I’m a huge space enthusiast and science enthusiast, but I am not an actual scientist. I’m an outsider looking in, drooling a little as I watch all those real scientists doing all that real science. But even as an outsider, I still sometimes get the chance to contribute in my own small way to the cause of science and space exploration.
Coming up in June of 2018, the Didymos Observer Workshop will be held in Prague, Czeck Republic. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Didymos is a large asteroid with an orbit that sometimes brings it alarmingly close to Earth. It’s also one of those asteroids that has its own tiny moon, a moon which is informally known as “Didymoon.”
The Didymos Observer Workshop will be discussing the upcoming AIDA mission, a joint venture between NASA and ESA. According to the workshop’s website, “AIDA will be the first space experiment to demonstrate asteroid impact hazard mitigation by using a kinetic impactor to deflect an asteroid.” In other words, we’re going to whack Didymoon really hard to see how much we can change its orbit around Didymos.
Honestly, I feel a little bad for Didymoon, but the results of this experiment will help us prepare for the day when we need to smack an incoming asteroid off of a collision course with Earth. This is important for science, and someday it may save a whole lot of lives.
And I am really, really proud to say that one of my drawings is being used (with permission, of course) in the Didymos Observer Workshop’s promotional material. Click here to check it out!