid Toutatis is well known to astronomers; it passes by Earth's orbit every 4 years. Measuring 4.5 km in length, it is one of the largest known potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), and its orbit is inclined less than half-a-degree from Earth's. No other kilometer-sized PHA moves around the Sun in an orbit so nearly coplanar with our own.  This makes it an important target for radar studies.

NASA's Goldstone radar in the Mojave Desert will be pinging the space rock every day from Dec. 4th through 22nd.  The echoes highlight the asteroid's topography and improve the precision with which researchers know the asteroid's orbit.

"We already know that Toutatis will not hit Earth for hundreds of years," says Benner.  "These new observations will allow us to predict the asteroid's trajectory even farther into the future."

Benner and colleagues are particularly excited about a new digital imaging system at Goldstone that could reveal never-before-seen details on the asteroid's surface. "Using the new system, we can now image the asteroid's surface with 2 to 5 times finer resolution than previous flybys," he says. "We may we see something new on Toutatis."

snip

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http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/hayabusa-returns/

Japanese Spacecraft Returns From Asteroid Sampling Mission

BY LISA GROSSMAN
06.14.10
11:55 AM

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa<http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/enterp/missions/hayabusa/index.shtml> returned from its seven-year trek to the asteroid Itokawa on Sunday, and a capsule that hopefully contains pieces of the asteroid was recovered in the Australian outback Monday morning. The mission was the first round trip to a planetary body beyond the moon, and - if the capsule isn't empty - the fourth space-sample return mission ever.

The capsule detached from the spacecraft at 7:51 pm Japanese time on June 13. The rest of the spacecraft burnt up in a dramatic, meteor-like blaze at 10:51 p.m., but a heat shield protected the capsule as it reentered the atmosphere. The capsule landed in the Australian Woomera Prohibited Area, 300 miles northwest of Adelaide, and was located around 11:56 p.m. It will be flown to Tokyo tomorrow, where scientists will open the capsule.

snip

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WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK -

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