Meeting Information

Asteroids: Stepping Stones to the Future of Space Exploration

September 28, 2022

Date: September 28, 2022
Speaker: Michael C.F. Bazzocchi, Ph.D., P.Eng., Astronautics and Robotics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Clarkson University
Title: Asteroids: Stepping Stones to the Future of Space Exploration
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada); Zoom session starts at 12:00 p.m.

Abstract: Benefiting from the riches of an asteroid was a concept found only in science fiction up until recently. Now, asteroid mining is a mission not too far in the future. With the growth of private space companies and deep space missions, innovation is once again necessary to provide the foundations and resources required for the next era of space exploration. The prospect of extracting resources from asteroids not only provides opportunities for profit, but also opens the doors to new advancements in space exploration and accelerates future space development. This seminar focuses on novel theories, practices and technologies that facilitate in-situ resource utilization of near-Earth asteroids. It will begin by presenting an overview of the emerging field of asteroid engineering, and then delve into specific topics related to asteroid redirection. In particular, this seminar considers the methods for controlling the attitude and orbit of asteroids, the design and optimization of transfer trajectories, and the application of spacecraft formation strategies. Related areas that naturally extend from this research, such as space robotics, space debris removal, as well as mission and systems design will also be discussed. Through systematically completing work in areas from redirection methods to controlled multi-spacecraft transfers, this research sets the groundwork for future researchers, corporations, and government agencies to seize the opportunities provided by asteroid resources.

Biography: Dr. Michael C.F. Bazzocchi is an Assistant Professor at Clarkson University and Director of the Astronautics and Robotics Laboratory (ASTRO Lab). Previously, Dr. Bazzocchi held positions at the University of Toronto (Canada) in Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics, the Toronto Institute of Advanced Manufacturing, and the Institute for Aerospace Studies. He was a researcher in Onboard Space Systems at Luleå University of Technology (Sweden). Dr. Bazzocchi also worked for the RHEA Group as a spacecraft concurrent design engineer on the Canadian Space Agency satCODE (satellite concurrent design) project. Dr. Bazzocchi’s research interests can be broadly categorized into the fields of astronautics and robotics. Within the realm of astronautics, Dr. Bazzocchi has expertise in the areas of asteroid science and engineering, orbital dynamics and control, mission and systems design, as well as satellites, spacecraft formations, and space debris. He has research interests within several application areas of robotics, including space, terrestrial, industrial, and personal and assistive robotics. Dr. Bazzocchi is also exploring applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop innovative solutions to research challenges in these areas.

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