On 22 and 23 February 2016, GAUSS is taking part in the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM), an innovative event in Estec, The Netherlands. This deep-space interplanetary mission that ESA is studying, is currently at its design phase and has the purpose of sending a lander on the smaller of a binary asteroid system – Asteroid 65803 Didymos – providing data of before and after the impact, and mapping, as part of the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission, while addressing planetary defence objectives and performing for the first time detailed investigations of a binary asteroid system. The asteroid 65803 Didymos is set for an Earth close-encounter in October 2022, so the idea is to achieve a fast mission return in two years after the launch in October/November 2020.
The workshop gathers experts of the space sector – like GAUSS – able to discuss the suitable technologies that could be useful for the phases of this leading edge project. It is also being analysed the opportunity of sending some CubeSats onto the Asteroid, in order to study and monitor its composition, therefore enhancing the scientific experiments that these nano satellites, so well known for GAUSS, are able to perform.