Researchers in France have customised a drop tower to simulate landing a CubeSat on an asteroid in the near-absence of gravity – part of the preparations for ESA’s Hera mission Asteroid Impact Mission. A team at the Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ISAE-Supaero), part of the University of Toulouse, customised an existing drop tower, previously designated for aircraft and material drop-tests, rigging up a system of pulleys and counterweights to simulate reduced-gravity. They can go down to a few percent of Earth’s gravity within their drop box, to see how the lander interacts with our simulated sand-covered asteroid terrain.
Credits: DEOS/DMSM, ISAE-SUPAERO
Video editing : N. Murdoch (SSPA, ISAE-SUPAERO)