The European Space Agency's Hera Mission Plans To Defend Earth From Asteroids

The European Space Agency (ESA) has a mission called Hera, which will launch in Sep'24 to visit asteroid Dimorphos to see  what options we might have open to us if we had an asteroid threat

Hera is part two of NASA's DART mission, which launched in 2021

DART, a small spacecraft with an autonomous navigation system, will head to a pair of asteroids called the Didymos binary, which orbits the sun and occasionally comes close to Earth - though these asteroids aren't in danger of actually impacting us.

In September 2022, DART will then crash into the smaller asteroid of the pair, Dimorphos, at a speed of around 4 miles per second in an attempt to shift its orbit.

This will show whether such a dramatic action as sending a craft to crash with an asteroid could be effective in knocking it off course if it were heading for Earth.

The good news is that James Webb has the capability to adjust mirror positions in order to correct and minimize the results of impacts like this.

Hera will head to the same location to see what happened to the asteroid after DART struck it and whether the wacky-sounding plan actually worked to shift the asteroid's orbit.

Hera will be outfitted with a propulsion module that includes fuel tanks and thrusters to carry it on its 26-month journey


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