- Jan 4, 2015
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This was published on April 1, 2015. The ESA has begun working on a timeline for 2020 to launch a planetary defense system in the event of any danger approaching Earth from space.
DAHBOO777 Underground World News said:If an asteroid were spotted headed towards Earth, what could humanity do about it? ESA's latest mission is part of a larger international effort to find out.
This month marked the start of preliminary design work on ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission, or AIM. Intended to demonstrate technologies for future deep-space missions, AIM will also be the Agency's very first investigation of planetary defence techniques.
Launched in October 2020, AIM will travel to a binary asteroid system – the paired Didymos asteroids, which will come a comparatively close 11 million km to Earth in 2022. The 800 m-diameter main body is orbited by a 170 m moon, informally called 'Didymoon'.
This smaller body is AIM's focus: the spacecraft will perform high-resolution visual, thermal and radar mapping of the moon to build detailed maps of its surface and interior structure.
AIM will also put down a lander – ESA's first touchdown on a small body since Rosetta's Philae landed on a comet last November.