NASA’s mission plan to intentionally collide with the asteroid moon

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A spaceship that deliberately collides with an asteroid is about to take off. NASA’s DART mission, or double asteroid redirection test, takes off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 10:20 p.m. on November 23. To do. After launching in November, NASA will test asteroid deflection technology in September 2022 to see how it affects the movement of asteroids in space. The target of this asteroid deflection technology is Dimorphos, a small moon that orbits near the asteroid. The terrestrial asteroid Didymos. This will be the first full-scale demonstration of an institution of this type of technology in the service of the defense of the planet. Near-Earth objects are asteroids and comets whose orbits place them within 30 million kilometers of Earth. Detecting near-Earth object (NEO) threats that can cause serious damage is the primary focus of NASA and other space organizations around the world. Didymos and Dimorphos 20 years ago, including near-Earth asteroids. There is a month around which the binary system is called Didymos. In Greek, Didymos means “twin”. It was used to represent how a small moon, 525 feet in diameter, orbits a large asteroid about 0.5 mile in diameter. At the time, the Moon was known as Didymos b. Kleomenis Tsiganis, a planetologist at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and a member of the DART team, and proposed the name of the Moon as Dimorphos . “Dimorphos means” two forms “. It reflects the state of this object as the first object whose orbital “shape” has changed significantly by mankind, in this case due to the influence of DART, “explains Tsiganis. “So it will be the first object known to man in two very different ways, one seen by DART before the collision and the other by the European Space Agency spatula a few years later. As of September 2022, Didymos and Dimorphos are relatively close to Earth, within 6,835,083 miles (11 million kilometers) of our planet. According to NASA, now is the perfect time for a DART mission to take place. DART deliberately collides with Dimorphos, altering the movement of the asteroid in space. This collision is recorded by the companion provided by the Italian Space Agency CubeSat or the cube satellite LICIA Cube. CubeSat moves to DART and deploys from DART before the collision, so you can record what’s going on. Astronomers can compare observations from terrestrial telescopes before and after the dynamic DART collision to determine the Dimorphos orbital period. Tom Statler, a DART program scientist at NASA headquarters, said in a statement. “This is an important measure of how the asteroid has responded to our biased efforts.” A few years after the impact, Heramission from the European Space Agency will carry out a follow-up study of Didymos and Dimorphos. .. In the case of the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office during the development of the DART mission, the mission team managed by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University is the subject of cooperation. known as the Asteroid Deflection and Impact Assessment (AIDA). Work with the spatula mission team. “DART is the first step in testing the dangerous deflection of asteroids,” Andrea Riley, DART program manager at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement. “Potentially dangerous asteroids are of global concern and we are excited to be working with colleagues in Italy and Europe to collect the most accurate data possible from this dynamic impact deflection demonstration. The firstsDimorphos mission is for DART to collide with Dimorphos moving at 14,763.8 miles per hour, relative to asteroids whose size may pose a threat to Earth. DART’s camera and autonomous navigation software, called DRACO, help spacecraft to detect and collide with Dimorphos. This rapid impact only changes the speed of Dimorphos when he orbits Didymos at 1%. The orbital period of the moon changes by a few minutes. The changes can be observed and measured from ground telescopes on Earth. According to the European Space Agency, this is the first time that humans have measurably altered the dynamics of small bodies in the solar system. Three years later, Hera arrives to study Dimorphos in detail and measure the physical properties of the Moon, study the effects of DART, and study its orbit. It may seem like a long time between impact and follow-up, but it is based on lessons learned in the past. In July 2005, NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft launched £ 815. Copper Collision with Tempel 1 However, the collision released so much dust and ice that the spacecraft could not see the resulting craters. But NASA’s Stardust mission in 2011 was able to characterize its impact – a 492-foot gouache. Together, the valuable data collected by DART and the heroes contributes to the planet’s defense strategy. Near-Earth asteroids that could collide with our planet.

A spaceship that deliberately collides with an asteroid prepares to be launched.

The DART mission, or NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 10:20 p.m. PT on November 23.

After launching in November, NASA will test asteroid deflection technology in September 2022 to see how it affects the movement of near-Earth asteroids in space.

The target of this asteroid deflection technology is Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos. This will be the first full-scale demonstration of an institution of this type of technology in the service of the defense of the planet.

Near-Earth objects are asteroids and comets whose orbits place them within 30 million kilometers of Earth. Detecting near-Earth object (NEO) threats that can cause serious damage is a major goal of NASA and other space organizations around the world.

Didymos and Dimorphos

Twenty years ago, a binary system containing an near-Earth asteroid discovered the moon orbiting it. This is called Didymos. In Greek, Didymos means “twin”. It was used to represent how a small moon, 525 feet in diameter, orbits a large asteroid about 0.5 mile in diameter. At that time, the moon was known as Didymos b.

Cleomenis Ziganis, a planetologist at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and a member of the DART team, proposed the name of the moon as Dimorphos.

“Dimorphos, which means” two forms “,” reflects the state of this object as the first object whose “orbital form” has changed considerably by mankind, in this case by the influence of DART “, a said Tsiganis. Said. “So this will be the first object known to man in two very different ways, one seen by DART before the collision and the other by the European Space Agency spatula a few years later. . You can. “

As of September 2022, Didymos and Dimorphos are relatively close to Earth, within 6,835,083 miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth. Now is the perfect time for a DART mission to happen.

According to NASA, DART deliberately collides with Dimorphos, altering the movement of asteroids in space. This collision is recorded by the companion provided by the Italian Space Agency CubeSat or the cube satellite LICIA Cube. CubeSat moves to DART and deploys from DART before the collision, so you can record what happened.

In a statement, Tom Statler, a DART program scientist at NASA Headquarters, said: “Astronomers compare observations from terrestrial telescopes before and after the dynamic impact of DART, and what is the orbital period of Dimorphos? You will be able to judge if this has changed. “This is an important measure of how the asteroid reacted to the deflection. “

A few years after the impact, the European Space Agency’s Spatula mission will carry out monitoring surveys of Didymos and Dimorphos.

The DART mission was developed for the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office and is managed by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, but the mission team is subject to international cooperation. known as the Asteroid Collision and Deflection Assessment (AIDA). Work with the spatula mission team.

“DART is the first step in testing how dangerous asteroids are deflected,” Andrea Riley, DART program manager at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement. “Potentially dangerous asteroids are of global concern and we are excited to be working with colleagues in Italy and Europe to collect the most accurate data possible from this dynamic impact deflection demonstration. “

First mission

Dimorphos was chosen for this mission because its size is relative to the asteroids that can pose a threat to Earth.

DART collided with Dimorphos traveling at 14,763.8 mph. DART’s camera and autonomous navigation software, called DRACO, help spacecraft to detect and collide with Dimorphos.

This rapid impact orbits Didymos by 1%, so it only changes the speed of Dimorphos. It seems less, but the lunar orbital period changes by a few minutes. The changes can be observed and measured from ground telescopes on Earth. According to the European Space Agency, this is the first time that humans have measurably altered the dynamics of small bodies in the solar system.

Three years after the collision, Hera arrives to study Dimorphos in detail, measure the physical properties of the Moon, study the DART collision, and study its orbit.

It may seem like a long time between impact and follow-up, but it’s based on lessons learned in the past.

In July 2005, NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft launched an 815 pound copper impact on Comet Tempel 1. However, the impact released so much dust and ice that the spacecraft could not see the craters. . But NASA’s Stardust mission in 2011 was able to characterize its impact – 492 feet of gouache.

Together, the valuable data collected by DART and the heroes contributes to the planet’s defense strategy. In particular, we will understand what forces are needed to move the orbit of near-Earth asteroids that could collide with our planet.

NASA’s mission plan to intentionally collide with the asteroid moon

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