NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is set to crash a 500kg spacecraft into binary asteroid 65803 Didymos’ moonlet Dimorphos.
NASA is all set to make an attempt to deflect an asteroid via Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) on September 26. The process would involve crashing a 500kg spacecraft into binary asteroid 65803 Didymos’ moonlet Dimorphous to change its trajectory. Launched in November 2021, DART will deflect an asteroid by using kinetic impact. The DART is designed to smash a spacecraft into the smaller member of the binary asteroid system. It’s a part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy to safeguard Earth in case of an asteroid posing threat to earth. As per the report, DART will arrive at Didymos in September and will crash into Dimorphous at about 15,000 miles per hour. However, the asteroid system is not a threat to our planet.
What is Didymos?
According to Space.com, it’s a pair of asteroids together- Didymos and Dimorphos. The latter one orbits Didymos. It rotates around its larger twin every 11 hours and 55 minutes. Didymos is a large asteroid of 2,560 feet size while Dimorphos is 525 feet. Nasa has been tracking its movement for decades and found it to be ideal for the DART mission test.
What is Nasa’s DART spacecraft?
Launched in November 2021, Nasa’s DART mission is the first-ever space probe to demonstrate asteroid deflection by a kinetic impactor. It will strike the asteroid at a speed of nearly 24,000 kilometers per hour, with an aim to slow down the asteroid slightly and change its course in another direction.
The DART mission is built and operated by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), under the direction of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO).
According to Nasa, the data from the crash will help scientists create mini-impacts in a lab and build sophisticated computer models based on these results.