November 29, 2023

A new NASA mission will destroy a spacecraft and turn it into an asteroid to divert its course

A new NASA mission will destroy a spacecraft and turn it into an asteroid to divert its course

NASA is ready to test a planetary defense system that could one day prevent a “dangerous asteroid” from hitting Earth.

The The space agency announced on Tuesday The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is scheduled to launch on November 24 with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The mission will test an asteroid defense plan called kinetic impact technology, which essentially consists of launching a spacecraft at nearly 25,000 miles per hour at the asteroid to change its course.

“DART will be the first demonstration of kinetic impact technology to alter the motion of an asteroid in space,” NASA said. in the current situation.

DART’s target will be a binary asteroid called Didymos. The asteroid system consists of an asteroid 780 meters high and 160 meters wide, a “small moon”.

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Using cameras and autonomous navigation, the spacecraft will deliberately hit the moon at 6.6 kilometers per second, according to NASA.

“The collision would change the small moon’s orbital velocity around the main body by a fraction of one percent, but this would change the small moon’s orbit time by several — enough to be observed and measured with telescopes on Earth,” the space agency said.

After about a year of space travel, the space probe is scheduled to hit the young moon Didymos in September 2022.

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