HERA: an ESA orbiter launching in 2024 to the binary asteroid system
HERA: an ESA orbiter mission is launching in 2024 to the binary asteroid system, Didymos, and reaching it in 2026. HERA is a complementary mission to DART, and combined; they will be the first spacecraft ever to visit a binary asteroid system. HERA will study and scan the small body in the asteroid system after NASA performs an impact on it using DART.
ESA will also use this mission for technology demonstrations like testing autonomous navigation around an asteroid and releasing ESA’s first deep-space CubeSats. The spacecraft is propelled by a hydrazine propulsion system and weighs 870 kilograms fully fuelled, and powering it are two solar arrays with a total area of 8.7 meter2 (93.6 feet2.)