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An ambitious experiment: tonight a NASA spacecraft will collide with an asteroid - voila! Technology

2022-09-26T09:59:27.520Z

The tiny spacecraft DART of the American space agency, designed to test the possibility of deviating asteroids from their orbit by hitting them, will crash into its target: the moon Dimorphos



An ambitious experiment: tonight a NASA spacecraft will collide with an asteroid

The American space agency's tiny DART spacecraft, designed to test the possibility of derailing asteroids by hitting them, will crash into its target: the moon Dimorphos.

The goal: save the planet

Yanon ben Shoshan

09/26/2022

Monday, September 26, 2022, 12:33 Updated: 12:55

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NASA's DART mission

NASA's DART spacecraft will tonight (Monday) deliberately crash into the small asteroid Dimorphos, which has a diameter of 160 meters (about the size of a football stadium). Although the pair of asteroids (Didymus and its moon Dimorphos), do not endanger the Earth, this is the first attempt by Nas "A with an "asteroid interception system": a defense system that uses a dedicated spacecraft to divert an asteroid from its orbit for planetary defense purposes.



Over the past three weeks, the DART team has made several course corrections to reduce the margin of error in the impact course.

After the last maneuver held yesterday (Sunday), the level of accuracy should reach a range of two kilometers.

From there, DART will navigate itself to collide with the moon.



In fact, scientists chose this asteroid system because it is relatively close to Earth (about 11 million km). The collision will make it possible to examine the structure of the celestial gram and improve the accuracy of the capabilities of a future encounter between an unmanned spacecraft and an asteroid. "It is not going to destroy the asteroid.

It will just give it a little boost," said Nancy Chabot, lead coordinator of the DART mission, of the Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Applied Physics.

Image: NASA's DART spacecraft (Photo: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben)

"An asteroid impact is an extremely rare event, maybe once in a century there's an asteroid that we're really concerned about," said Lindley Johnson, a planetary defense officer at NASA, adding: "And while there's no known asteroid currently on a collision course with Earth, we know there are A large amount of asteroids in space somewhere far from here." The space agency explains that the tiny spacecraft will transmit images to the control center until the moment of the collision, which will occur at a distance of approximately 11 million kilometers from the Earth - a distance considered relatively close - and at a speed of 24,140 kilometers per hour.

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Source: walla

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