If Michael Bay can’t save us from an asteroid impact with reverse pans and working class heroes, NASA and SpaceX may have to do it with science and money. The organizations are set to launch their Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, will fly to an asteroid system called Didymos that contains two orbiting rocks. When it gets there in late 2022, the spacecraft will slam into the smaller of the two, Dimorphos. The change in trajectory from a successful impact will be small initially, but the idea is that over time it will end up becoming a significant deviation. DART itself is a bullet: besides its propulsion equipment it holds some sensors and a camera, and that’s it. It’s designed to slam into something.
“DART is the first test of how we might be able to deflect something without having to resort to a nuclear package, or sitting in our basements, waiting it out, and crossing our fingers,” Andy Rivkin, a planetary astronomer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the investigation team lead for DART, said on Motherboard’s “Space Show” earlier this year.
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