Planetary defense mission promoted by advocates ahead of ESA ministerial

After three years of Earth Asteroid mission failure, planetary defense advocated want come back to the field by asking the government of Europe to fund their next mission in over to win approval.

On November 15 at a press conference held in Berlin, the supports of the Hera mission stated that approximately 1200 scientists and other groups signed a letter asking funds from European Space Agency. The letters signed during a meeting with ministers later this month in Spain.

As currently designed, Hera will lance in October 2024 and reach near the earth’s asteroid known as Didymos and its small moon, Didymoon December 2026. Didymoon will become the point of target. Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) of NASA will affect directly with the moon in 2022. The purpose of this impact is to show the ability created from the impact of kinetic energy, which changes the orbit of the asteroid.

Hera Principal Investigator, Patrick Michael said in a conference that what Hera aims to do is to measure precisely the effect created by this impact. It will also state the studies of Didymos and moon, which will include the technical study of the crater produced after the impacts of DART after colliding with the body. 

Patrick Michael, who is the principal investigator for the Hera, at a press conference, said that what Hera intends to achieve is to measure precisely impact of this effect.

He argued that the studies of benefit to both planetary defense as well as broader planetary science research. Hayabusa 2 spaceship of japan shot a small impact or, that weighed only a few kilograms, on the surface of Ryugu asteroid. Models have the prediction of the effects that would leave the crater 1-2 meters across, but the images have shown a crater of ten meters opposite instead.

Patrick stated that these ids both crucial for planetary defense since the momentum going for the target will depend on this, and it is also essential for science since we count the craters and measure their sizes as a way of dating the surface. He added that this would rely on the relationship between size of the crater and the projectile size.

They would not be in a position to see the crater without the help of Hera; they also would not be able to see the body properties and would not know it’s mass.

This post was originally published on Food and Beverage Herald

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