A mission is set to protect the planet from threats from space in the future

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Will all this work out?

European ministers responsible for the space agency ESA approved the mission of Hera. The project will allow to check if the artificial "deviation" of the asteroid will cause that in this way it will be possible to save our planet in the context of possible destruction. The research project itself it will consume $ 320 million, and ESA will use direct collaboration with NASA for it. Ships sent in a quote will go directly to the Didymos asteroid. NASA will first crash its DART probe into it and the entire event will be recorded by cameras. Hera will fly to Didymos later to investigate carefully the crater formed by the impact and its effect on the mass and movement of the asteroid.

There will be two CubeSats aboard Hera that can fly very close to the surface of the asteroid jwhile not touching her. In this way, the equipment will act as drones, recording relevant data and passing it on to scientists. ESA informs that it is most important to check how to change the asteroid flight trajectory and use it for "planetary defense."

The asteroid that NASA and ESA equipment will face is the size of an Egyptian pyramid – by falling to the ground it would be able to sweep virtually any major city from its surface. However, the mission will be difficult and it has a catch. Despite its size, Didymos is a relatively small asteroid, and so far no spacecraft sent from Earth revolved around such small celestial bodies.

Although the collision of our planet with the asteroid is an unlikely event, scientists and engineers prefer to think about resolving this issue in advance. NASA constantly observes about 2,000 objects orbiting at different distances from our planet.

Hera's mission is only to confirm whether we can deal with them in case of problems.

Source: ESA