Planetary Defence Warriors, Rock On !
Dr Brian MAY, astrophysicist and famous Queen guitarist, sent a special message to all participants (including SPACEBEL) in the Hera International Workshop organised from May 30th until June 3rd 2022 in Nice (France).
In cooperation with NASA, ESA’s Hera is a brilliant project to save life on Earth from extinction by asteroid impact.
Launched in November 2021, NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) is on its way to a binary asteroid system – Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos. In October 2022, the probe will collide with the smaller body in order to shift its orbit. Due for launch in 2024, Hera will investigate the post-impact and study the composition and structure of the celestial body from 2026 onwards. Hera will also deploy the first European deep Space cubesats: Milani and Juventas. Their aim is to collect more detailed scientific data on Dimorphos and its environment while trying out novel intersatellite link technology.
As a member of the Hera community, SPACEBEL is closely involved in this revolutionary planetary defence experiment through several major contracts. We are in charge of:
- the Hera flight software, called central software, performing the real-time functions of both the satellite platform - including the on-board computer - and instruments;
- the development of a software validation facility based on a simulator to assist the equipment design, ensure system tests and serve during the operational phase;
- the Cubesat Mission Operations Centre (CMOC) which will supervise mission operations and control the Hera cubesat duo.
Mark your calendar! A Hera outreach event “From Asteroid Impacts to Planetary Defence” – with SPACEBEL support – is scheduled on June 23rd 2022 in Brussels. Info & registration.