The Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is a candidate ESA mission to explore a binary asteroid system 65803 Didymos, as part of a proposed ESA/NASA collaboration consisting of the AIM orbiter (ESA) and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (NASA). The mission is currently undergoing preliminary design work, and is to be launched in October 2020, arriving at Didymos after a 20-month trip in June 2022 to observe the impact of DART on the small moon of the system, when it passes at a comparatively close 16 million km to Earth in early October 2022.
The 800 m-diameter main body is orbited by a 170 m moon, informally called ‘Didymoon’. This smaller body is AIM’s focus: the spacecraft would perform high-resolution visual, thermal and radar mapping of the moon to build detailed maps of its surface and interior structure. The main AIM spacecraft would also carry at least three smaller spacecraft – the Mascot-2 asteroid lander, being provided by DLR (Mascot-1 is already flying on JAXA’s Hayabusa-2), as well as two or more CubeSats.
Spin.Works is participating in the Phase A and B1 Studies as the GNC subcontractor within the team led by OHB-System. The other partners in the consortium are Politecnico di Milano, OHB-Munich and Telespazio Vega. Spin.Works leads the development of the following study components:
For more information on the mission, visit ESA’s website by following the link below: