UPDATED 05.28PM IST

Share This
  • UK |
  • India |
  • USA |
  • Canada |
  • Mauritius
  •    info@mayatoday.com
Deepak Dogra
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad

NASA's asteroid mission brings astronauts closer to Mars

  • NASA's asteroid mission brings astronauts closer to Mars

 In its bid to send a manned flight to Mars, US space agency NASA has approved the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) to proceed to the next phase of design and development for the mission's robotic segment.

ARM is a two-part mission that will integrate robotic and crewed spacecraft operations in the proving ground of deep space to demonstrate key capabilities needed for NASA's journey to Mars.

For ARM, a robotic spacecraft will capture a boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable orbit around the moon for exploration by astronauts, all in support of advancing the nation's journey to Mars.

"There, astronauts will be able to select, extract, collect and return samples from the multi-ton asteroid mass, and conduct other human-robotic and spacecraft operations in the proving ground that will validate concepts for NASA's journey to Mars," NASA said in a statement.

The option to retrieve a boulder from an asteroid will have a direct impact on planning for future human missions to deep space and begin a new era of spaceflight.

The agency plans to announce the specific asteroid selected for the mission no earlier than 2019, approximately a year before launching the robotic spacecraft.

NASA has identified three valid asteroids for the mission so far: Itokawa, Bennu and 2008 EV5.

The milestone, known as Key Decision Point-B (KDP-B) was conducted in July and formally approved by the agency on August 15.

"This is an exciting milestone for the Asteroid Redirect Mission. Not only is ARM leveraging agency-wide capabilities, it will test a number of new technologies already in development," said NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot.

The robotic ARM will demonstrate advanced, high-power, high-throughput solar electric propulsion and advanced autonomous high-speed proximity operations at a low-gravity planetary body.

It will also showcase touchdown and liftoff with a multi-ton mass from a low-gravity planetary body and astronaut activities for sample selection, extraction, containment and return - all key components of future in-space operations for human missions to Mars.

Before beginning its trip to lunar orbit, the ARM spacecraft will demonstrate a widely supported asteroid deflection technique called a gravity tractor.

The spacecraft plus the mass of the captured boulder will create a small gravitational attraction to alter the orbit of the large asteroid.

The robotic component of the ARM will demonstrate the world's most advanced and most efficient solar electric propulsion system as it travels to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA).

NEAs are asteroids that are fewer than 121 million miles from the Sun at the closest point in their orbit.

 


: August 16, 2016 10:32 am
Read 262 times

RELATED STORIES

Snow in Himachal snaps road links
Snow in Himachal snaps road links

Trump's Florida club doubles new member fee (10:26) Washington, Jan 26 () Mar-a-L

Stephen Strange arrogant but also humorous: Cumberbatch
Stephen Strange arrogant but also humorous: Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch is bringing the character 'Sorcerer Supreme' Stephen Strange to life on

Spurs goalkeeper Lloris sidelined by hamstring injury
Spurs goalkeeper Lloris sidelined by hamstring injury

Tottenham Hotspur's star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could miss the team's Champions League opene

Offspring with longer-living parents likely live longer
Offspring with longer-living parents likely live longer

People who have got longer-living parents are likely to have much better heart condition, less chanc

Much more to come from Chelsea, says coach Conte
Much more to come from Chelsea, says coach Conte

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte insisted that there is much more to come from star Eden Hazard and

Chronic kidney disease may lead to diabetes
Chronic kidney disease may lead to diabetes

Establishing a novel link between chronic kidney disease and diabetes, a team of researchers have id

Gaming camera could better monitor MS treatment
Gaming camera could better monitor MS treatment

Using a gaming camera that detects movement and computer algorithms that quantify people's walki

Simple brain scan could help improve Parkinson's treatment
Simple brain scan could help improve Parkinson's treatment

 Researchers have discovered that tracking changes in five brain areas linked to movement and b

Comment*

Captcha* mayatoday
share on facebook
Advertisement
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner
  • banner