The human exploration of multiple deep space destinations, and among them Near Earth Asteroids (NEA), in view of the final challenge of sending astronauts to Mars, represents a current and consistent study domain. NEAs represent interesting targets, not only for the high level scientific return of such missions, but also for advanced technologies demonstration. Accordingly, the NEA mission described in this paper is conceived as an intermediate step before a human mission to the Red Planet and, in this regard, several tech- nologies required for Mars are implemented, in order to test and validate them in significant environment, but at a closer and easier destination. Another crucial aspect to be considered, when dealing with asteroids, is related to planetary defence: even if the probability of an impact with the Earth is very low, this possibility does actually exist. A human mission as the one described in this paper would represent a chance for the development and test of technologies and techniques to be used for asteroid collision avoidance. The paper starts discussing the main objectives of a NEA mission, highlighting the benefits of the human presence. A reference human mission is then described, in terms of strategy, architecture and concept of operations, with particular attention to NEA collision avoidance issue. In the last part, the idea of exploiting virtual reality in support of the mission definition and execution is discussed.
|Titolo:||Human Exploration of Near Earth Asteroid: Why and How?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|