NASA releases details on DART mission to test asteroid defense system

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fl.) — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration released details on their upcoming mission to redirect an asteroid.

The asteroid, known as Dimorphos, is the smaller of a two-body binary asteroid system. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is a system designed to collide with Dimorphos and take readings on the seismic impact and effectiveness of the redirection system.

The spacecraft, roughly the size of a small car, will strike Dimorphos at about 4 miles per second on September 26, 2022. The asteroid itself is harmless and highly unlikely to cause any danger to the Earth, and was chosen for these and more factors.

Analysis of the resulting impact ejecta and crater will reveal potential flaws in the system, informing NASA on how best to address near-Earth objects when they actually do threaten to collide.

Contributing to this analysis will be NASA’s Deep Space Network, an extensive array of giant telescope dishes across the United States, Spain, and Australia.

The mission was launched in November 2021. NASA plans to stream the event on their YouTube page.





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