Workshop Description

The Global Virtual Workshop I will be about space exploration, with a focus on asteroids. Experts from all around the world will speak and provide details about some of the main missions that are currently operated, Osirix-Rex and Hayabusa, and about the future Hera mission.

Hayabusa2 is a JAXA sample-return mission, that follows the previous Hayabusa mission. Hayabusa 2 was launched on 3rd December 2010 and arrived to asteroid Ryugu in June 2015. After the samples collection, it left the asteroid in November 2019 and its return is expected in late 2020.

Osirix-Rex is another currently underway sample-return mission. It is operated by NASA and its goal is to return samples from near-Earth asteroid, 101955 Bennu. The spacecraft was launched on 8th September 2016 and it is currently orbiting the asteroid to map it before collecting the samples and return. The mission will provide information about the early solar system and about asteroids that could impact Earth in future. The return to Earth is expected in 2023.

The Hera mission has been approved in late 2019. Hera will be the first spacecraft to visit a double asteroid, the Didymos binary system. It is the European contribution to an international double-spacecraft collaboration. First, NASA will crash its DART spacecraft into the smaller asteroid; then, Hera will perform a detailed post-impact survey that will turn this grand-scale experiment into a well-understood and repeatable planetary defence technique. Hera will carry two CubeSats on board, which will be able to fly much closer to the asteroid’s surface to carry out scientific studies, before touching down.

During the workshop, tutorials and additional presentations are planned, such as those by the Early Stage Researchers of the Stardust-R network.

Further detailed information about the program and the workshop organization will follow