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NASA launches a spacecraft to test the concept of asteroid defense | WGN Radio 720

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) on board the spacecraft is ready for launch on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at the Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. DART is the first in the world. A full-scale planet defense test showing one method of asteroid deflection technology. The mission is built and managed by Johns Hopkins APL, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. (Bill Ingalls via AP / NASA)

Los Angeles (AP) — NASA launched a spacecraft on Tuesday night on a mission to test whether speed-violating space rock can be taken off course in the event of a collision with an asteroid and threatening Earth.

The DART Spacecraft, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a $ 330 million project accompanied by the echo of Bruce Willis’s movie Armageddon. ..

Hopefully, in September 2022, we will hit Dimorphos, an asteroid 525 feet (160 meters) in diameter, head-on at 15,000 miles per hour (24,139 km).

“This is not going to destroy the asteroid,” said Mission Official Nancy Shabot of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which manages the project.

Dimorphos orbits a much larger asteroid called Dimorphos. This pair is not dangerous to Earth, but it does provide scientists with a way to measure the effectiveness of collisions.

Dimorphos completes one lap of Dimorphos every 11 hours and 55 minutes. The goal of DART is a crash that slows down Dimorphos, drops it towards a larger asteroid, and shortens it by 10 minutes from its orbit.

Changes in the orbital period are measured by telescopes on Earth. The minimum change for a mission to be considered successful is 73 seconds.

DART technology can help asteroids change course for years or even decades before they land on Earth with the potential for catastrophe.

A small nudge “will make a big difference in future positions, and then asteroids and Earth are not on the collision course,” Chabot said.

Scientists constantly search for asteroids and plan their course to determine if they can hit the planet.

Lindrison, NASA’s Planet Defense Officer, said: “The key to planet defense is to find them long before they become a threat of shock.”

DART takes 10 months to reach the asteroid pair. Collisions occur about 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth.

DART will release a subsequent small observation spacecraft from the Italian Space Agency 10 days ago.

DART streams the video until it is destroyed by a shock. After 3 minutes, the following aircraft will create an image of the location of the collision and the released material.

NASA launches a spacecraft to test the concept of asteroid defense | WGN Radio 720

Source link NASA launches a spacecraft to test the concept of asteroid defense | WGN Radio 720

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