segunda-feira, setembro 26, 2022
HomeTecnologiaNASA’s DART mission will check a planetary protection technique by smacking an...

NASA’s DART mission will check a planetary protection technique by smacking an asteroid



If all goes nicely, a spacecraft that NASA launched final November will smash itself to bits in opposition to an asteroid on Monday.

If all goes completely completely, that influence will jostle the asteroid right into a barely totally different orbit, that means that for the primary time, people may have modified the trajectory of a celestial object.

Making historical past, nonetheless, is incidental. The actual mission is to defend the planet.

No have to panic: The goal house rock has no likelihood of placing Earth, nor does some other recognized asteroid for no less than half a century. This NASA mission, operated by the Johns Hopkins College Utilized Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., is testing a method for redirecting an asteroid in case future Earth people actually need to bat one out of the best way.

The essential concept couldn’t be less complicated: Hit it with a hammer! However the diploma of problem is excessive, partly as a result of nobody has ever really seen the asteroid NASA plans to nudge. It’s a moonlet named Dimorphos that’s in regards to the dimension of a soccer stadium.

Sky watchers working the world’s highest-powered telescopes detect the moonlet solely as a shadow that crosses the bigger asteroid it orbits, Didymos, as the 2 circle the solar collectively. The pair make up a “double asteroid,” a typical association in our photo voltaic system.

Right here’s how the $330 million Double Asteroid Redirection Check (DART) is designed to work:

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