The Missing Puzzle Piece | The Incredible Adventures of the Hera mission


Meet Hera, our very own asteroid detective. Together with two CubeSats – Milani the rock decoder and Juventas the radar visionary – Hera is off on an adventure to explore Didymos, a double asteroid system that is typical of the thousands that pose an impact risk to planet Earth.

In September 2022 NASA’s DART spacecraft tested if it was possible to divert an asteroid by giving it a shove – and found out that it was! Important knowledge, should we wish to avoid going the same way as the dinosaurs. Astronomers can observe from afar how the smaller asteroid’s orbit has shifted since DART’s impact, but there is still a missing piece of the puzzle if we want to fully understand how ‘kinetic impacting’ works in practice. Suitable for kids and adults alike, this episode of ‘The Incredible Adventures of Hera’ explains why ESA’s asteroid detective and its CubeSat assistants need to get up close and personal to shine light on this cosmic mystery.

Watch the other episodes of The Incredible Adventures of the Hera Mission:

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Credit: ESA-Science Office

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