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Fast development of kinetic impactor for short-warning asteroid deflection

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Fast development of kinetic impactor for short-warning asteroid deflection

The study demonstrates that in an emergency situation, with only a very short warning time, the launch of a fast asteroid kinetic deflection mission is feasible (targeting launch-readiness in six months!), given that certain identified pre-requisites have been prepared well in advance. The capabilities and requirements of 'hijacking' and modifying a commercial spacecraft platform in order to perform asteroid kinetic deflection in the shortest possible time were consequently assessed. A viable preliminary design solution was proposed compliant to several enveloping mission profiles, advanced GNC subsystem design iterations and performance demonstrations were accomplished and critical technology developments / long-lead items were identified within the provided development and implementation plan. Most importantly the NAC suite development must be named in this context. With reference to the provided development schedule it was recommended to initiate such developments as soon as possible and at least in parallel to a FastKD Phase A study.

Executive summary