US and Europe plan to protect Earth from asteroids

US and Europe plan to protect Earth from asteroids
US and Europe plan to protect Earth from asteroids

Scientists from the United States and Europe are planning to gather in Rome to discuss a two spacecraft mission that could deflect asteroids away from Earth.


This mission is known as the Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment, or AIDA. Its goal is to change the orbit of a small asteroid - Didymoon - which orbits Didymos, which is between the Earth and Mars of a celestial body.

Scientists plan to do this by striking one spacecraft. Then the second spacecraft examines the crash site and collects as much data as possible about the consequences of this collision. The three-day international AIDA seminar will take place on September 11-13 in the center of Rome, in the part of the baths of Emperor Diocletian, which served as a planetarium in the last century.

Participants will share their successes in the construction of two spacecraft that make up AIDA, including a large number of nanosatellites that the two large spacecraft will carry on board. Also, scientists will talk about the latest results of astronomical research undertaken to obtain additional information about the asteroid Didymos and its satellite.

Hera device presentation / © ESA, YouTube

One part of the mission, the DART spacecraft, is already being produced by NASA and will soon be ready. It is planned to launch it in the summer of 2021. If all goes according to schedule, DART will collide with the Didymos satellite in September 2022 at a speed of 6.6 kilometers per second. After that, the second device, Hera, which is produced by the European Space Agency, should arrive at the collision site. He will have to take measurements of the asteroid's orbit, its mass and the shape of the crater.

The results obtained by Hera would allow researchers to better simulate the collision of a spacecraft with a celestial body. In the future, this will help create systems for deflecting the orbit of asteroids that pose a real threat to our planet.

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