Abstract This paper presents an overview of space mission concepts for disrupting or pulverizing hazardous asteroids, especially with warning time shorter than approximately 10 years. An innovative mission concept, referred to as a nuclear hypervelocity asteroid intercept vehicle (HAIV) system, employs both a kinetic-energy impactor and nuclear explosive devices. A new mission concept of exploiting a multiple kinetic-energy impactor vehicle (MKIV) system that doesn’t employ nuclear explosives is proposed in this paper, especially for asteroids smaller than approximately 150 m in diameter. The multiple shock wave interaction effect on disrupting or pulverizing a small asteroid is discussed using hydrodynamic simulation results. A multi-target terminal guidance problem and a planetary defense mission design employing a heavy-lift launch vehicle are also brie y discussed in support of the new non-nuclear MKIV mission concept. The nuclear HAIV and non-nuclear MKIV systems complement to each other to effectively mitigate the various asteroid impact threats with short warning time.
Astrodynamics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2017