Asteroid Impact Mission, illustration

Asteroid Impact Mission, illustration

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Asteroid Impact Mission. Illustration of the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) spacecraft at its target, the binary asteroid 65803 Didymos. AIM is part of the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, due to be launched by ESA and NASA in 2020. AIM will arrive at its target in June 2022. A few months later, after deploying a lander and CubeSats, AIM will observe the impact of the 300-kilogram DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) device with the smaller of the two asteroids. This is a test of whether this method would deflect an asteroid heading towards Earth.

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