“Draw Your Space” contest Winners

Congrats DYS

Our NEOShield-2 jury had a hard time ranking the entries, but we finally have our winners!


“Visuals” category:

  • 1st place: Mattias Palsson
  • 2nd place: Katja Lindblom

“Texts” category:

  • 1st place: Alex Carlton
  • 2nd place: Joseph Heatter
  • 3rd place: Veerendra Sutar

Congratulations to all of you! The entries will soon be available on our website.


NEOShield-2 Reference Mission for the Sample Return Scenario


NEOShield-2 Reference Mission Sample Return Scenario

Derived shape model of 1996 FG3 shown from four view angles, i.e., north pole (top left), south pole (bottom left), equator (top right and bottom right), respectively. Yu et al. (2014).


In the frame of the NEOShield-2 H2020 Project, the definition of the Reference Mission for the Sample Return Scenario represented an important step for supporting the following development activities on GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control) and Sampling technologies.

This activity started by performing a thorough review of the surface properties of potential NEO candidates, identifying the main sample parameters that have to be considered as interesting for sampling and the type of investigations that can be performed in situ and in the advanced laboratories on Earth. The main outcome of this review was the selection of a short list of reference NEO targets, with the binary C‐type NEA (175706) 1996 FG3 chosen as baseline target for this mission.

In parallel, Sample Return Missions already performed and under investigation have been reviewed to identify the use of common strategies and to understand the faced/expected challenges in sampling a low gravity body. These missions have been then subdivided in in specific groups: Hover and Go missions, Touch and Go missions, and Static Landing mission.

The implications relevant to each of the mentioned groups have been discussed with the aim of highlighting the advantages and criticalities. Therefore, a trade-off has been carried out to select which type of mission is the most suitable for the target and for meeting a set of criteria relevant to science, mission and technology aspects. The preliminary selection focused on a static landing mission, which despite its complexity is expected to provide higher probability to meet the science requirements.


By Emanuele Monchieri from Airbus Defence and Space, with the contribution of Matteo Suatoni and Marco di Domenico from GMV, and Davide Perna and Antonella Barucci from OBSPM.


NEOShield-2 / La Silla Adventures #3

Our NEOShield-2 expert, Davide Perna was in Chile to study the physical properties of small near-Earth asteroids. His trip is now coming to an end and we are looking forward to see the result of his observations at the La Silla observatory!

La Silla Observatory

Last day in the beautiful mountains surrounding La Silla Observatory

Right now I’m still in the telescope control room, the observing night will end in about one hour (though we just had to close the dome due to the too strong wind… I’m not sure if we will be able to restart before the twilight…)

Then I will have a few hours of sleep, before moving back to Santiago, where I should arrive in the evening.
However I will take a few days of vacation here in Chile and will fly back to Paris next Sunday. 🙂



Click on the links below to read the entire story!


NEOShield-2 / La Silla Adventures #2

Our NEOShield-2 expert, Davide Perna is currently in Chile to study the physical properties of small near-Earth asteroids. Follow his adventures and discoveries at the La Silla observatory!

La Silla observatory


































… and the first observing night went well! Unfortunately the sky was not that good, as I had to observe through some thin clouds during the whole night (but at least I could take some nice pictures at the sunset!). This obliged me to use exposure times longer than foreseen, but I could still acquire the spectra of 10 small near-Earth asteroids whose physical properties are still basically unknown. Once I will be back in Paris I will start to analyse this bunch of data to “grasp” the nature of these asteroids. Right now I’m in the telescope control room ready for our second and last night of this observing run (see the picture and add nice music in the air to have an idea of the atmosphere here)… I will let you know how it goes!

🙂 Ciao!

La Silla observatory