NotAsa is finalizing preparations for the launch of the world’s first planetary defense mission. The Double Asteroid Redirection (Dart) test is Scheduled to be released on November 23 It is a joint mission with the Johns Hopkins Laboratory of Applied Physics.
Dart is designed for Collision with the asteroid Demorphos And changing its orbit as a test to detect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and deviate from its path.
The diameter of Demorphos is 160 meters, which is about the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is a moon of the larger asteroid Didymos, and it completes an orbit around its parent rock once every 11.9 hours.
In October 2022, the Dart will hit Dimorphos at 6.6 km/s. This will change the asteroid’s speed by about 0.4 mm/sec, and change its orbit period by about 10 minutes.
If communicated early enough, small changes in an asteroid on its way to Earth could be enough to avert catastrophe.
DART is part of a larger two-part mission called the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission. The second part is The European Space Agency’s HERA mission. Scheduled to be launched in October 2024, HERA will study the effects of the collision up close.
The Dart will be launched from Space Force Base in Vandenberg, California, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
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