The primary aim of NEOShield is protecting the Earth from Asteroids and Near Earth Objects by performing Scientific Research and Technical Development, so as to reduce the risk of a real NEO deflection mission from failing.
Larry Niven was probably right, and that’s also the reason we, at NEOShield Project are working towards!
The NEOShield-2 project particularly emphasises on two aspects:
- The first one is the focus on scientific research and technological development on essential techniques and instruments needed for guidance, navigation and control (GNC) in close vicinity of asteroids and comets. This will, for example, allow hitting such bodies with a high-velocity kinetic impactor spacecraft and observing them before, during and after a mitigation attempt.
- The second one focuses on refining Near Earth Object (NEO) characterisation. NEOShield-2 will carry out astronomical observations of NEOs, firstly to improve our understanding of their physical properties, concentrating on the smaller sizes of most concern for mitigation purposes, and secondly to identify further objects suitable for missions for physical characterisation and NEO deflection demonstration.
On the scientific front, the statistical analyses of recently published NEO survey data, performed within NEOShield already, have been very successful.
NEOShield-2 will also explore the promising avenues that have opened up during the previous years of our research. Furthermore, performing detailed analyses of relevant individual objects (e.g. potentially hazardous objects) on the basis of published data from different observing techniques (radar, infrared, spectroscopy, etc.), in addition to new data obtained.
Modelling work and computer simulations will be enhanced to explore the effects of large spin rates, shattered and rubble-pile structures, and mineralogy on an object’s response to a deflection attempt.
The NEOShield-2 Project comprises of 12 sub-divisions, termed as “Work Packages” to successfully complete it’s Mission Objectives.
For detailed Project Work Packages and in depth explanation of the Project Activities click here