Tuesday, May 3, 2016

HERA Simulated 30-Day Asteroid Intercept Mission

NASA's HERA project is a simulation of a 30-day space flight; my buddy, Air Force aviator Casey Stedman, is aboard, and reporting here. From his blog:

"Continuing my goals of playing a role in human spaceflight, I recently applied to and was accepted as a participant in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) campaign.

HERA is a “high-fidelity research venue for scientists to use in addressing risks and gaps associated with human performance during spaceflight.”...It is a project operated by NASA’s Human Research Program, or HRP, located at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Like my experience in the HI-SEAS analog...I will be serving as a subject for NASA’s investigation into mitigating the risks of future space missions. As a “stand-in” for an astronaut, I will be simulating the duties and tasks necessary to conduct a long-duration spaceflight. Whereas in HI-SEAS the mission was one of Martian exploration, this time I will be simulating the launch and flight to a nearby asteroid.

After a several decades of learning to live and operate in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) using the Skylab, Space Shuttle, and International Space Station, NASA is beginning to plan for deep space exploration missions again. There are a number of mission concepts and targets proposed, with all choices eventually leading up to human landings on the planet Mars. But before a rocket carrying astronauts can reach the red planet a number of milestones need to [be] met."

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