Self-Driving Spacecraft Asteroid
A self-driving spacecraft, called “Hera,” will be used in a planetary defense mission that would visit the 2,550-foot-wide asteroid 65803 Didymos and its tiny satellite, a 525-foot (160 m) object informally nicknamed “Didymoon.” This spacecraft features a built-in automatic navigation system that allows it to steer itself in real-time rather than waiting for human signals sent from Earth.



“Hera is one part of the larger Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, which also includes a NASA spacecraft that will head to the same asteroid system. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission aims to crash a spacecraft into the asteroid’s surface, and the spacecraft will bring along two small cubesats that will examine the asteroid’s surface,” reports Space.com.