December 9, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Video: An example from the movie Armageddon. A probe has launched towards the smashed asteroid and will try to divert its course

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which has Test the protection of planet Earth from a possible collision by colliding with the asteroid with a cosmic body, I started successfully From Vandenberg Space Force Base on the California coast. NASA, which broadcast the event live, world news agencies wrote about it.

The first mission of its kind

The spacecraft’s spacecraft, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), was launched into space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket lifted off from the California coast at 22.21 local time (07.21 CET). Sometime between September and October of next year, the spacecraft is set to hit the surface of Demorph, the much larger moon of Didymos, at 6.7 kilometers per second, in order to change its orbit. Demorphos and Didymus orbit the Sun together.

According to NASA, this is the first mission of its kind. Its goal is to slightly alter the motion of the 160-meter-long space object Demorphos. The collision should change the speed of this object around Didyma by a fraction of a percentage, which should be enough for observation and measurement with telescopes on Earth. The experiment should verify whether it is possible in this way to transform the planets and meteorites that could collide with Earth.

This is not a dangerous asteroid. this time

Didymos binary system is not dangerous for planet Earth. This object was chosen to test the possibilities of affecting the trajectory of objects using kinetic energy together – that is, through impact. The results of the mission will be studied by experts primarily using telescopes on the ground. However, valuable data will also be provided by the small Italian Light Italian CubeSat Asteroid Imaging Satellite (LICIACube), which will separate from the impact instrument in time and document the entire maneuver.

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The impacts of the probe’s impact on Dimorph in 2024 should also be examined in more detail by the European Space Agency (ESA) mission called HERA.

According to the DPA, scientists do not currently know which asteroids might threaten Earth. However, in its relative neighborhood, they identified about 27,000 asteroids, about 10,000 of which are more than 140 meters in diameter.