|Mission type||Asteroid flyby|
|Launch mass||≈ 182 kg (401 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||Proposed: 2022|
|Flyby of 2 Pallas|
If Athena is funded, it would share the launch vehicle with the Psyche spacecraft and fly its own trajectory for a Mars gravity assist to slingshot into the asteroid belt. It would take about two years to reach Pallas. The mission's Principal Investigator is Joseph O'Rourke, at Arizona State University.
The science goals and objectives include: 
- to determine how differentiation varies on bodies with large proportions of ices and how they and evolved over time.
- to determine how the current population of asteroids evolved in time and space.
- to understand the role of water in the evolution of Pallas.
- to constrain the dynamical evolution of Pallas and asteroids in the Pallas impact family.
Athena would conduct visible imaging of the geology of Pallas with a miniature color (RGB) camera. Also, a radio science experiment would use continuous antenna pointing to Earth for two-way Doppler tracking to enable the determination of the mass of Pallas with a precision of <0.05%.
- Dorminey, Bruce (10 March 2019). "Proposed NASA SmallSat Mission Could Be First To Visit Pallas, Our Third Largest Asteroid". Forbes. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- Athena: the first-ever encounter of (2) Pallas with a Smallsat. J. G. O'Rourke, J. Castillo-Rogez, L. T. Elkins-Tanton, R. R. Fu, T. N. Harrison, S. Marchi, R. Park, B. E. Schmidt, D. A. Williams, C. C. Seybold, R. N. Schindhelm, J. D. Weinberg. 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019 (LPI Contrib. No. 2132).
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