HERA MISSION MOVING FORWARD 788 505 Asteroid Day Asteroid Day


With great excitement, we are pleased to share that the Hera Mission was funded last week! 

Last month, Europe’s space ministers gathered at Space19+ in Seville, Spain and approved ESA’s Hera asteroid mission for construction and launch, as part of the Agency’s broader planetary defence initiatives that aim to protect European and world citizens. Following NASA’s planned 2020 DART mission, which will intentionally crash an impactor spacecraft into the asteroid Didymos’ small Moon, Hera will visit the asteroid in 2026 providing measurements of the impact’s effect on the moon’s orbit, thus hopefully validating a technique to deflect an asteroid.

Ian Carnelli – Hera Project Manager/ESA

Asteroid Day LIVE participants including Dr. Patrick Michael, Ian Carnelli and Jan Woerner were instrumental in securing this achievement as well as major endorsements from the Asteroid Day Expert Panel members, who regularly talked to the media about the importance of this mission and planetary defence. Additionally, the funding decision comes, in part, thanks to the successful social media campaign #SupportHera, which Asteroid Day and the Asteroid Foundation has actively supported, along with a host of other partners.

Asteroid Day was founded to help build public awareness about asteroids risks and opportunities five and a half years ago. Since the first Asteroid Day event in 2015, our programming and educational tools were built explicitly to pressure politicians to support planetary defence activities as well as educate the public about asteroids in general. Last week with the support of millions of people around the world– that collective hard work has paid off. 

Jan Woerner (seated at the center) at Space 19+ in Seville, Spain. Photo Credit: Max Alexander

Our co-founders, Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist of QUEEN, together with Danica Remy, President of B612 Foundation, Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 Astronaut, and filmmaker Grig Richters have advocated for funding for planetary defence and a better understanding of the role of asteroids in the formation of our solar system. 

Thanks to each and every one of you who have supported our work, educated people in your communities, and have actively promoted the Hera Mission.