NASA and the European Space Agency intend to send a mission to an asteroid approaching our planet. Meanwhile, a special probe attempts to alter the orbit of cosmic rocks that could potentially threaten Earth. Many astronomy fans think agencies are hiding something from us. In fact, it’s about testing the technology to see if we have any chances with such things at all.
The DART mission is scheduled to launch on November 24 this year from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket will launch into space and then send the instruments toward the asteroid Didymos (65803). Scientists want to check whether currently available technologies will be able to effectively neutralize the threat from the depths of space. If not. They will do more styles in the future.
In many science fiction movies, we have seen the terrifying vision of our civilization being destroyed by a cosmic rock. In the past, massive asteroids led to global catastrophes that ended in the annihilation of many species of creatures on our planet. If such an event happened now, the consequences would be dire. Humanity’s achievements can be lost in the blink of an eye, and we will technically go back to the Middle Ages.
Didymos (65803) is actually two hundred. The main asteroid has a diameter of 780 meters and is also 160 meters in diameter. Meanwhile, NASA wants to hit the asteroid with a device called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The asteroid Didymos in October 2022 will be about 11 million km from Earth. The task of the device will be to hit the asteroid and change its flight path so that it does not collide with our planet.
According to the plan, the 300-kilogram probe will hit the smaller asteroid Demorphos at a speed of 6 kilometers per second (22 thousand kilometers per hour). It will be the first mission in human history to test the so-called kinetic impact technology of space rocks. The scientists will later view the entire event from different perspectives, thanks to data collected from a probe called LICIACube.
Didymos belongs to the Apollo group, that is, the things that threaten our planet, which is why it is a great object for astronomers to look for in the creation of the Earth’s protection system. The collision is expected to change the asteroid’s orbit by a few millimeters. It does not seem enough, but it is enough to change course at a distance of millions of kilometers of its flight so that the object will pass the Earth.
The Planetary Science Journal reported that when the probe collides with the surface of the asteroid, rocky material will be released into space, and its current will be directed towards our planet. Meteorites exploding in the atmosphere can create a stunning spectacle of falling stars. Let’s just hope that the big boulders do not fall to the ground, because if this happened over the big cities, it could lead to disaster.
On the occasion of this extraordinary mission, it must be emphasized strongly that it will be the most important space mission carried out so far by Elon Musk’s subsidiary. In the future, NASA plans to use SpaceX’s rockets for a few more hacks. These will include a mission to the mineral-rich asteroid (16) Psyche and a science mission called Europa Clipper, during which the icy moons of Jupiter will be explored.
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