Safety & Security

MASCOT-2 facts and figures

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ESA / Safety & Security / Hera
  Primary objectives
P1 To provide data on the surface mechanical properties in at least one location (goal is three locations). The surface compressive strength shall be determined to within a factor of 3 below a threshold of 50 MPa.
P2 To support the investigation of Didymoon's internal structure using the bistatic Low-Frequency Radar (LFR). Operation of the LFR will be carried out during full asteroid rotations, with the geometry changing between MASCOT-2 facing AIM and MASCOT-2 and AIM being on opposite sides of Didymoon.
P3 To conduct the Moonlet Engineering eXperiment (MEX): landing of MASCOT-2 on the asteroid surface with a touchdown velocity not exceeding Vesc/e, where Vesc is the local escape velocity and e is the maximum coefficient of restitution, whereby the descent and bouncing times do not exceed battery lifetime.
  Secondary objectives
S1 To provide data on the surface topology and structure on the scale of 0.01 m to 10 m.
S2 During its ballistic descent AIM will track MASCOT-2 for back-up mass determination to better than 10% (goal 1%).
S3 To provide ground-based albedo measurements and thermal emission of the surface in at least one location (goal is three locations). The visual geometric albedo will be determined to ±5% (goal ±1%) in the field of view of a potential camera on MASCOT-2.
S4 Thermal emission measurements to determine local thermal inertia to ±10%.
S5 To measure Didymoon's local chemical and mineralogical properties at the landing site.
S6 To support investigation of Didymain's internal structure with the bistatic LFR.

To achieve these goals MASCOT-2 will need a sufficient operational lifetime and a landing site allowing regular alteration between good measurement geometry (AIM on the opposite side of Didymoon) and good geometry for receiving commands (MASCOT-2 in the line of visibility of AIM).

Ideally the location of MASCOT-2 on the surface would be determined with a precision of 3 m (goal 1 m). Once resting on the surface the illumination conditions will alternate between sun and shadow at regular intervals to guarantee both power and thermal conditioning. The operative lifetime once deployed will be at least three months.