Kinetic penetrators for exploration of solar system bodies

Gowen, R. A.; Smith, A.; Griffiths, A.; Coates, A.; Ball, A.; Sheridan, S.; Crawford, I.; Church, P.; Wells, N.; Barber, S.; Hagermann, A.; Gao, Y.; Phipps, A.; Talboys, D. and Pike, W. T. (2007). Kinetic penetrators for exploration of solar system bodies. In: IPPW5, 23-29 Jun 2007, Bordeaux, France.



We report on the potential usefulness of kinetic penetrators for the exploration of various types of Solar
System bodies, including planets their satellites, and near Earth objects. We consider their potential scientific return, resource requirements and costs compared with soft landers, and outline their heritage and current state of development. Following the recent round of proposals for the European Space Agency Cosmic Visions, penetrators have been put forward for three missions: the Moon, Europa and Titan. Each situation involves a number of unique challenges which will be addressed in the presentation. The paper also includes technology roadmaps for various penetrator science instruments and key penetrator technologies (such as batteries and radioisotope heating units).

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