Sept 20, 2017
A fleet of tiny spacecraft will visit 300 asteroids in a potentially life-saving mission to understand how they behave, according to new research.
The fleet will include 50 spacecrafts propelled by innovative electric solar wind sails and would take pictures of the asteroids and collect data on their composition.
Earlier this year a leading astrophysicist warned the next asteroid strike could come at any moment as thousands of potentially threatening objects circle Earth – meaning such research could be a race against time.
The nanosatellites will record the overall size and shape of the asteroids as well as where they have craters or dust on the surface.
Each nanosat will have a 4cm (1.5 inch) long telescope that can image the surface of asteroids with a resolution of 100 metres (330 feet) or better and each will visit six or seven asteroids before returning to Earth to deliver data.
This article was posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 8:45 am