UNITED STATES: NASA will attempt to reroute an asteroid by slamming into it on September 26. According to sources, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) plan calls for a 500 kg spacecraft to crash with the binary asteroid 65803 Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos (also known as “Didymoon”) to alter their trajectory.
DART, which was launched in November 2021, will reach Didymos and Didymoon this September and collide with them at a speed of around 15,000 miles per hour.
Didymos and Didymoon don’t pose a threat to Earth, yet, The DART mission from NASA is an attempt to defend Earth from potentially more hazardous space rocks.
Didymos is the name of a pair of asteroids, although Didymos and Dimorphos are the names of the two rocks individually. Dimorphos revolves around Didymos, doing so once every 11 hours, 55 minutes. Dimorphos is a small asteroid, measuring 525 feet, compared to Didymos’ 2,560 feet.
Earth-based telescopes have been able to follow that movement “exactly like clockwork” for many years. Telescopes throughout the world can track the system’s brightness shift when Dimorphos passes between Didymos and Earth.
The Didymos system’s clockwork motion makes it perfect for the DART mission. To stop them from hitting Earth, NASA will deflect potentially harmful asteroids. Although Didymos itself is not dangerous to Earth, it will be used as a test target.
The DART mission will be the first-ever space vehicle to show how an impactor can deflect an asteroid. To slow down the asteroid a little bit and alter its trajectory, the probe will strike the object at a speed of around 24,000 kilometres per hour.
Under the supervision of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) built and runs the programme (PDCO).
Scientists can use the crash data to simulate complex computer simulations by imitating small impacts in the lab.