Halo Orbits, Comets, Asteroids, and More
Robert W. Farquhar
Foreword by Roger-Maurice Bonnet
An autobiographical account of one man's 50-year career in creating, selling, designing, and implementing deep-space missions. The book tells the story of how the author was able to achieve several important space "firsts" despite difficult technical, management, and programmatic hurdles. These firsts include the following:
* First libration-point mission, ISEE-3 (1978)
* First exploration of Earth's distant magnetotail, ISEE-3 (1983)
* First comet encounter, ICE (1985)
* First asteroid orbiter, NEAR Shoemaker (2000)
* First landing on an asteroid, NEAR Shoemaker (2001)
* First orbiter of Mercury, MESSENGER (2011)
First flyby of Pluto/Charon, New Horizons (2015)
At the beginning of his career, the author was motivated by a driving ambition to design and implement the first mission to a libration point. This aspiration resulted in the placement of the ISEE-3 spacecraft into a "halo orbit" around the Sun-Earth L1 libration point. By successfully demonstrating the utility and practicality of libration-point orbits, ISEE-3 prepared the way for a number of follow-on missions including SOHO, ACE, MAP, Genesis, Herschel/Planck, and JWST. The author's advocacy of libration-point staging for human missions to the Moon and beyond is also discussed.
The author also had a special interest in comets and asteroids. This interest led to several proposals for missions to these small bodies----some flown, others not. The NEAR Shoemaker mission to the asteroid Eros is described in some detail. Others mentioned include missions to Halley's comet, the ICE flyby of comet Giacobini-Zinner, a U.S.- Japanese proposal for a comet sample-return, the CONTOUR multi-comet flyby mission, and the Stardust-NExT flyby of comet Tempel-1.
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