NASA is readying to check a planetary protection system that might at some point stop a “hazardous asteroid” from slamming into the Earth.
The house company Tuesday introduced the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is scheduled to launch through a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Nov. 24 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The mission will take a look at an asteroid protection plan known as the kinetic impactor method, which primarily includes capturing spacecraft on the asteroid at a pace of practically 15,000 miles per hour to vary its trajectory.
“DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space,” NASA stated in a launch.
DART’s goal can be a binary asteroid dubbed Didymos. The asteroid system is made up of a 780-meter asteroid and a smaller “moonlet” measuring 160 meters throughout.
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Using cameras and autonomous navigation, the spacecraft will intentionally crash into the moonlet at a pace of 6.6 kilometers per second, in keeping with NASA.
“The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, but this will change the orbital period of the moonlet by several – enough to be observed and measured using telescopes on Earth,” the house company stated.
After a few yr of cruising via house, the spacecraft is scheduled to hit Didymos’ moonlet in September 2022.
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