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Nanosat fleet proposed for voyage to 300 asteroids

19 Sep 2017, 05:00 UTC
Nanosat fleet proposed for voyage to 300 asteroids FMI

A fleet of tiny spacecraft could visit over 300 asteroids in just over three years, according to a mission study led by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet concept comprises 50 spacecraft propelled by innovative electric solar wind sails (E-sails) and equipped with instruments to take images and collect spectroscopic data on the composition of the asteroids. Each nanosat would visit six or seven asteroids before returning to Earth to deliver the data. The concept will be presented by Dr Pekka Janhunen at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2017 in Riga on Tuesday 19th September.

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