Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hera Probe to Revisit Asteroid after NASA's DART Mission | European Space Agency

Hera Probe to Revisit Asteroid after NASA's DART Mission | European Space Agency

The night of September 26, 2022, made space history. NASA's DART spacecraft impacted the Dimorphos asteroid in an attempt to divert its course—humankind's first planetary defence test. In 2024, the European Space Agency launches its Hera spacecraft to investigate the post-impact asteroid. In fact, Hera is not one spacecraft but three. It carries with it Europe's first deep-space CubeSats to make extra observations of its target. 

With the Hera mission, the European Space Agency (ESA) is assuming even greater responsibility for protecting our planet and ensuring that Europe plays a leading role in the common effort to tackle asteroid risks.  

In this video, Ian Carnelli, Hera mission manager, and members of the Hera team, reflects on the DART impact and introduces Hera, including its Milani and Juventas CubeSats.

After the world’s first test of asteroid deflection, Hera will perform a detailed post-impact survey of the target asteroid, Dimorphos—the orbiting Moonlet in a binary asteroid system known as Didymos. Hera will turn this grand-scale experiment into a well-understood and repeatable planetary defence technique.

Demonstrating new technologies from autonomous navigation around an asteroid to low gravity proximity operations, Hera will be humankind’s first probe to rendezvous with a binary asteroid system and Europe’s flagship Planetary Defender.

Hera's Planned Launch Date: October 2024

Target: Dimorphos

Impact Date: September 26, 2022

Hera rendezvous: December 2026

Learn more: https://www.esa.int/Space_Safety/Hera

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

Duration: 3 minutes, 15 seconds

Release Date: September 27, 2022

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