NASA: What is the DART mission, with which the US agency intends to deflect an asteroid?

The NASA will launch tomorrow The mission DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), which is the world’s first planetary defense test against any space object and aims to slightly change the orbit of the small lunar asteroid Dimorphos.

In this regard, the associate administrator of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, said that no known asteroid threatens life on our planet, at least for the next hundred years, so it is a perfect time to start preparing.

In this regard, The Earth Observation Portal mentioned in an article that The NASA constantly observe the sky and have already identified around 40% of potentially dangerous asteroids in the world. a size greater than 140 meters, none of which should affect our planet, including the binary system (in astronomy, it refers to two astronomical objects that are so close to each other that they are linked by their gravitational force) selected for the first asteroid redirection test .

How will NASA manage to deflect the asteroid?

Dart is a spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid to see if it can change the motion of an asteroid in space. The mission’s goal is to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft is an effective way to change its course, should a potentially deadly asteroid be discovered in the future.

The unit will hit the asteroid called Dimorphos and it has a diameter of 160 meters. It revolves around the 780-meter-diameter asteroid. called Didymos.

“The collision will change the speed of the satellite in its orbit a fraction of one percent, which will serve to change its orbital period in several minutes, enough to be observed and measured by telescopes on Earth,” they explain at NASA . The DART spacecraft will travel from California Didymos about eleven million kilometers. It is estimated that the mission reaches its destination in 10 months of travel, in autumn 2022.


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