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View Full Version : Terrestrial material on co-orbital ("second moon") asteroids ?



marsbug
2009-Jan-31, 06:24 PM
One scientific goal of a return to the moon is collecting pristine meteorites, in particular those knocked off earth by major impacts. There are a number of asteroids that follow earths orbit closely, and lurk in the vicinity of earth from time to time. Has anyone ever looked at the possibility that some of these may be either home to material ejected from earth, or or fragments of earth itself? I assume that as material ejected from an impact spreads out along earths orbit there's at least a chance that some of it could strike a co-orbiting asteroid like 3753 Cruithne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3753_Cruithne)? As these objects will have a much lower escape velocity than the moon a sample return mission to one of these would be much easier to pull off. Not that the moon is impossible to get away from but the fuel needed would be much less. Or does the moon being a true sattelite of earth give it an advantage, energy to get there and back-wise?

Another idea for lunar science is to establish a radio telescope on the lunar dark side. Could one of the co-orbitals be used for the same thing?