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Solar Sail Application to Comet Nucleus Sample Return

By Taylor, Travis S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004302847
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2003

Title: Solar Sail Application to Comet Nucleus Sample Return  
Author: Taylor, Travis S.
Volume: Report-Number: astro-ph/0307215v1
Language: English
Subject: Accretion Disks, Data Processing, Black Body Radiation
Collections: Government Library Collection, Government Library Collection
Publication Date:


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S, T. T. (2003). Solar Sail Application to Comet Nucleus Sample Return. Retrieved from

Description: Many comets have perihelions at distances within 1.0 Astronomical Unit (AU) from the sun. These comets typically are inclined out of the ecliptic. We propose that a solar sail spacecraft could be used to increase the inclination of the orbit to match that of these 1.0 AU comets. The solar sail spacecraft would match the orbit velocity for a short period of time, which would be long enough for a container to be injected into the comet's nucleus. The container would be extended from a long durable tether so that the solar sail would not be required to enter into the potentially degrading environment of the comet s atmosphere. Once the container has been filled with sample material, the tether is retracted. The solar sail would then lower its inclination and fly back to Earth for the sample return. In this paper, we describe the selection of cometary targets, the mission design, and the solar sailcraft design suitable for sail-comet rendezvous as well as possible rendezvous scenarios.; CASI; Nasa Publication Center: Marshall Space Flight Center; Unclassified; Copyright (Distribution as joint owner in the copyright) ; Unlimited; Publicly available;; Report-Number: astro-ph/0307215v1


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