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Brno Engineers To Join Hera Planetary Defense Mission

The planetary defense mission Hera, a project by the European Space Agency focused on  asteroid risk assessment, is underway. Brno company OHB Czechspace will be part of the mission’s efforts; the team of czech engineers will be responsible for the development of the spacecraft structure. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Czech Rep. Dec. 13 (BD) – The AIDA (Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment) planetary defense mission, a cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), will focus efforts towards asteroid risk assessment, targeting the double asteroid system Didymos, which will come close to Earth in 2022. The European part of the mission, Hera, will bring on board engineers from OHB Czechspace. 

The OHB team will be responsible for “the development of the spacecraft structure, including its detailed design, analytical verification, procurement and support in the mechanical test campaign”, according to the company’s press release. 

The Ariane 6 rocket, as it will be named, should launch by 2024, completing its objective three years later. It will be the second spacecraft launched under the AIDA mission, following the American spacecraft (DART) planned to leave Earth in 2021. 

First, Hera will perform a kinetic impact on the smaller of the two asteroid bodies, before following up with a detailed post-impact survey, analysing changes to the asteroid trajectory and paving a way to a repeatable planetary defence technique.

As Hera reaches Didymos in 2026, Dimorphous will be the first object in the solar system to have its orbit shifted by human effort in a measurable way. 

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