Accessibility of the resources of near Earth space using multi-impulse transfers

J.P. Sanchez, Colin R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


Most future concepts for exploration and exploitation of space require a large initial mass in low Earth orbit. Delivering this mass requires overcoming Earth's natural gravity well, which imposes a distinct obstacle to space-faring. An alternative for future space progress is to search for resources in-situ among the near Earth asteroid population. This paper examines the scenario of future utilization of asteroid resources. The near Earth asteroid resources that could be transferred to a bound Earth orbit are determined by integrating the probability of finding asteroids inside the Keplerian orbital element space of the set of transfers with an specific energy smaller than a given threshold. Transfers are defined by a series of impulsive maneuvers and computed using the patched-conic approximation. The results show that even moderately low energy transfers enable access to a large mass of resources.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2010
Event2010 AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 2 Aug 20105 Aug 2010


Conference2010 AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
CityToronto, Canada


  • near Earth asteroid resources
  • multi-impulse transfers
  • near Earth space
  • Keplerian orbit


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