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
2015 TB145

The orbit of asteroid 2015 TB145. (Image Credit: NASA)

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

NEO NEWS (27 Oct 2015) Halloween Asteroid, AIDA Mission, Mass Extinctions

Oct 28

ROBERT FARQUHAR (1932-2015). Bob Farquhar died on October 18. He was a genius both in calculating spacecraft orbits and in convincing NASA to support his strategies to get far more out of planetary missions than had originally been planned. Among his contributions were the NEAR-Shoemaker mission to EROS and the extended ISEE mission. Keith Cowing called him “a steely-eyed missile man and a genuine space cowboy who always knew exactly how to get NASA to do what it