January 19, 2022

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New NASA mission redirects its course to hit a spacecraft with an asteroid

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

NS The space agency reported this on Tuesday The Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) mission is scheduled to launch on November 24 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The mission will test an asteroid defense scheme called kinetic impact technology, which essentially involves launching a spacecraft at an asteroid at 15,000 miles per hour to change its course.

“DART will be the first demonstration of a kinetic impact technology that will change the motion of an asteroid in space,” NASA said. in the case.

Dart’s target will be a binary asteroid called Didymos. The asteroid system consists of an asteroid with a diameter of 780 m and a smaller “moon” of 160 m in length.

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According to NASA, the probe will deliberately hit the moon at a speed of 6.6 kilometers per second using cameras and autonomous navigation.

“The collision will change the moon’s speed in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of a percent, but it will also change the moon’s orbital time by several — which can be seen and measured with telescopes on Earth,” the space agency said. .He said.

After nearly a year of space travel, the spacecraft is scheduled to hit Didymos in September 2022.

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