The Planetary Society Urges ESA's Member States to Fund the Hera Mission

“Hera would increase confidence in humankind’s ability to deflect a threatening asteroid.“

Press Statement
November 22, 2019

Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Pasadena, CA (November 22, 2019)—The Planetary Society, the world's largest independent space interest organization, issued the following statements in support of the proposed European Space Agency (ESA) mission, Hera:

"Defending the Earth from asteroid impacts is, by definition, a global effort. The European Space Agency, in addition to supporting ground-based observations of near-Earth objects, has the opportunity to partner with NASA to validate asteroid deflection technology—a critical capability for preventing devastating impacts.

ESA's proposed Hera mission would complement NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission by providing precise measurements that would refine our understanding of the effectiveness of impact deflection methods. Never before has humanity validated this capability with a real asteroid system.

Hera would increase confidence in humankind's ability to deflect a threatening asteroid. It is affordable and timely. It addresses a fundamental issue related to the safety and security of the human species. In addition to asking our members in Europe to sign an open letter of support for Hera, The Planetary Society official urges ESA's member states to embrace and prioritize this important mission."

Press Resources

Casey Dreier, Chief Advocate and Senior Space Policy Adviser, is available for interviews. Please arrange with Danielle Gunn, chief communications officer, at [email protected]

Support Hera: 

ESA's Hera Mission:

The Planetary Society and Planetary Defense:

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit