Asteroid Simulation Mission

NASA’s Research and Technology Studies (RATS) team was in action once again as the group conducted initial testing to prepare for an integrated test this summer. The team created a simulated near-Earth asteroid (NEA) exploration mission in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at Johnson Space Center in December 2011 and January 2012.

Various stations of rock setups are in place to practice gathering geologic samples in another world. Credit: NASA/STAFFORD

The team performed two three-day human factors studies of the new multi-mission Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) cabin, in addition to conducting simulated asteroid spacewalks using several different facilities at JSC. The SEV is being designed to have a flexible architecture, allowing it to rove on a planetary surface atop a wheeled chassis or fly in space using advanced in-space propulsion systems.