Home » SCIENCE » NASA to launch “Armageddon”-style mission to deliberately crash into an asteroid’s moon and test “planetary defense”

NASA to launch “Armageddon”-style mission to deliberately crash into an asteroid’s moon and test “planetary defense”

NASA’s upcoming mission could resemble a scene from a sci-fi disaster film. The agency announced Sunday that it’s sending spacecraft over the Earth to crash into an asteroid’s moonlet to adjust the body’s trajectory. 

The mission, a Double Asteroid Redirection Exam (DART), will be the first agency’s use of the kinetic impactor system, in which a big, higher-speed spacecraft is despatched into an asteroid’s route to improve its movement. NASA is established to conduct the mission, what it phone calls “the to start with take a look at for planetary protection,” on November 24, the day before Thanksgiving, to hit the binary near-Earth asteroid Didymos and its moonlet, Dimorphos. 

The asteroid is about 780 meters throughout — about 2,559 toes, according to NASA. Its moonlet is about 525 feet, which according to NASA, is “far more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose the most probably major danger to Earth.” 

The DART spacecraft will crash into the moonlet nearly head-on at about 6.6 kilometers for each next, a velocity that is a lot quicker than a bullet and speedy enough to transform the velocity of the moonlet by a portion of 1%, NASA claims. While it seems like a tiny transform, this impact will improve the orbital period of time of the moonlet by numerous minutes. 

DART will be introduced aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, but it really is not heading to crash into the asteroid’s moon for another 10 months. NASA mentioned that it will be cruising in room until eventually September 2022, when the Didymos technique is in 11 million kilometers of Earth. 

The mission is reminiscent of the 1998 sci-fi motion film “Armageddon,” in which the house agency deploys a workforce of civilians to land on an asteroid and detonate it prior to it destroys Earth. Although the basic strategy to the motion picture is identical, on the other hand, NASA has explained that neither Didymos nor Dimorphos pose a threat to Earth. This unique mission, the agency suggests, is so that scientists can determine how helpful DART missions can be. 

The distance from Earth that the asteroid and its moonlet will be at the time of the collision is near plenty of that telescopes will be ready to notice what takes place. 

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