L4 Opportunity

https://www.space.com/earth-extra-moon-trojan-asteroid-2020-xl5-discovery

An Asteroid 1.2 km across has been discovered at the Earth Sun L4 region. This is the second asteroid discovered in one of the Lagrange volumes of the Earth Sun with the other one about a third of that size. It is suggested that it is possible that there are more, quantity unknown, bodies in those regions. They are very hard to locate from Earth due to the distance and sun angle so actual number, makeup, and size in each L region is mostly speculation.

I think it might be possible that this is an ideal target for in situ resource utilization. The advances in cubesat capabilities open many new possibilities. A lander could test out a number of resource extraction techniques for immediate use. Regolith shielding? Steam rocket with whatever volatiles are located? Sintered structure in vacuum and low gravity? Low tech metal extrusion for structural components? Low tech film Solar sails?

The purpose would be to use it as a base to locate other materials in the region with a relatively small scope. And go visit them if found using local resources. Prospecting and exploring and evaluating. If there does turn out to be a large number of bodies in the L4 region, DeltaV per visit should be very low. This one is a C type, dark and carbon. There might just be enough variation in different bodies in the area to make it a resource rich destination.

How simple and cheap could a probe be and still investigate the possibilities??

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johnhare

johnhare

I do construction for a living and aerospace as an occasional hobby. I am an inventor and a bit of an entrepreneur. I've been self employed since the 1980s and working in concrete since the 1970s. When I grow up, I want to work with rockets and spacecraft. I did a stupid rocket trick a few decades back and decided not to try another hot fire without adult supervision. Haven't located much of that as we are all big kids when working with our passions.
johnhare

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johnhare

About johnhare

I do construction for a living and aerospace as an occasional hobby. I am an inventor and a bit of an entrepreneur. I've been self employed since the 1980s and working in concrete since the 1970s. When I grow up, I want to work with rockets and spacecraft. I did a stupid rocket trick a few decades back and decided not to try another hot fire without adult supervision. Haven't located much of that as we are all big kids when working with our passions.
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5 Responses to L4 Opportunity

  1. gbaikie says:

    I heard it’s low delta-v and pretty high delta-v {it seems it should low delta-v}.
    I wondering if look at it, on the way to Mars??

  2. johnhare John+hare says:

    The trajectory of a Mars mission is not good for surveying L4. The idea is to send a lander to prospect and look for other bodies in the region for an extended period of time. Then visit some of them using in situ resources if possible. A fairly small scope over a long timeframe could do a detailed survey of its local region to determine what is there and if it’s worth investigating.

  3. gbaikie says:

    According to
    http://clowder.net/hop/railroad/EMa.htm
    Next Earth to Mars launch window is 2022 AD 8th month and 7th day
    And on launch time 2020 XL5 appears further away than Mars
    And one month after launch it seems Mars also look like it’s closer
    {about twice as close}
    Next launch Earth Mars is 2024 AD and 9th month and day 26
    And using: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sb/orbits.html
    And going to putting in 2020 XL5 it goes here https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/tools/sbdb_lookup.html#/?sstr=2020%20XL5
    And move up Orbit Viewer to sept 26 2024
    And it seems 2020 XL5 is little further than if looking at Mars on sept 26
    and one month later, from spacecraft, one would closer to than from Earth
    and 2 months closer and below spacecraft and appear closer than Mars does.
    Still I guess about 50 million km away but maybe 1/2 distance as seen from Earth
    and with ground base, you have look the sky at low angle and therefore look say
    twice of Earth atmosphere to see.
    Using telescope in space probably better any camera of Mars spacecraft, but why test spacecraft camera at it?
    Plus get picture from above it

  4. jeff says:

    A bunch of good ideas in this post. Hopefully some will be implemented sooner rather than later.

  5. johnhare johnhare says:

    gbaikie,

    Sorry I missed your latest comment in spam until a few minutes ago.

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