Hera and DART space missions

The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is a joint project of ESA and NASA. It is a technology demonstration of the kinetic impactor concept to deflect a small asteroid and to characterize its physical properties.

AIDA is composed by two independent missions: a projectile called DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) (NASA) and an observer spacecraft called Hera (ESA), both missions have been approved by NASA and ESA, respectively and are currently being developed. The target of this mission is the binary asteroid system (65803) Didymos. For a successful joint mission, one spacecraft, DART, will impact Dimorphos, the secondary of the Didymos binary system, in October 2022. Hera will be launched in fall 2024 and will reach its target at the beginning of 2027.

The Planetary Science section of the A&A research group at University of Alicante is taking part to both missions. Adriano Campo Bagatin is part of the Hera Investigation Team (ESA) and of the AIDA Coordination Committee. Paula Benavidez, Toni Santana and Adriano Campo Bagatin are also part to the DART Science Team (NASA).