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Creation of an autonomous space shuttle to prevent asteroids from touching the Earth

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Creation of an autonomous space shuttle to prevent asteroids from touching the Earth

Creation of an autonomous space shuttle to prevent asteroids from touching the Earth

The European Space Agency (ESA) introduces the autonomous spacecraft Hera. The spaceship that can maneuver itself will be used to protect the Earth from asteroid threats.

The aircraft is still in the development stage and the first mission is planned for 2023.

This first mission is to fly and hit the asteroid Didymos and his satellite called Didymoon. The asteroid has a width of 780 meters and the satellite a width of 160 meters.

"If autonomous cars are the future on Earth, Hera is a pioneer of autonomous space vehicles," said Paolo Martino, chief system engineer for the Hera mission.

Spacecraft are usually controlled from Earth to determine the direction of their flight. However, Hera will have an automatic navigation system installed on the fuselage. So that the plane can determine its own direction of flight immediately without having to wait for the command of the Earth until it is a few minutes late.

However, in his first experience, Hera will not be fully autonomous. In addition, tests will be conducted once all important objectives have been achieved.

This aircraft will collect information from nearby objects using sensors. This information will be collected to create templates from the surrounding environment. The aircraft then created a security scenario around the object and could fly up to 200 meters to the surface of the asteroid.

"Data collection by Hera will be done using a camera called asteroid frame camera.These data will be combined with a laser altimeter, an infrared thermal camera, a star tracking, an inertial sensor and an accelerometer." said Jesus Gil Fernandez, an engineer at ESA. in navigation and control, quoted by Digital Trend, Sunday (7/4).

This spacecraft was designed to hunt for asteroids such as Didymos in the DART mission, as reported by Space.

The aircraft will also provide information on the composition, structure and behavior of the asteroid with respect to kinetic impacts.

"I want to know what will happen if we crush the plane in the asteroid very, very quickly."

Scientists hope that this collision could deflect an asteroid whose trajectory will lead to Earth.
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