This Month, NASA Plans to Crash a Spacecraft with an Asteroid to Alter Its Course

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In an effort to change its trajectory, NASA is preparing to crash a spacecraft with an asteroid about the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza. The study, which is a component of NASA’s Planetary Defense mission, aims to determine whether the technique may be applied in the event of an asteroid heading straight for Earth.

On Monday, September 26, at 7:14 p.m. EDT, asteroid Dimorphos will make its closest approach to Earth, triggering the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The vending machine-sized spacecraft, which launched in November 2021, will autonomously find its path to impact and be completely Bruce Willis-free, in contrast to most major asteroid flicks.

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory will meticulously monitor how long it takes for moonlet Dimorphos to orbit its parent asteroid Didymos before and after collision in order to gauge the impact of the $330 million mission. The asteroid will finish its circle faster if the collision at 24,100 kilometers per hour (15,000 miles per hour) was successful. For just this reason, the Lowell Discovery Telescope in Flagstaff, Arizona, has been keeping a close eye on the orbital path of Dimorphos.

Read:  Lunar Security or Space Spying? China's Moon Surveillance Raises Concerns

 

Ali Esen

Istanbul University, Department of Mathematics. Interested in science and technology.

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