Riga: In a corner of the Riga Technical University campus, a group of scientists are working on a technology that might one day prevent an asteroid from hitting the earth.
A high-precision timer built by hand in the Latvian start-up Eventech laboratory is currently being used to track satellites.
This year, the company won a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a timer that will study the possibility of reorienting an asteroid before it is too close to our planet to be comfortable.
NASA plans to launch the first part of the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission — known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) — on July 22, 2021 on a Falcon 9 rocket belonging to tech tycoon Elon Musk’s Space X.
The 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) camera-equipped probe will fly to an asteroid named Didymos and smash into it, trying to blow it off its current course that will see it pass near Earth sometime in 2123.
Eventech’s deep space event timers are being developed for the follow-up HERA mission, which is planned to launch five years later, to determine if the first mission succeeded.