European component of the AIDA mission to a binary asteroid: Characterization and interpretation of the impact of the DART mission

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Patrick Michel
  • Michael Kueppers
  • Holger Sierks
  • Ian Carnelli
  • Andy F. Cheng
  • Karim Mellab
  • Mikael Granvik
  • Antti Kestilä
  • Tomas Kohout
  • Karri Muinonen
  • Antti Näsilä
  • Antti Penttila
  • Paolo Tortora
  • Valérie Ciarletti
  • Alain Hérique
  • Naomi Murdoch
  • Erik Asphaug
  • Andy Rivkin
  • Olivier Barnouin
  • Adriano Campo Bagatin
  • Petr Pravec
  • Derek C. Richardson
  • Stephen R. Schwartz
  • Kleomenis Tsiganis
  • Stephan Ulamec
  • Ozgür Karatekin

Research units

  • Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur
  • European Space Astronomy Centre
  • Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
  • European Space Agency - ESA
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Bologna
  • Université de Versailles
  • Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Université de Toulouse
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Alicante
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • German Aerospace Center
  • Royal Observatory of Belgium
  • Finnish Geospatial Research Institute
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Reaktor Space Lab Ltd
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Université Côte d'Azur
  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Czech Academy of Sciences


The European component of the joint ESA-NASA Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission has been redesigned from the original version called Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM), and is now called Hera. The main objectives of AIDA are twofold: (1) to perform an asteroid deflection test by means of a kinetic impactor under detailed study at NASA (called DART, for Double Asteroid Redirection Test); and (2) to investigate with Hera the changes in geophysical and dynamical properties of the target binary asteroid after the DART impact. This joint mission will allow extrapolating the results of the kinetic impact to other asteroids and therefore fully validate such asteroid deflection techniques. Hera leverages technology and payload pre-developments of the previous AIM, and focuses on key measurements to validate impact models such as the detailed characterisation of the impact crater. As such, AIDA will be the first documented deflection experiment and binary asteroid investigation. In particular, it will be the first mission to investigate a binary asteroid, and return new scientific knowledge with important implications for our understanding of asteroid formation and solar system history. Hera will investigate the smallest asteroid visited so far therefore providing a unique opportunity to shed light on the role cohesion and Van der Waals forces may play in the formation and resulting internal structure of such small bodies.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2261-2272
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number8
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Asteroid impact hazards, Asteroid resources utilization, Binary asteroid, Kinetic impactor, Near-Earth asteroids, Planetary defense

ID: 17017425