Christmas Eve Flyby – Asteroid 2003 SD220

Dec 18
The most recent asteroid to hit the headlines is 2003 SD220, which has been dubbed the Christmas Eve Asteroid by the press on account of its festive flyby date. Although the asteroid is due to come closest to Earth on the 24th December, there’s no cause for concern; it will still be 28.4 LD (Lunar Distances) away (that’s ~6,787,600 miles / ~11 million km!). Recent observations suggest that the asteroid is quite large at 2km

The NEOTwIST mini-project

Dec 03
NEOTωIST, an abbreviation for “Near-Earth Object Transfer of angular momentum Spin Test”, is a low-cost concept for a kinetic impactor demonstration mission which aims to give us an insight as to whether the kinetic impactor mitigation method is a viable way of protecting our planet from NEOs. Whilst other kinetic impactor demo missions are based on momentum transfer – in this case, changing an asteroid’s trajectory by flying a spacecraft into it at high velocity,

Architectural Design Review Meeting

Nov 03
The Architectural Design Review (ADR) meeting, organised and conducted by Airbus DS Germany with contribution from Deimos/Spain, Airbus DS France, and GMV/Spain, takes place only once per project. The aim of the meeting is to review the designs for the components of a Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) sub-system and approve them. Within NEOShield-2, GNC sub-systems for the three spacecraft missions –the kinetic impactor spacecraft, the reconnaissance spacecraft and the sample return spacecraft- are developed

Asteroid 2015 TB145 Close Approach

Oct 30
Asteroid 2015 TB145 will make a close approach to Earth this Halloween at around 6 p.m. CET! But there’s no cause for alarm- even though the asteroid has a whopping relative velocity of ~35 km/s, it will pass by at a safe distance of 1.3 LD (480,000 km). Although estimated to be between 290 and 650m in diameter, the asteroid has, appropriately, crept up on us; it was discovered just a few weeks ago on the 10th October when it was