1999 AO10 is a sub-kilometer sized asteroid, classified as near-Earth object of the Aten group, approximately 50 meters in diameter. It was first observed on 13 January 1999, by the LINEAR project at Lincoln Laboratory's ETS near Socorro, New Mexico, United States.[3] The asteroid has been the target of a proposed mission.

1999 AO10
Discovered byLINEAR
Discovery siteLincoln Laboratory's ETS
Discovery date13 January 1999
(first observation only)
1999 AO10
NEO · Aten[1]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 6
Observation arc33 days
Aphelion1.0125 AU
Perihelion0.8103 AU
0.9114 AU
0.87 yr (318 days)
1° 7m 57.72s / day
Earth MOID0.0220 AU · 8.6 LD
Physical characteristics
Dimensions0.05 km (est. at 0.20[2]


1999 AO10 orbits the Sun at a distance of 0.8–1.0 AU once every 10 months (318 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.11 and an inclination of 3° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The initial orbital elements were determined based on 16 observations made between January 13–15, 1999.[4]

The asteroid has an Earth minimum orbital intersection distance of 0.0220 AU (3,290,000 km), which translates into 8.6 lunar distances.[1]

Crewed missionEdit

NASA has proposed a crewed mission to the object during 2025 or later. 1999 AO10 is one of a handful of objects within the acceptable range for the mission and is also one of the largest objects that meets the qualifications. In this proposal, a pair of docked Orion spacecraft would spend 14 days at the object, for a total mission time of 155 days. The astronauts would return samples and help test spacefaring capabilities for a future Mars mission. The crewed mission would be preceded by an unmanned probe to be sent in 2019 at the earliest.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (1999 AO10)" (1999-02-15 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Asteroid Size Estimator". CNEOS/JPL. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  3. ^ "1999 AO10". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  4. ^ Tichy, M.; Sicoli, P.; Testa, A.; Blythe, M.; Shelly, F.; Bezpalko, M.; et al. (January 1999). "1999 AO10". Minor Planet Electronic Circ. 1999-B04 (1999-B04 (1999). (MPEC Homepage)). Bibcode:1999MPEC....B...04T. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  5. ^ "NASA's Flexible Path evaluation of 2025 human mission to visit an asteroid". 10 January 2010.

External linksEdit