From film. To protect Earth from probable collision with asteroids heading toward the planet, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched the DART mission.
“DART is a first step in testing methods for the diversion of dangerous asteroids”, said Andrea Riley, DART Program Executive at NASA headquarters.
“Potentially dangerous asteroids are a global concern, and we are excited to work with our Italian and European colleagues to collect the most accurate data possible from this kinetic impact deflection demonstration.”, he claimed.
DART stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test and its objective would be to modify the trajectory of a small moon in the Didymos binary system. It is a body the size of the great pyramid of Egypt whose names are Dimorphos.
NASA will send a spacecraft to crash with the moon of an asteroid, which they named Dimorphos, since it will have two forms, one before and one after being hit.
The DART test will arrive in 2022 to an asteroid known as Didymos, to demonstrate the asteroid deflection system.
It’s Didymos’s moon, which scientists named this week as Dimorphos, the DART target.
This new project seeks to redirect any large rock that is dangerously close to Earth.
DART is designed to cause a kinetic impact, that is, it will collide with this moon to push it. Although Dimorphos does not represent a real problem for planet Earth, DART will conduct a test on it to test its effectiveness against future threats.
NASA will be supported in this process by the Italian Space Agency.
- DART is the first mission developed for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, and a piece of NASA’s broader planetary defense planning. In 2016, NASA established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) to lead the efforts of the U.S. Government to detect and warn about potentially dangerous asteroids and comets, and to study ways to mitigate danger when may be possible.
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