Detail of NEA
Included minor planets and comets.
NEO/NEA Near-Earth Asteroid
(10302) 1989 ML is an as yet unnamed near-Earth asteroid. It is approximately 0.6 km in diameter. An Amor asteroid, it orbits between Earth and Mars. It is an X-type asteroid, so its surface composition is yet unknown. It was discovered by Eleanor F. Helin and Jeff T. Alu at Palomar Observatory on June 29, 1989.
The delta-v (‘effort’) required to reach 1989 ML from a low-Earth orbit is only 4.8 km/s, ranking fifth (as of March 2007) amongst the near-Earth asteroids with well-established orbits. 1989 ML is thus particularly ‘easy’ (and ‘cheap’) to reach by spacecraft. 1989 ML was considered as a target of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa (then Muses-C) but had to be given up due to technical reasons. It was also considered by the European Space Agency as a candidate target for the Don Quijote mission to study the effects of impacting a spacecraft into an asteroid; however, they too changed to other targets.