Gravitational tractor for towing asteroids

@article{Lu2005GravitationalTF,
  title={Gravitational tractor for towing asteroids},
  author={Ed Lu and Stanley Glen Love},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2005},
  volume={438},
  pages={177-178}
}
  • E. Lu, S. Love
  • Published 20 September 2005
  • Physics, Medicine
  • Nature
We present a design concept for a spacecraft that can controllably alter the trajectory of an Earth-threatening asteroid by using gravity as a towline. The spacecraft hovers near the asteroid, with its thrusters angled outwards so that the exhaust does not impinge on the surface. This proposed deflection method is insensitive to the structure, surface properties and rotation state of the asteroid. 

Figures from this paper

Solar Reflector Gravity Tractor for Asteroid Collision Avoidance
I propose a Solar Reflector Gravity Tractor spacecraft large enough to deflect the impact trajectory of an Earth-bound asteroid by several thousand kilometers, sufficient to prevent a collision. Both
Ion Beam Shepherd for Asteroid Deflection
We present a novel concept to impart a continuous thrust to an Earth threatening asteroid from a hovering spacecraft without need for physical attachment nor gravitational interaction with the
Towing Asteroids with Gravity Tractors Enhanced by Tethers and Solar Sails
Material collected from an asteroid's surface can be used to increase gravitational attraction between the asteroid and a Gravity Tractor (GT); the spacecraft therefore operates more effectively and
Asteroid deflection using a spacecraft in restricted keplerian motion
Abstract A method for asteroid deflection that makes use of a spacecraft moving back and forth on a segment of a Keplerian orbit about the asteroid is described and studied. It is shown that on
Dynamical parameters of spacecraft motion near small celestial body
The paper considers how a spacecraft can be put into orbit around a small asteroid to function as its artificial moon. We study the general behavior of perturbations that affect the current
Cosmic Engineering: Moving Asteroids
This paper presents methods of orbit transfer for small planetoids from the main belt to the future colonies on Mars using current technologies. The results show that by using nuclear weapon or
Highly Effective Kinetic Impact Design for Asteroid Deflection Missions Exploiting Impact-Geometry Maps
The kinetic impactor, which is a spacecraft that impacts against an Earth-threatening asteroid, is one of the potential methods for deflecting an asteroid from the Earth collision route. To improve...
Mission Concepts and Operations for Asteroid Mitigation Involving Multiple Gravity Tractors
The gravity tractor concept is a proposed method to deflect an imminent asteroid impact through gravitational tugging over a time scale of years. In this study, we present mission scenarios and
Nuclear cycler : an incremental approach to the deflection of asteroids
This paper introduces a novel deflection approach based on nuclear explosions: the nuclear cycler. The idea is to combine the effectiveness of nuclear explosions with the controllability and
ELECTROSTATIC TRACTOR FOR NEAR EARTH OBJECT DEFLECTION
This paper contains a preliminary analysis on the possibility of changing the orbit of an asteroid by means of what is here defined as an “Electrostatic Tractor”. The Electrostatic Tractor is a
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-8 OF 8 REFERENCES
The Mechanics of Moving Asteroids
The fundamental problem for all asteroid mitigation concepts is how to best alter the trajectory of the hazardous body. This is a non-trivial issue and brings together many different aspects of
Deflecting NEOs in Route of Collision with the Earth
Abstract We consider a small sample of known near Earth objects (NEOs), both asteroids and comets, with low minimum orbital intersection distance (MOID). Through a simple numerical procedure we
The hazard of near-Earth asteroid impacts on earth
Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have struck the Earth throughout its existence. During epochs when life was gaining a foothold f4 Ga, the impact rate was thousands of times what it is today. Even during
Spectrometric identification of organic compounds
Presents a sequence of procedures for identifying an unknown organic liquid using mass, NMR, IR, and UV spectroscopy, along with specific examples of unknowns and their spectra,
Earth Impactors: Orbital Characteristics and Warning Times, Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids, editors Belton, M.J.S
  • 2004
Deflecting Near Earth Objects (NEO) In Route of Collisions with the Earth
  • Icarus 159,
  • 2002