Hera

The Hera mission is a part of AIDA (Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment), founded upon international cooperation between NASA and ESA, who are working together towards a single goal: to perform a demonstration mission that should deflect an asteroid’s orbit and thereby prevent its impact with Earth. First, the DART spacecraft from NASA, which was launched in November 2021, will travel to Didymos, a binary asteroid system consisting of a larger body (approximately 800 m in diameter) and its satellite, a smaller body called Dimorphos with size of approximately 170 m. The DART will hit Dimorphos at a speed of approximately 6.6 km/s and thus try to change its orbital period. The plumes coming from this impact will also contribute to this change. The impact will be observed by ground observations from Earth, but with some help from a small CubeSat travelling on board DART. The small satellite will be deployed just before the impact in order to provide front row-seat images of the collision.

Hera will come a few years later. That launch is scheduled for 2024, and arrival at Dimorphos is currently planned in 2026. Hera will analyse the impact crater using various scientific instruments and also will measure such properties of Dimorphos as mass and material composition. Hera will also carry two small CubeSats, known as MILANI and JUVENTAS, which will assist with the scientific observations.

Her spacecraft approaching an Asteroid, The Earth at the backgroung
©OHB
HERA HERA spacecraft scanning an asteroid in a close proximity
©ESA

OUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROJECT

The team at OHB Czechspace is developing the probe’s complete structure providing all necessary interfaces with scientific instruments and service devices, such as solar arrays, batteries, antennae, and computer, as well as the main interface with the rocket! Our engineering team is working on the design of structural components that will be able to survive the launch of the rocket and its flight while also withstanding the inhospitable environment in space. We must as well make sure that Hera and its components will be transported safely to various assembly places around Europe and eventually also to the spaceport.

IMPORTANT MILESTONES

The Hera mission schedule is very challenging and we are striving to move quickly! Asteroids will not wait for us, either.

OHB Czechspace recently delivered Central Tube as well as the Sandwich Panels for the Propulsion and Core Module.

The Prime contractor initiated Assembly, Integration and Test activities of the HERA propulsion module, which are also supported by OHB Czechspace deliveries of MGSE (Mechanical Ground Support Equipment) and tertiary structure items - e.g. Cleats or Helium tank brackets.

Hera is scheduled for launch in October 2024, due to reach the Didymos asteroids in December 2026.

CUSTOMER

Our customer is OHB System, a so-called prime contractor for the Hera mission.

OHB Czechspace HERA team

OHB Czechspace Hera team

Hera Central Tube

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