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NASA launches “DART” in space to take an asteroid off course during a planned planet defense test

This may seem familiar if you’ve seen Mimi Leder’s movie “Deep Impact,” in which a manned spacecraft was sent into space to divert a comet’s course to a collision with Earth. not. One notable difference is that this time our planet is not at risk and the spacecraft being sent into space will collide with the asteroid.

Yes, NASA has launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first planet defense to test technologies that protect the Earth from asteroids and comets. A space explorer launched at 1:21 am EST on Wednesday by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California will collide with an asteroid and change speed and course.

“The Falcon 9 and DART lift-offs at NASA’s first planetary defense test that deliberately collided with an asteroid,” NASA spokesman Marie Lewis said in a live launch. Approximately nine minutes after takeoff, the Falcon 9 recovered the orbit-class rocket boosters when SpaceX returned to Earth and landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of course I still love you” for the 95th time. Was recorded.

“DART is turning science fiction into science facts, demonstrating NASA’s aggressiveness and innovation for the benefit of everyone,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson. “In addition to all the ways NASA studies our universe and our home planet, we are also working to protect its homes. This test is from dangerous asteroids. It helps to prove one viable way to protect our planet. We are heading to Earth. “

please do not worry. Asteroids are not a threat to Earth (unlike Comet Wolf-Biderman in “Deep Impact”). This is just a test to see if the technology can really change the orbit and velocity of the asteroid. It threatens the earth in the future. DART affects a “moonlet” called Dimorphos (about 525 feet orbiting around Dimorphos, a larger asteroid about 2,500 feet in diameter), shortening its orbit by a few minutes.

If either of the two actually hits the earth, the devastation will be the entire continent. DART will intercept the Dimorphos system between September 26th and October 1st, 2022, and will collide with Dimorphos at about 4 miles per second. For now, DART travels just outside the Earth’s orbit around the Sun (for the next 10 months) until Didymos and Dimorphos are about 11 million kilometers away from the Earth.

Before DART collides with Dimorphos, we will release LICIA Cube, the CubeSat that rides with DART. It is provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and captures an image of the impact and the resulting cloud of released matter.

NASA launches “DART” in space to take an asteroid off course during a planned planet defense test

Source link NASA launches “DART” in space to take an asteroid off course during a planned planet defense test

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