Hera after Dart: Europe’s contribution to its mission to save Earth from asteroids

NASA is the first to test the motion of an asteroid with its DART probe. However, she is not the only one working on missions that seek to protect Earth from a possible future threat. China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) announced that it is developing a plan to protect the planet from asteroids The European Space Agency (ESA) has been planning another planetary defense mission called HERA for years.

As explained in a press release, their intention is to investigate the asteroid’s binary system. didymos Asteroid 800 m in diameter and 160 m in diameter that orbits it dimorphos, Both are 11 million kilometers from Earth and the last mention is where the Dart probe impacted this morning to turn its trajectory.

ESA’s HERA mission is projected to begin in 2024 and will Follow-up for the consequences of the Dart crash, Thanks to subsequent detailed studies, NASA’s experiment can be better understood and more successfully repeated if necessary.

Hera will be inside Two CubeSats: Milani and Juventus. Thanks to these two spacecraft, ESA scientists will collect data on the external and internal properties of the two celestial bodies.

The Dart spacecraft, seconds after the Dimorphos asteroid impact.

3D rendering of Hera mission

Although there are still a few years left to see the results of HERA, ESA A 3D recreation of the mission, Such representation is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.

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