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Current Affairs

NEA Scout

Date: 21 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The NEA Scout of NASA has passed all fitness tests and is set to be rolled out soon. It has been set up in the launch vehicle.

 

Background

The NEA scout is one of the many payloads that will go along with Artemis-1 mission of NASA to the Moon.

 

Details

  • The Artemis-1 programme will mark the start of the uncrewed mission to the Moon onboard the Orion spacecraft and SLS launch vehicle.

  • The Artemis -1 mission is aimed at landing the first woman on the surface of Moon by 2024. The subsequent missions will be lunar exploratory.

 

NEA scout

  • NEA scout stands for Near-Earth Asteroid scout. It will conduct a fly around near-earth asteroids and collect data.

  • It will be the first time that US will be using special solar sail propulsion for any of its programme.

  • The sail will reflect sunlight, which will bounce off solar particles to generate constant push. This will give acceleration to spacecraft over a long time.

  • It will take about 2 years for the spacecraft to reach the target asteroid and make observational studies.

 

The study

It will take detailed images and send it to Earth. This will help scientists in understanding the asteroid’s orbit, structure, rotation, components etc.

 

Importance of study

  • Studying these asteroids will give idea about the future threats to Earth. New strategies can be developed to tackle the threats by studying their properties.

  • Study will also help in reducing the risks and developing ideas to help in robotic and human exploration missions.