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Europe withdraws from anti-asteroid mission

Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2017 | Comment icon 5 comments

One spacecraft was to fly in to the target while the other observed. Image Credit: European Space Agency
An upcoming mission designed to test out the deflection of a large asteroid has hit a bit of a snag.
Known as AIDA (Asteroid Deflection and Impact Assessment), the mission was to consist of two parts.

The US-led component, known as DART ( Double Asteroid Redirection Test ), was to send a small spacecraft to deliberately collide with the moon of a large asteroid known as Didymos.

Europe, meanwhile, was to launch AIM ( Asteroid Impact Mission ), a probe that would travel to the scene of the experiment where it could collect data about the impact as it happens.

Now though, European officials have rejected the 250-million-euro proposal for the AIM part of the mission, leaving the future of the whole endeavour in doubt.

Instead, a much cheaper and cut-down version of the spacecraft has been proposed, one that could still potentially stick to NASA's deadline if the impact was to take place as planned in 2022.

As things stand however, it remains unclear when, if at all, the new proposal will be approved.

"There are measurements that AIM can make that DART cannot," said Andrew Cheng from Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory. "We all together have to convince the national delegations to spend some money for this mission."

Source: SpaceDaily | Comments (5)

Tags: DART, Asteroid

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer on 21 September, 2017, 16:08
Does DART cost less? If so, maybe the European community thinks NASA isn't paying its fair share of the mission costs.
Comment icon #2 Posted by seanjo on 21 September, 2017, 18:49
So they haven't withdrawn, they just want a cheaper project.
Comment icon #3 Posted by qxcontinuum on 22 September, 2017, 1:17
Europe is poor .
Comment icon #4 Posted by DieChecker on 22 September, 2017, 10:31
Asteroid DENIERS!!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nostrodumbass on 23 September, 2017, 7:43
That gives new meaning to: "We can not afford to get hit by an asteroid!"

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