Anchoring a lander on an asteroid using foam stabilization

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$124,998.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX13CC69P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
124731
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
S4.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
NM, Albuquerque, NM, 87111-8346
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
859106296
Principal Investigator:
Jan-Michael Gosau
Enviro/Engr Projects Mgr
(505) 346-1688
jgosau@adherent-tech.com
Business Contact:
Susan Switzer
Business Official
(505) 346-1685
adherenttech@comcast.net
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
NASA has proposed several missions to land a craft on an asteroid and potentially to return samples from it. While large asteroids in the asteroid belt can exhibit a significant amount of gravity, most near-earth asteroids are small and show a surface gravity of less than 0.1% of earth. Landing, and staying on the surface of such a small object is a challenge, especially for manned missions. Just the movement of an astronaut in and out of the lander during excursions would most likely dislodge the vehicle. Similarly, drilling for a sample return mission requires the ability to exert force onto the surface without pushing the lander off the surface. A solid anchoring system is required, but made difficult due to the potentially rubble-like consistency of small asteroids, which makes classic mechanical anchoring difficult.Adherent Technologies, Inc. (ATI) has developed innovative materials for space use for over a decade. These include inflatable structures, self-sealing membranes, coatings for satellites and solar sails, and vacuum-deployable foams. The proposed program will combine these technologies to produce an anchoring system that deploys either a sticky screen that can attach to a solid rock formation or a foam injection anchor that can bind a large amount of rubble as an anchoring point. The system is modular, and a decision which anchoring method to use only needs to be made on location.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites


SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government