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Earth’s first Planetary Defence Mission

Date: 21 September 2019 Tags: Space

Issue

Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) attended a Joint Meeting  to discuss the effectiveness and potential implications of asteroid-deflection techniques.

 

Background

A modest space rocks can cause huge destruction on Earth. Fortunately , asteroid like that has not on earth’s way for millions of years. However, scientists believe it is crucial to be prepared for such a catastrophic prospect all the same. And that’s what the NASA-ESA joint initiative Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) aims to do.

 

Details

  • Scientists are already capable of tracking and predicting asteroid trajectories, we may also possess the technology to change an asteroid’s course.

  • AIDA intends to put this very technology to test starting July 2021, by conducting a trial run.

  • The AIDA has designed a two-phase mission, which will begin with NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) launch in July 2021, and its subsequent collision with asteroid ‘Didymos B’ in September 2022.

  • In the second phase, ESA's Hera mission will visit the same asteroid in 2027, to investigate the outcome of the impact.

  • The AIDA will try to estimate the efficiency of the kinetic impact by measuring the post-collision mass of Didymos B. It will also conduct a detailed examination of the impact crater, so as to characterise the physical and mineralogical properties of the Didymos asteroid pair.

 

DART mission

  • Double Asteroid Redirection Test is a planned space probe that will demonstrate the kinetic effects of crashing an impactor spacecraft into an asteroid moon for planetary defense purposes.

  • The mission is intended to test whether a spacecraft impact could successfully deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.