Tech

Asteroid threat to Earth, NASA launches spacecraft to collide with Dimorphos 160 meters long

Asteroid threat to Earth, NASA launches spacecraft to collide with Dimorphos 160

NASA launched a spacecraft Tuesday night on a mission to crash an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to knock a space rock off course quickly if foreign bodies threatened the Earth.

The DART spacecraft, short for the Asteroid Dual Redirection Test, was lifted from the Vandenberg Space Force Base on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a $ 330 million project following Bruce Willis' film titled "Armageddon."

If all goes well, in September 2022 he will crash head-on into Dimorphos, a 525-foot (160-meter) wide asteroid at 15,000 mph (24,139 km / h).

"This will not destroy the asteroid. It will just give it a little boost, "said mission official Nancy Chabot of Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins, who is managing the project.

Dimorphos revolves around a much larger asteroid called Didymos. The pair are not dangerous to Earth, but they offer scientists a way to measure the effectiveness of the collision.

Dimorphos completes an orbit of Didymos every 11 hours, 55 minutes. The goal of DART is a collision that will slow Dimorphos and make it fall closer to the largest asteroid, removing 10 minutes from its orbit.

The change in orbital period will be measured with telescopes on Earth. The minimum change for a mission to be considered successful is 73 seconds.

The DART technique can prove useful in changing the course of an asteroid years or decades before it landed on Earth with the potential for disaster.

Tiranapost.al