Christmas Eve Flyby – Asteroid 2003 SD220
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!).
The NEOTwIST mini-project
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
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