The LICIACube satellite (Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids) has successfully separated from the DART interplanetary probe and contacted the Earth. This is stated in a message published by the Italian Space Agency (ASI).
LICIACube was built on the basis of the CubeSat (6U) platform. Its dimensions are 10 cm × 20 cm × 30 cm, weight — 14 kg. Solar panels are used to generate energy.
A small device is designed to photograph the collision of the DART probe with the Dimorphos asteroid. The purpose of the experiment is to study the possibility of changing the orbit of dangerous celestial bodies by kinetic action. LICIACube will record the moment of impact and the substance ejected during it. And three days after the collision, the Italian spacecraft will fly at a distance of 55 km from the surface of the Dimorphos and photograph the crater formed as a result of the collision.
To perform the tasks set, the cubesat is equipped with two cameras. One of them was built by Dragonfly Aerospace, owned by Ukrainian entrepreneur and philanthropist Max Poliakov.
LICIACube successfully separated from DART on September 12. According to the Italian Space Agency, cubesat has already contacted the Earth and all its systems are functioning normally. Recall that the collision of DART with Dimorphos is scheduled for September 26.
Recall that recently DART sent the first image of the asteroid Dimorphos.
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