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NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts

Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Project Image   Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies

The goal of this effort is to develop a mission architecture that allows the systematic and affordable in-situ exploration of small Solar System bodies, such as asteroids, comets, and Martian moons. Our architecture relies on the novel concept of spacecraft/rover hybrids, which are surface mobility platforms capable of achieving large surface coverage (by attitude-controlled hops, akin to spacecraft flight), fine mobility (by tumbling), and coarse instrument pointing (by changing orientation relative to the ground) in the low-gravity environments (micro-g to milli-g) of small bodies.

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