Defense of the technical project of the Hera mission to study the possibility of changing the orbit of the asteroid in order to prevent a collision with the Earth is scheduled for next year. This is reported by TASS, referring to the statements of the scientific director of the initiative, Michael Coopers.
The mission is being implemented by the European Space Agency (ESA) in conjunction with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The essence of the project is as follows. In July 2021, the launch of the American DART impactor probe will take place, which will crash into an object called Dimorf, a satellite of the near-Earth asteroid Didyma. At the end of 2024, the Hera will be launched with cubesats on board. These small spacecraft will collect data on the asteroid and the impact of the DART probe with its satellite.
“Preview [миссии] was worked out in 2020, the project will be completed in detail in 2021, the defense of the technical project of the Hera mission should take place in 2022“, – said Mr. Coopers.
The Hera spacecraft is slated to be launched from an Ariane 6 launch vehicle from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. In addition, the possibility of launching with a Soyuz rocket from Vostochny is being considered.
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