The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (POT, for its acronym in English) will launch this November 23 the mission Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), which will go aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The objective is change the direction of the asteroid, that is, what they will check if this action is possible through kinetic impact. NASA has indicated that the asteroid sought to impact is classified as “close to Earth”Is not considered dangerous.
The launch will take place in the Vandenberg Space Force Base, which is located in Santa Barbara, California, at 10:21 am (the time for Mexico is 12:21 am on November 24). The broadcast will begin on NASA’s YouTube channel at 11:30 p.m. CT.
After separating the ship from the rocket, and “another year of cruise”, will intercept the moon of Didymos at the end of September 2022, which is 11 million kilometers from Earth, so it can be observed with telescopes and planetary radars.
The asteroid that will be used as a test is Dimorphos, 160 meters in diameter, orbiting like a moon around another larger asteroid called Didymos.
Follow the DART mission live:
It should be noted that in October 2020 the AIM satellite was launched, with which it will be studied whether asteroid deflection is feasible, testing laser communication systems in deep space, and conducting scientific research on the asteroid system.
While, “DART is a spacecraft designed to impact 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 seeks to know if intentionally crashing a ship into the asteroid is an effective way to change its trajectory.
The spacecraft, it is mentioned, will achieve the deflection of the kinetic impact deliberately crashing into the moon with a 6.6 km / s speed, which is achieved with a camera that it has on board, which is called DRACO, and automatic navigation software.
The coalition between the two 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 in several minutes, enough to be observed and measured with the telescope on the ground. ”
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