If an asteroid were ever headed our way, what could we do about it?
The international Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is aimed at testing whether it is possible to shift the orbit of an asteroid by impacting it at great speed. Having this technique ready to be employed should the need ever occur may be crucial to ensuring the safety of our planet. But will we succeed?
AIDA is a double-spacecraft mission composed of the NASA DART spacecraft, which will impact the smaller body of a double-asteroid system called Didymos, and the ESA Hera spacecraft that will carry out a detailed post-impact survey, as well as study the exterior and interior properties of both bodies in the system.