A massive fund of $153 million is released by the European space agency in efforts to defend the earth against asteroids in a mission known as Hera. It is a world-wide effort of protecting our planet from asteroids collisions.
NASA’s double asteroid redirect test spacecraft is the U.S effort for safeguarding the planet, and Hera will be servicing alongside the existing mission. OHB got the contract, which is based in Bremen. The U.S DART aircraft is set to launch in 2021 for a mission of a smaller impact on the two bodies. Once DART gets its mission done, Hera will come to play for performing a post-impact survey to see the results.
One of the reasons for investing in Hera is that scientists and researchers get to understand asteroid structures and compositions better. It is expected to be launched in October of 2024 and will also release miniature satellites into the deeper space to study and survey asteroids closely. The European space ship is destined to travel to a binary asteroid system known as Didymos.
The asteroid’s main body is approximately 2559 feet and circles a moon known as Dimorphous that is about 525 feet in diameter. According to Europian Space Agency, the U.S DART system’s kinetic impact will affect the moon’s orbit that circles Didymos, producing a massive crater. Once the kinetic energy impacts the orbit in September of 2022, Hera will then proceed further in 2026 to deeply study the impact as close as possible.
All the 17 Europian states have collaborated to fund Hera. However, Germany is the one held responsible for developing the tech inclusive of integration, design, navigation cameras, thrusters, tanks reaction wheels, high-gain antenna, and mass memory unit, respectively. Germany will have assistance from Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Luxemburg, The Czech Republic, and Romania in building the completion of the project will all these states playing some major vital roles. Watch the video below of which is quite an explanation on how critical these space missions are to safeguard our planet from asteroids collision.