Author Topic: Athena flyby mission to Pallas (a.k.a. Psyche "piggyback ride")  (Read 334 times)

Offline K-P

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There's no separate thread for this (?), so I will start one.

So, this is a proposed flyby mission to Pallas.
And it seems that it could be done fast & cheap when flying with Psyche and using Mars gravity assist.
Luckily also the location of Pallas in its very inclined orbit by that time is such, that it is making this mission possible.

I am very excited about this mission concept, let's hope it will become a real mission and it will get the chance to fly. Especially because Pallas is the last "major" object unexplored in the inner Solar System and this flyby would be just the sort of exploration these new concepts of using smallsats are making now possible, also with less money & resources.

One of the recent news links:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucedorminey/2019/03/10/proposed-nasa-smallsat-mission-could-be-first-to-visit-pallas-our-third-largest-asteroid/#69d479ac1342

This is exactly one clever way exploration should be done in parallel with ambitious flagship missions.
Athene, Trident, MHS... Let's hope we will see some more of this in the future.

Offline vjkane

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Here is a link to the LPSC 2019 abstract

http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2019/pdf/2225.pdf