Marco Polo: A near Earth object sample return mission

Barucci, M. A.; Yoshikawa, M.; Michel, P.; Kawaguchi, J.; Yano, H.; Brucato, J. R.; Franchi, I. A.; Dotto, E.; Fulchignoni, M.; Ulamec, S.; Boehnhardt, H.; Coradini, M.; Green, S. F.; Josset, J.-L.; Koschny, D.; Muinonen, K.; Oberst, J. and Marco Polo, Science Team (2008). Marco Polo: A near Earth object sample return mission. In: 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 10-14 Mar 2008, League City, Texas, USA.

URL: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2008/pdf/sess...

Abstract

From Introduction:

MARCO POLO is a joint European-Japanese sample return mission to a Near-Earth Object. In late 2007 this mission was selected by ESA, in the framework of COSMIC VISION 2015-2025, for an assessment scheduled to last until mid 2009.

This Euro-Asian mission will go to a primitive Near-Earth Object (NEO), such as a C or D type asteroid. The spacecraft will rendezvous with the object, and over an extended period scientifically characterize it at multiple scales and bring samples back to Earth for detailed scientific investigation.

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