14 October 2020
In a deal worth almost 3M€, three Portuguese companies are involved in the space mission "Hera", ESA's first planetary defence mission.
Deflect an asteroid from the collision course with Earth may seem like a mission worthy of a superhero movie. The truth is that this is not a fictional story and has three Portuguese companies as real actors.
GMV and Efacec, member companies of AED Cluster Portugal, along with Synopsis Planet are the national entities contributing to the space mission “Hera”, which totals costs around 129.4 million euros. Of this amount, Portugal (and the companies mentioned) is responsible for a financial envelope in the amount of 2.9 million euros.
In a statement, the Portuguese Space Agency announces that the ESA and the German aerospace company OHB have formalized the contract that provides for “the development of the design, manufacture and testing of the Hera mission, which will launch, in 2024, a probe destined for a binary asteroid system” and that “this probe will be the European contribution to the international project that aims to divert an asteroid from the collision course with Earth and carry out the study of a double asteroid system”.
The launch of the Hera spacecraft is scheduled for 2024, fulfilling the second phase of a mission shared with NASA. In this pioneering initiative for ESA, the three Portuguese companies have very important contributions:
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