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Hera asteroid spacecraft assembly [updated]


Waspie_Dwarf

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Instrument to measure asteroid gravity tested for space

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The first instrument to directly measure gravity on the surface of an asteroid has undergone testing in ESA’s Mechanical Systems Laboratory.

The GRASS gravimeter will be landed on the surface of the Dimorphos asteroid aboard the Juventas CubeSat – which will itself be deployed from ESA’s Hera mission for planetary defence – and is designed to measure an expected gravity level of less than a millionth of Earth’s own.

Read More: ESA

 

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Hera’s mini-radar will probe asteroid’s heart

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The smallest radar to fly in space has been delivered to ESA for integration aboard the miniature Juventas CubeSat, part of ESA’s Hera mission for planetary defence. The radar will perform the first radar imaging of an asteroid, peering deep beneath the surface of Dimorphos – the Great Pyramid-sized body whose orbit was shifted last year by the impact of NASA’s DART spacecraft.

“This delivery marks a definite milestone,” comments Alain Hérique of Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) at the University Grenoble Alpes in France, the instrument’s principal investigator.

Read More: ESA

 

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
merging topics - removed related story.
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Hera asteroid spacecraft assembled

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Hera is complete. ESA’s asteroid mission for planetary defence was built and prepared in two halves, but now, through a painstaking operation, they have been mated together to make a single spacecraft, ready for full-scale testing of its readiness for space.

The mating took place at OHB Bremen in Germany, with Hera’s Core Module raised more than 3 m above its Propulsion Module then gradually and carefully slotted into place, over a three-hour period. The modules had been placed in cages to ensure their correct alignment relative to each other down to a few tenths of a millimetre.

Read More: ESA

 

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
merging topics - removed related story.
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  • The title was changed to Hera asteroid spacecraft assembled [updated]

Hera asteroid mission hears the noise

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ESA’s Hera asteroid mission has completed acoustic testing, confirming the spacecraft can withstand the sound of its own lift-off into orbit. Testing took place within the Agency’s Large European Acoustic Facility at the ESTEC Test Centre in the Netherlands. This is Europe’s largest and most powerful sound system, fitted with a quartet of noise horns that can generate more than 154 decibels of extreme noise.

Diego Escorial Olmos, Hera system engineer comments: “Launch will be the single most stressful day of Hera’s life, so we have worked hard to simulate it during our mechanical test phase, first by vibrating the spacecraft on the ESTEC Test Centre’s shaker tables, and now by blasting it with a noise profile sourced from our launch provider, to be as true to life as possible.”

Read More: ➡️ ESA

 

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Hera asteroid mission, shaken not stirred

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How could the Hera mission team become certain their asteroid-explorer spacecraft was robust enough to be flown into space aboard a rocket? They took their spacecraft and shook it bodily, replicating the kind of vibrations it will experience on the day of launch.

The spacecraft is seen here on the Test Centre’s 640kN QUAD shaker, whose metal plate is moved vertically by a quartet of water-cooled electrodynamic shakers.

Read More: ➡️ ESA

 

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  • The title was changed to Hera asteroid spacecraft assembly [updated]

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