NASA is preparing a mission to an asteroid


22/12/2010

Asteroid (or comet), the trajectory of which pass close to the Earth’s orbit, called Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Some asteroids are quite old, their age is age of the solar system that began about four and a half billion years ago, and should be, according to scientists, are rich in minerals protozoa. And it’s of great interest to scientists studying the young solar system. Other near-Earth objects, although not as abundant simple materials, by the scientists must contain minerals of potential economic importance. NASA thought about how to send a mission to the possibility of ground control on near-Earth objects for study and motivated is a national interest in the commercial value.

Selection of near-Earth object for a potential landing site includes at least two major considerations. First, find out whether asteroids are made of primitive materials or components of a different kind. It can be set to a certain type of surface through the sunlight reflected from the surface (the simplest materials usually become darker) and / or spectroscopy, which can identify minerals more accurately.

The second consideration involves selecting the near-Earth objects whose orbits can be achieved by a spacecraft with relative ease and energy efficiency as well as some of the near-Earth objects, even if they pass close to the earth, it is very difficult to access.

Astrounomy Joe Hoare (Joe Hora), Giovanni Fazio (Giovanni Fazio), Howard Smith, Howard Smith, and Tim Spahr (Tim Spahr), together with a group of colleagues used the capabilities of infrared cameras in the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes to determine the size and composition of the 700 near-Earth objects. In a series of three new research papers, the team describes their thermal model, and report on progress in the description of near-Earth objects (the smallest, according to data has a size of only 84


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