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NASA's DART spacecraft to crash into asteroid in planetary defense test


KID

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NASA's DART spacecraft to crash into asteroid in planetary defense test

 

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test, also known as DART, is on target to slam into an asteroid Monday night in its first planetary defense test that could protect Earth from future threats.

NASA scientists said they are "precision locked" on their target, Dimorphos, less than 20 minutes to impact, which is a big milestone that drew applause inside Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory at approximately 6:50 p.m. EDT.

"We're locked on Dimorphos. We're maneuvering towards it and everything is looking really good," Dr. Elena Adams, with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, told reporters. "We've executed two burns and everything is on track."

At one hour to impact, scientists said they had Dimorphos in sight with a "clear image and are on "a stable track."

RELATEDNASA successfully launches DART asteroid collision mission

"We are starting to see Dimorphos for the first time," Adams said. "We are getting ready to transition. We are ready to go."

The DART vehicle is expected to crash into the asteroid Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos at 7:14 p.m. EDT, at a speed of about 15,000 mph, with the goal of altering the moonlet's current path. Coverage on NASA TV begins at 6 p.m.

Neither Didymos nor Dimorphos pose a threat to Earth, but if all goes according to plan, the same maneuver could be used to divert other asteroids from threatening Earth.

The DART mission, scientists say, will provide valuable data for NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which is managing the mission.

"This is an exciting time, not only for the agency but in space history and in the history of humankind, quite frankly," Lindley Johnson, NASA's planetary defense officer said. "This demonstration is extremely important to our future here on Earth."

DART is aiming for Dimorphos, which scientists estimate is about 560 feet in diameter.

RELATEDNASA taking aim at asteroid is first step toward planetary defense

"Dimorphos is a tiny asteroid," Tom Statler, the mission's program scientist at NASA, said during a news conference.

"We've never seen it up close. We don't know what it looks like. We don't know what the shape is. And that's just one of the things that leads to the technical challenges of DART," Statler said. "Hitting an asteroid is a tough thing to do."

https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2022/09/26/nasa-dart-crash-asteroid-planetary-defense-test/5171664226290/

you could have actually watched the DART mission on live TV

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So Its not a threat, but we will shoot it anyway, change its path and next time it comes round it may well be a threat.

:thumbs_up:

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6 hours ago, philuk said:

So Its not a threat, but we will shoot it anyway, change its path and next time it comes round it may well be a threat.

:thumbs_up:

Step 1 of problem solving:  Create a problem. 

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DeedleNuts
On 9/26/2022 at 4:24 PM, KID said:

Neither Didymos nor Dimorphos pose a threat to Earth, but if all goes according to plan ....

"Our models didn't predict the new orbit intersecting earth orbit in 15 months, sorry"

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