Talk Series: Missions to Interstellar Objects - An i4is Initiative
Date: 3rd November 2020
Time: 8pm UTC (London time)
Presenter: Marshall Eubanks
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The recent discovery of the first high velocity hyperbolic objects passing through the Solar System, 1I/'Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov, shows the potential for near term missions to nearby Interstellar Objects. In situ spacecraft exploration of these objects will allow the direct determination of both their structure and their chemical and isotopic composition, enabling an entirely new means of studying small bodies from outside our solar system.
Marshall Eubanks will describe the i4is coordinated work in providing designs for a series of flyby, rendezvous and sample return missions to interstellar objects, showing the various ways to explore these bodies with existing technology characterizing their surface, dynamics, structure and composition. Interstellar objects likely formed very far from the solar system in both time and space; their direct exploration will constrain their formation and history, placing them within the dynamical and chemical evolution of the Galaxy.
About the speaker
A graduate student under Professor Irwin Shapiro at M.I.T., Marshall Eubanks was the technical lead of Very Long Baseline Interferometry programs at both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. Naval Observatory, creating measurement systems essential for navigation of spacecraft and the operation of the Global Positioning System satellites. In 2018, he co-founded Space Initiatives Inc and is currently Chief Scientist there, where he has been working on low cost communication, positioning and instrumental arrays on the Moon, and also on the problems of exploring Interstellar Objects passing through the Solar System.
Recognitions include having an asteroid, (6696) Eubanks, named in his honor, and winning the U.S. Naval Observatory's Newcomb Medal.
About the series
The i4is Education Team are running a series of online talks for i4is members. The talks are based on the various modules we have provided for the ISU recently. The main reason for holding these talks is to give the i4is members another benefit for their support. We also see this talk series as being beneficial to our i4is colleagues and research collaborators by giving them the opportunity to present to an interested group, topics that intrigue them. We hope that you will join us.