2016.B.2.5. Anchoring Nanosatellites on Asteroids (ANA)


Marius Trusculescu (1)
Mugurel Balan (1)
Claudiu Dragasanu (1)
David Binns (2)
Dan Selaru (1)

  1. Institute of Space Science, Romania
  2. European Space Agency, Romania




anchoring, cubesat, asteroid, descent, Didymos


The paper presents the preliminary review of potential technologies to be used for anchoring devices for landing and attaching nanosatellites to asteroids at the end of low velocity descent manoeuvres. The study performed under an ESA contract addresses the case of CubeSats launched by the AIM spacecraft in the Didymos double asteroid system, but the conclusions are applicable to other low gravity bodies in the solar system (i.e. asteroids and comets). The rationale behind landing on the asteroid is presented, emphasizing the added value to the mission, but also the challenging aspects. Secondly the possible solutions are presented in terms of anchoring method and corresponding components. At the current stage, the devices proposed are not restricted to the limited available technology qualified for space, but they also include potential solutions with low current TRL. The paper finishes with the design restrictions of integrating the device on CubeSats, together with aspects related to the operations autonomy during SDL – Separation Descent and Landing.


  • Will be made available for download after the workshop

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