NASA will test asteroid defenses by slamming a spacecraft into a space rock in 2022

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If Earth were ever to be threatened by a large space rock ‘ and it definitely will at some point in the future ‘ humanity is going to need to have a plan. Astronomers know this, which is why simulated exercises like the one that took place last week are so important, but actually testing possible defense strategies is something that still needs to happen.

In 2021, NASA will launch the DART spacecraft. NASA will test asteroid defenses by slamming a spacecraft ... will test asteroid defenses by slamming a spacecraft into a space rock in 2022 DART, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is designed to slam directly into a space rock known as Didymos B, which is the smaller half of a binary asteroid, the other half of which is known as Didymos A. The results from the test could shape Earth’s planetary defense systems for decades to come.

Publisher: BGR
Date: 2019-05-08T00:08:02+00:00
Author: Mike Wehner
Twitter: @BGR
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NASA’s First Planetary Defense Technology Demonstration to Collide with Asteroid in 2022

Artist’s concept of DART mission. Videos for NASA Will Test Asteroid Defenses By 6:48Asteroid defense: NASA to test plan that will deflect asteroids from crashing into Earth - TomoNewsYouTube Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory | ‘ Full image and caption

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) ‘ NASA’s first mission to demonstrate a planetary defense technique ‘ will get one chance to hit its target, the small moonlet in the binary asteroid system Didymos. The asteroid poses no threat to Earth and is an ideal test target: measuring the change in how the smaller asteroid orbits about the larger asteroid in a binary system is much easier than observing the change in a single asteroid’s orbit around the Sun. Work is ramping up at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, and other locations across the country, as the mission heads toward its summer 2021 launch ‘ and attempts to pull off a feat so far seen only in science fiction films.

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NASA spacecraft to collide a small moonlet in 2022

The U.S. space agency NASA revealed on Monday details about its plan to hit a small moonlet target in a double asteroid system with a spacecraft in 2022, its first mission to demonstrate a planetary defense technique.

An international campaign is now making observations using powerful telescopes worldwide to understand the state of the asteroid system.

“The Didymos system is too small and too far to be seen as anything more than a point of light, but we can get the data we need by measuring the brightness of that point of light, which changes as Didymos A rotates and Didymos B orbits,” said Andy Rivkin, a co-lead of the investigation team.

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