ASTRA is a forum where the state of the art developments of the European Space Automation and Robotics (A&R) community are presented and discussed. A unique characteristic of ASTRA is that it brings together the European A&R industry and academia, giving visibility to the whole spectrum of research and development activities in the field. Participants will have the opportunity to get an up-to-date picture of:
A) currently envisaged space missions and application scenarios where A&R could play a major role,
B) the A&R technology needs which can be derived from these application scenarios,
C) the current status of European and international research and development programmes in the field of space A&R, and
D) new technology trends for space A&R.
Robotic exploration in space has over the recent years become more topical than ever before. Public awareness of robotic exploration has dramatically increased after the last successful NASA Mars Science Laboratory landing on Mars or the historical event of the Rosetta mission awakening and the landing of the probe Philae on comet 67P. Altogether, the soon-to-be-launched first European planetary exploration rover mission ExoMars is building up expectation with the increased hopes of living another memorable event for Europe in space.
ESA is employing/intends to employ robotic technologies in a variety of missions and technology programs such as ExoMars, INSPIRE and PHOOTPRINT in the field of planetary exploration and the European Robotic Arm and METERON in the field of orbital activities.
The use of robotic technologies for active debris removal is also being investigated under ESA’s CLEANSPACE initiative. Caring for our space environment and ensuring the continued use of the important SSO orbit for the benefit of humankind is making debris mitigation and removal a priority.
ASTRA will mainly provide an overview of technologies which are available or under development in the ESA member states or under international collaborations, but encourages other international contributions whenever possible.
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