Learn More
The ranging instrument aboard the Hayabusa spacecraft measured the surface topography of asteroid 25143 Itokawa and its mass. A typical rough area is similar in roughness to debris located on the interior wall of a large crater on asteroid 433 Eros, which suggests a surface structure on Itokawa similar to crater ejecta on Eros. The mass of Itokawa was(More)
High-resolution images of the surface of asteroid Itokawa from the Hayabusa mission reveal it to be covered with unconsolidated millimeter-sized and larger gravels. Locations and morphologic characteristics of this gravel indicate that Itokawa has experienced considerable vibrations, which have triggered global-scale granular processes in its dry, vacuum,(More)
During the interval from September through early December 2005, the Hayabusa spacecraft was in close proximity to near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa, and a variety of data were taken on its shape, mass, and surface topography as well as its mineralogic and elemental abundances. The asteroid's orthogonal axes are 535, 294, and 209 meters, the mass is 3.51 x(More)
Dynamical simulations of the coupled rotational and orbital dynamics of binary near-Earth asteroid 66391 (1999 KW4) suggest that it is excited as a result of perturbations from the Sun during perihelion passages. Excitation of the mutual orbit will stimulate complex fluctuations in the orbit and rotation of both components, inducing the attitude of the(More)
High-resolution radar images reveal near-Earth asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4 to be a binary system. The approximately 1.5-kilometer-diameter primary (Alpha) is an unconsolidated gravitational aggregate with a spin period approximately 2.8 hours, bulk density approximately 2 grams per cubic centimeter, porosity approximately 50%, and an oblate shape dominated by(More)
With overcrowding threatening the safety of Earth's orbital environment, methods for tracking and understanding the motions of objects in orbit have become very important. This paper details an estimation algorithm that incorporates optimal control for the purposes of Maneuver Detection and Reconstruction. In this context, maneuver refers to any unmodeled(More)
In this paper we present and review a number of fundamental constraints that exist on the propagation of orbit uncertainty and phase volume flows in astrodynamics. These constraints arise due to the Hamiltonian nature of spacecraft dynamics. First we review the role of integral invariants and their connection to orbit uncertainty, and show how they can be(More)
Radar and optical observations reveal that the continuous increase in the spin rate of near-Earth asteroid (54509) 2000 PH5 can be attributed to the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, a torque due to sunlight. The change in spin rate is in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions for the YORP acceleration of a body with the(More)