Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
De Luise F., Dotto E., Fornasier S., Lazzarin M., Perna D., Perozzi E., Rossi A., Valsecchi G. B. Study for potential candidates for a sample return spase mission to a near earth object. In: Memorie della SocietÓ Astronomica Italiana, vol. 78 (4) pp. 604 - 607. LI Congresso Nazionale della SocietÓ Astronomica Italiana. SocietÓ Astronomica Italiana, 2007.
Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), namely asteroids and comets orbiting close to the Earth, are widely believed to be the remnants - or fragments - of planetesimals that accreted into the planets. Since they are supposed to come from different regions of the Solar System, they represent an optimal sample to investigate the thermal and physical processes that took place during the first evolutionary phases of the Solar System, and to investigate the initial structure of the Solar Nebula. Moreover, they are one of the principal sources of meteorites, and represent a threat for human being. Due to their scientific interest and their dynamical properties, NEOs are interesting and accessible targets for space missions. Because of that, in the last years, several national and international Space Agencies have promoted assess- ment studies of a mission to a NEO, and a sample return mission to a primitive object has been promoted by ESA in the framework of the Cosmic Vision programme.
Subject Minor planets
Near Earth Objects
Space mission
J.2 Physical Sciences and Engineering

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