NASA will embark on a mission to test its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) system to change the orbit of potential planet killers or lesser asteroids from impacting Earth. The mission aims to hit any space rock with enough kinetic impact from a space vehicle that should alter its course from hitting the planet.
The dangers of near-earth asteroids have never been alarming as the foreign bodies are too numerous to count. It only takes one to wipe out life like the Chicxulub that hit 66 million years ago. Agencies like NASA are scrambling for ways to stop world-ending impacts from asteroids.
DART as planetary defense system
Utilizing current space-faring technology, the US space agency will attempt an actual mission if it will work using semi-autonomous space vehicles as the platform. The DART mission will start its countdown to November soon, reported India Today.
DART will be the basis of a defense system potentially important in knocking deadly asteroids and similar near-Earth objects threatening the planet. Its target will be the Didymos asteroid, which will be used for the first test in history, proving the value of the system effectivity. NASA touted the DART system as the first-ever made for keeping the world safe from cataclysmic impacts. NASA tweeted on November 24 world will be watching for its success when the mission goes hot.
Kinetic impact magnified by DART
It was developed under the management of the Solar System Exploration Program by the space agency, projected for the target to be knocked off-course. NASA will crash the space vehicle at the Didymos moonlet, speeding at 6.6 kilometers per second to hit as the calculated impact speed affected it.
The spacecraft will have cameras and hi-tech AI-based navigation to track its progress unassisted from mission control. Critical to the changing speed of the moonlet, opposed to the main body by just one percent. It will change orbit time by several minutes, assumed to be seen recorded to the Earth when the impact occurs.
Launching the asteroid altering kinetic system is the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. The distance will be significant, and the machine will fly through space for a year, reaching its destination by 2022, cites Space News.
Powering its 12-month journey is the Roll-Out Solar Arrays (ROSA), which picks up solar rays to move them in spaceways via electric power. The departure date is on November 2021. It will be ready for its kamikaze rendezvous with the Didymos asteroid about 11 million kilometers from Earth. The system will be seen by ground and orbit-based radars, tracking its flight path.
The #DARTmission is @NASA’s first #PlanetaryDefense test mission and will impact an asteroid to demonstrate a technique that could be used in the future to protect Earth from a potential impact. #CountdownToLaunch on November 24! Learn more: https://t.co/nPcmHQsAoy pic.twitter.com/jugmhm3UFS— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) September 10, 2021
Andrea Riley, DART program executive, said that all nations are concerned about potentially deadly impacts, being co-partners of the project are Italian and European scientists waiting to gather the impact data when it happens. The target of NASA and the DART system is the Dimorphos, the moon of the Didymos asteroid, which was first discovered by astronomer Petr Pravec, at the Ondejov Observatory in Czechia, in 2003.