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NEA-Scout [NASA]

NEA-Scout (Near Earth Asteroid Scout) is a cubesat mission by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to perform a slow flyby and rendezvous maneuver with a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) and characterize it in a way that is relevant to human exploration.

This mission is based on the JPL Deep Space NanoSat 6U cubesat Bus and features an 80 m2 solar sail. The payload will consist of a COTS 4-band spectrometer.

NEA-Scout will perform several lunar fly-bys before beginning the cruise phase to the asteroid. The maximun earth distance will be about ~0.35 AU and the solar distance will be about ~0.9-1.1 AU. NEA-Scout is to perform at least one close, slow flyby (<10 m/s).

The current target for the mission is asteroid 2020 GE, which has a size of only 18 meters, but this may change depending on launch date or other factors.

NEA-Scout is one of 10 cubesats carried with the Artemis 1 (Orion CM-002) mission into a heliocentric orbit in cis-lunar space on the maiden flight of the SLS (Block 1) iCPS launch vehicle in November 2022. No signals were received after deployment.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Asteroid fly-by
Operator: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Contractors: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Configuration: CubeSat (6U)
Propulsion: Solar sail
Power: 4 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 2.5 years
Mass: ~12 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
NEA-Scout 2022-156H 16.11.2022 CCK LC-39B SLS (Block 1) iCPS with Artemis 1 (Orion CM-002), BioSentinel, CuSP, LunaH-Map, Lunar-IceCube, LunIR, EQUULEUS, OMOTENASHI, ArgoMoon, Miles

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