Two spacecraft being built at a cost of £225million... so they can be CRASHED into an asteroid to look inside it

Two spacecraft being built at a cost of £225million... so they can be CRASHED into an asteroid to look inside it

  • Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission (AIDA) to launch 2019
  • It will send two spacecraft on a three-year voyage to the asteroid Didymos
  • Could show how 'dangerous asteroids can be deflected from hitting earth'

By AMANDA WILLIAMS

Scientists are planning to intentionally smash a spacecraft into a huge asteroid in 2022 to see inside the rock. 

The European-led Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission (AIDA) will launch in 2019. 

It will send two spacecraft — one built by US scientists and the other by the European Space Agency — on a three-year voyage to the asteroid Didymos at a cost of around £225million.

The asteroid has been selected for the mission because it has 'no chance of hitting the earth' making it perfect for this type of fact-finding missions.

Speaking at the 44th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, experts explained Didymos is actually a binary asteroid system.

It consists of two separate space rocks - the largest measuring 2,625 feet (800 metres) across, and the smaller around 490 feet (150 m) - which are bound together by gravity.

The AIDA Didymos mission will be carried out to give scientists a groundbreaking first look at a binary space rock system and hopefully reveal ways that dangerous asteroids which pose a possible risk to the earth can be deflected.

 

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