The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Agency created the satellites, DART and AIM, with which they will check if the kinetic impact method manages to deviate the direction of an asteroid.
In the case of AIM, it aims to find out if asteroid deflection is feasible, to test laser communication systems in deep space, and to conduct scientific research on the asteroid system. It was released in October 2020.
“DART is a spacecraft designed to hit an asteroid as a test of technology. DART’s target asteroid is not a threat to Earth ”, it is explained on the NASA website. With which it is sought to know if intentionally crashing a ship against the asteroid means an effective way to change its trajectory, this would be information that would be useful in the future.
Although it is indicated that although there is no information that an asteroid will impact the earth in the next 100 years, 140 meters in size, but they are 40% of the type of asteroids that were found in October.
Didymos is the binary asteroid that would be the target of the demonstration and it is indicated that the primary body of the object is 780 meters wide and its secondary body is 160 meters, which is the size that could mean, in the future, a danger to the earth.
“The Didymos binary is being observed using telescopes on Earth to accurately measure its properties before DART arrives,” NASA describes.
The spacecraft, it is mentioned, will achieve the deflection of the kinetic impact by deliberately colliding with the moon with a speed of 6.6 km / s, which is achieved with an on-board camera, which is called DRACO, and automatic navigation software. .
The coalition between both objects will change the speed of the small moon in its orbit “Around the main body by a fraction of 1%, but that will change the orbital period of the small moon by several minutes, enough to be observed and measured with the telescope on the ground.”
When will it happen?
DART launch will take place on November 24 and will go aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket, from Vandenberg Air Force Air Force Base, California. After separating the ship from the rocket, and “another year of cruising”, it will intercept Didymos’ moon at the end of September 2022, which is when it is 11 million kilometers from Earth, so it can be observed with planetary telescopes and radars.
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