More than 50% of the time spent in Alpbach will be dedicated to the workshops. During these workshops the students will be invited to propose ideas to study the solar system’s small bodies directly in situ with spacecraft and, ideally, returning samples to Earth in order to develop a much wider understanding of these small bodies. Each student team will conceive and elaborate an innovative satellite asteroid return mission and present a mission study to an expert review panel on the last day.
Four teams of 15 students each will be setup to define the scientific objectives of a space mission and will provide a preliminary end-to-end mission design including the spacecraft, scientific instruments, as well as mission and science operations that will meet their stated objectives.
The aim of the workshop is to develop four different mission concepts -- one by each team, to a point where a space agency could, in principle, take the concept over and start the mission assessment phase. The teams select a mission concept within the topic of the Summer School based on the information provided in the lectures and their own knowledge of the topic. They then define the scientific objectives of their proposed space mission and provide a preliminary end-to-end mission concept including spacecraft, scientific instruments as well as mission and science operations that will meet their stated mission objectives. By the end of the workshop, the teams will have considered not only the scientific instrumentation which can meet the chosen scientific requirements, but also the mission design (launch, transfer and orbit), the spacecraft design with all required subsystems, ground segment together with rough order of magnitude mission cost and the development schedule.
On the last day of the Summer School, each team will present the results of the workshop as short mission studies to an expert review panel (the Alpbach Jury) and to the other teams, tutors and lecturers.
The lectures and the workshop will take place in the School House of Alpbach. Joint evening dinners for lecturers, tutors, students and accompanying persons will be organised at the Hotel Böglerhof. These joint dinners greatly help in forming the strong community spirit that always characterises the Summer Schools.