GTOC 3 – Multiple Sample Return

This edition was organised by Lorenzo Casalino of the Turin Polytechnic Energetic Department. The problem statement was released to the community on the 12th November 2007.

In a nutshell

An asteroid sample return mission had to be designed to 3 out of 140 asteroids. Earth fly-bys were allowed. The objective function was the ratio between the final spacecraft mass and the total mission time plus a term rewarding longer stay times on the asteroids to increase the science return.

The Winners

Led by Regís Bertrand, the team from Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) won this edition with a trajectory employing four Earth fly-bys.


The first four best trajectories selected the same asteroid sequence and differed only by the location and number of extra Earth fly-bys.

The final objective function values of the best trajectories were extremely close.