The Italian Space Agency and the company Argotec have released the first pictures taken by LICIACube, the only satellite involved in the NASA’s planetary defense mission, DART

23 September 2022

Here come the first, historical images captured by the LEIA and LUKE cameras aboard LICIACube, in the first Italian mission in the deep space, during the approach stages in preparation for the fly-by, when LICIACube will be the only witness of the impact between the DART probe and Dimorphos.

The evocative image taken by the LEIA camera aboard LICIACube, which reminds us of the historical “Earthrise” captured by William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission

The images depict a “growing” Earth (above) and the Pleiades (below).

The image captured by the LUKE onboard camera

A small, big record was born from these images. In fact, these are the first photos taken by an Italian satellite from 14 million kilometers away. An Italian mission had never travelled that far.

The ASI LICIACube satellite, created in the Argotec’s laboratories in Turin, is just at the beginning of its mission. In the next few days, it will get ready to conduct a maneuver that has never been attempted before. The ASI and Argotec engineers are ready for the final stages of this historical mission.

The LICIACube project is managed by the Italian Space Agency, with Argotec S.r.l. as industrial contractor and a scientific team from the National Institute of Astrophysics, the Polytechnic University of Milan, the University of Bologna, the Parthenope University of Naples and the “Nello Carrara” Institute of Applied Physics of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IFAC).

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