The AIDA mission is an international collaboration to demonstrate asteroid deflection by kinetic impact
• The asteroid threat is inherently international. For some time period following discovery of a hazardous asteroid, the impact location will be sufficiently uncertain that it will concern multiple nations. Even after the impact point is identified more precisely, the prevention, preparation, and recovery efforts will be international in order to make best use of worldwide resources and expertise. The AIDA mission exercises international collaboration in a manner that strengthens preparation for a threat-mitigation mission.
• All techniques for deflecting a hazardous asteroid away from an Earth impact require some level of demonstration and validation before considered viable for implementation in an impact-mitigation campaign. Kinetic-impactor technology has been assessed as the most mature and most capable method of deflecting an asteroid, except in cases of short-term warning or very large asteroids. The kinetic-impactor technique is highest ranked as ready for flight demonstration.
A kinetic-impactor demonstration on an asteroid is needed to validate our understanding of the deflection technique and to obtain fundamental information relevant to high-speed impacts onto asteroids
• There exist relatively sophisticated asteroid-deflection modeling capabilities, but there is limited experimental data to inform known uncertainties in the models or to look for unexpected behavior that is not incorporated in the models.
• The scale of a kinetic impact to deflect an asteroid is much larger than can be accessed in laboratory experiments, so Earth-based experiments are not completely sufficient for the data needs.
• The outcome of a kinetic impact, particularly the amount of deflection, depends on physical properties that have never been measured on any asteroid. The AIDA mission will characterize the physical properties and internal structure of the target asteroid, providing a benchmark for modeling and simulation efforts.
• AIDA will provide a test of the integrated technology required to carry out an asteroid-deflection mission.