Image: Suitcase-sized asteroid explorer
A view of ESA's smallest future asteroid mission mapping its target body by laser.
The suitcase-sized ESA's Miniaturised Asteroid Remote Geophysical Observer, or M-Argo will use a multispectral camera and a laser altimeter to look for asteroid resources such as hydrated minerals that could be extracted in future. Other miniaturised payloads are also being considered.
Planned for launch in the 2023-25 timeframe, M-Argo would use its flat reflectarray antenna to return science data to Earth from up to 150 million km away.