The night of 26 September 2022 made space history – as the moment when NASA’s DART spacecraft impacted the Dimorphos asteroid in an attempt to divert its course – humankind’s first planetary defense test. Next, in 2024, ESA launches its Hera spacecraft to investigate the post-impact asteroid. In fact, Hera is not one spacecraft but three: it carries with it ESA’s first deep-space CubeSats to make extra observations of its target.
With the Hera mission, ESA is assuming even greater responsibility for protecting our planet and ensuring that Europe plays a leading role in the common effort to tackle asteroid risks.
In this video, Ian Carnelli, Hera mission manager, and members of the Hera team, reflect on the DART impact and introduce Hera and its Milani and Juventas CubeSats.
Adapted from ESA Space Safety page.