On 27 September 2022, at a 11 million km from Earth, the NASA spacecraft DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) successfully impacted the Dimorphos asteroid, the 160m diameters moon of main asteroid Didymos. The objective of the DART mission, successfully achieved, was to deviate the Dimorphos asteroid trajectory in a measurable way, to demonstrate the kinetic impactor technique for planetary defense purpose.
In the frame of the AIDA (Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment) collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, after DART comes Hera, to be launched on late 2024 towards the binary asteroid system for post-impact assessment. Hera will onboard two nano satellites, one of which is italian and named “Milani" in honor of the scientist and astronomer Andrea Milani, passed away in 2018. Milani nano satellite is developed by a consortium led by Tyvak International (italian Prime Contractor) and will mainly execute hyperspectral measurements and dust detection.
CIRA is part of the Milani consortium and is collaborating through the “Laboratorio di Qualifica Spaziale", where in 2022 the qualification of the “Ianus" cold gas propulsion system – jointly developed by Tyvak International and T4I – was successfully completed. Tests did foresee mechanical shock, vibration and thermal vacuum. Next step will be the environmental campaign of the Milani nano satellite, before its integration in the Hera mothercraft.
Tyvak International srl is the European subsidiary of Terran Orbital and leading aerospace
provider of nanosatellite and microsatellite vehicles, services and solutions.
The experience gained and the technical capacity of the team give Tyvak
International a significant heritage in the development of small satellites and
related advanced technologies, design and operations of space missions and the
provision of launch services.
T4i, an established Italian rocket company born in 2014, develops both customized propulsion solutions based on customer's requirements and complete space products up to TRL9, focusing on electrical, chemical, and cold gas propulsion systems to cover different in-space applications for small satellites and chemical propulsion systems for launcher applications. T4i's mission is to satisfy the need of green solutions for the mobility of miniaturized satellites and of unlimited windows to access space.