Blasting Off Asteroids to Save Earth

Friday, October 02, 2015


Come October 2020, the world will witness a joint US-European AIDA (Asteroid Deflection & Assessment) mission that will send two spacecrafts to knock down an asteroid off course. The mission is part of a project to save earth in future from asteroid strikes that may wipe out entire humanity.

AIDA will send two spacecrafts – one from NASA and the other from European Space Agency (ESA) to an egg-shaped asteroid, Didymoon. NASA will undertake the Double Asteroid Strike Test (DART) whereas ESA will undertake Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM). AIM is expected to reach Didymoon in May 2022 wherein it will study its binary system and move to a safe distance before DART makes an impact with the asteroid in October 2022. Following this, AIM will study the effect of the DART mission and analyse the mass and density of the asteroid by landing a small lander on the asteroid itself.

AIDA will be the first mission to blast off an asteroid and study its binary system that might provide vital clues to evolution.

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