ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is a European-led mission, planned in conjunction with the US-led Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The two missions together are known as the Asteroid Deflection & Impact Assessment (AIDA) mission.
Both missions are independent and self-standing, but their results will be boosted if they are flown together.
DART will aim to deflect the course of a secondary binary asteroid by impacting it at high velocity, while AIM will monitor the effects.
AIDA is therefore the first planetary defence precursor mission, investigating the potential of deflecting the path of near-Earth orbiting asteroids that might one day pose an impact threat to Earth.