Wild Apophis asteroid spacecraft concept would loft tiny, laser-driven probes for 2029 flyby

Wild Apophis asteroid spacecraft concept would loft tiny, laser-driven probes for 2029 flyby

An early-stage mission concept could see laser-driven light-sail probes visit a notorious asteroid.

The space rock Apophis, which poses no threat to Earth whatsoever for at least 100 years, will make a harmless but very close flyby of our Earth in 2029. Scientists have already figured out a way to visit Apophis after the flyby:  NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will visit the asteroid after dropping off samples from another space rock at Earth, the agency decided in April.


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