SpaceX would launch two scientific missions for the European Space Agency, which were previously planned to be carried out with the help of Russia. We are talking about the Euclid orbital telescope and the Hera probe.
SpaceX will replace Russia for Europeans
The European Space Agency (ESA) has chosen SpaceX to launch two important scientific missions. This was announced by the head of the organization, Josef Aschbacher, after the meeting of its council. In total, 18 important decisions were taken at it. But the loudest with them was what concerned the missions of Euclid, Hera and Earthcare.
And the last one is planned to be launched with the help of the European Vega C carrier, and the other two will be launched into space by the Falcon 9 rockets of a private American company. The sensationality of this news leads to the fact that earlier the launch of these devices is planned to be carried out with the help of Russia.
Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine has put ESA in an extremely difficult position. On the one hand, a significant part of the agency’s missions were tied to Russia. On the other hand, the continuation of cooperation seemed extremely dubious from a moral point of view.
That is why Aschbacher first announced that ESA would continue to cooperate, and then changed his mind and, in the end, the agency abandoned all joint projects with the aggressor country. For its part, SpaceX from the very beginning declared its readiness to replace the Russians.
What are these missions?
Earthcare is an ESA’s Earth observation satellite that will join the European Copernicus program, a group of climate monitoring spacecraft.
Euclid is a new European orbital telescope. Its weight is 2160 kg, and the mirror has a diameter of 1.2 meters. It will work in the visible and near-infrared ranges. Its main purpose is to search for dark matter and dark energy.
Hera is a probe that is supposed to go to a pair of asteroids Didymos-Dimorphos. It will evaluate the results of a collision with the latest DART spacecraft, which recently crashed into the smaller of the two bodies in order to change its orbit.
According to www.space.com
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