On November 23, NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) system will lift off from Earth aboard a SpaceX Elon Musk Falcon 9 rocket.
The rocket writes that the rocket will take off from Vandenberg Space Force Base and fly toward the asteroid Demorphos, a small moon belonging to the larger asteroid Didymos. CNN.
An asteroid is a near-Earth object that is classified as potentially dangerous. Near-Earth objects are asteroids and comets whose orbits come close to Earth by more than 45 million km. Identifying and monitoring such objects is one of NASA’s most important tasks.
– Potentially dangerous asteroids
The collision with the moon Dimorphos is the first complete NASA mission to be conducted as part of the planet’s defense. According to the plan, the actual collision will occur on September 22, 10 months after liftoff from Earth.
“DART is the first step in defending Earth against potentially dangerous asteroids,” NASA researcher Andrea Riley told CNN.
About 20 years ago it was discovered that the larger asteroid Didymos had a small moon. Didymus has a diameter of about two kilometers, while the diameter of the moon Demorphos is about 160 meters.
On September 22, Didymus and the passenger Demorphos will be approximately 11 million kilometers from Earth. Thus, NASA conducted a collision test on a silver platter.
(The case is still under the picture).
– It will be decisive
Dimporphos was chosen because of its proximity to Earth, and because its size than other asteroids could pose a threat to our planet.
The task is for DART to deliberately collide with Dimorphos and thus change the asteroid’s path and speed. The Italian satellite LICIACube will monitor the collision, which will join the DART flight and will be separated before the actual collision. Astronomers will be able to observe how the orbit of Demborovos was affected by the collision.
It will be crucial to our understanding of how asteroids interact with our defense system, says researcher Tom Statler, one of the presidents behind CNN’s DART program.
Two years after the collision, scientists from the European Space Agency will conduct new observations and map how both Demorphos and the parent asteroid Didymos were affected.
The hope is that Demorphos will lose speed, which will shorten its cycle by several minutes. If the mission succeeds, it is the first time people have deliberately altered the dynamics of an object in the solar system in a measurable way.
However, the most important goal is to give researchers a clear indication that the defense system is working, should we face a real threat in the future.
“Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff.”