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The "Independent Driving" Spacecraft can help save Earth from asteroid collisions



The next asteroid mission in Europe, which can be launched in 2023, will rely on the same navigation technology as that of a car that manages itself.

Named the "Hera" after the Greek goddess of marriage, this proposed mission of planetary defense will visit the asteroid 65803 Didymos and its tiny satellite (525 feet) 160 m), informally called Didymom.

Although deep space missions typically rely on controllers back to Earth to send navigation commands, Hera will have an auto navigation system built. This will allow Hera to manage itself in real time, rather than wait a few minutes to get a command signal from the Earth.

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"If you think that cars themselves lead the future on Earth, then Hera is the pioneer of autonomy in the Deep Space," said Paolo Martino, a leading system engineer for Hera, . The presence of an autonomous navigation system will allow the spacecraft to fly closer to Didymos and Didymoon, which will allow it to make better images with high resolution of their surfaces, the statement said the officials of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Many are like an independent car, space ko The Hera Abel will rely on data from sensors, cameras and lasers to create a coherent model of the environment, Joshua Gila Fernandez, ESA's Engineer for Control, Navigation and Control,

Impressions of the Artist about the spacecraft "Hera" of the European Space Agency.

(Image: © ESA)

Hera will not rely entirely on her autopilot for this first mission. The mission is still being developed to be exploited from the ground and it will not begin testing the new system until all of the mission's main objectives are completed, Hera said.

Hera is part of a large mission of Asteroid Impact and Deviation (AIDA), which also includes the NASA spacecraft, which will be directed to the same asteroid system. The mission of NASA to conduct a double asteroid redirection (DART) is to break the spacecraft to the surface of the asteroid, and the spacecraft will bring two small cubes to investigate the surface of the asteroid. Although the DART mission is to kill an asteroid the Gary mission is to orbit an asteroid and observe a collision from a safe distance before going down to explore the impact of the crater about. The mission of the mission is to demonstrate a planetary defensive strategy known as deviation of asteroids . In other words, scientists want to know if you can save the Earth from a potentially catastrophic asteroid strike by launching a spacecraft on an asteroid to knock it off the course.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow it @hannekescience . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook .


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