December 1, 2021

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NASA launches a spacecraft to divert an asteroid from its course The rocket will travel at a speed of 24 thousand km per hour when impacted

The NASA This Tuesday night a For work StarR. Deliberately A spacecraft on an asteroid If humanity needs a day to prevent a giant space rock from colliding with Earth, it must be “prepared” as part of the rehearsal.

It may sound like science fiction, but el DART (Dual Asteroid Navigation Test) It’s a real experiment. Broadcast live on television NASA, Tool Departed at 22 local on Tuesday, At 3 a.m. in Argentina, on a SpaceX rocket from the Vandenberg Space Base in California.

Its target is the Dimorphos, a 160-meter-wide “moon” orbiting a very large asteroid called Dimorpos. (Diameter 780 meters). Together, they form a system that orbits the sun.

“Timorbose Asteroid, we’re coming for you!” NASA After launch. He later noted that DART was successfully separated from the second part of the rocket.

“We have received our first signals from #DARTMission that it will continue to position its solar panels in the next few hours, preparing for the asteroid’s 10-month orbit,” the space agency added.

The impact should be felt by the fall of 2022, When the pair of rocks are 11 million kilometers away from the Earth, the closest point they can reach.

We are trying to learn how to deflect the threatNASA Chief Scientist Thomas Supersen said the $ 330 million project and its kind were the first.

Similarly, experts have made it clear that this test poses no threat to our planet. They explained that asteroids belong to the class of bodies called objects close to Earth and can travel close to 50 million kilometers.

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NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordinating Office focuses on bodies over 140 meters high, capable of destroying cities or entire territories with many times more energy than ordinary atomic bombs.

So far, 10,000 near-Earth asteroids measuring 140 meters or more have been identified.But it is unlikely to have any significant impact in the next 100 years. However, only 40 percent of those bodies have been found to date.

Impact

Study DART (Dart), a large refrigerator and a box the size of a limousine-sized solar panel on each side, It will collide with Dimorphos at 15,000 miles per hour, causing a small change in the asteroid’s motion.

Its orbit never crosses our planet, providing a safe way to measure the effect of impact It is scheduled to take place between September 26 and October 1, 2022.

There is a specific Uncertainty about the amount of energy transferred by impact, Since the internal structure and porosity of the small moon is unknown. The more debris is generated, the more motivated Dimorphos will receive.

“Every time we go to asteroids we see things we don’t expect,” Rivkin said.

The DART spacecraft is equipped with state-of-the-art imaging and navigation equipment, including the Italian space agency’s CubeSat, which monitors the crash and its aftermath.

According to scientists, the path of Didymus may also be slightly affected, but it will not significantly change its course or pose a danger to Earth.