NASA’s rapidly growing technology has greatly expanded our knowledge of space over the years. And, now NASA is working on technology that could help save our planet from disasters. Disasters we have only seen portrayed on screen as of yet. And we will get to witness this major piece of history!
On Monday, September 26, NASA will be broadcasting its very first attempt at modifying an asteroid’s orbit. This skill experts note, could be essential to our planet’s safety at some point in the future. The technology is intended to be able to detect – and destroy – an asteroid should one pose a threat to the planet.
This planetary defense technique is centered around the Double Asteroid Redirection Test or DART. The DART will be hard at work early next week. This comes as NASA uses it to target the Dimorphos asteroid which orbits the larger Didymos.
Consequently, scientists aim to send DART up out into space set for a head-on collision with Dimorphous. The goal is to, alter this smaller asteroid’s orbit around the larger body.
Neither The Asteroids Nor The Results Of DART’s Journey Will Pose Any Threat To Earth
Scientists at NASA have regularly assured those watching the events unfold that none of this will have any immediate impact on our own planet.
Additionally, the experiment and the planned collision will be based at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (API). The entire event will be broadcast on NASA’s YouTube channels. The results in regards to whether the planned explosion occurred on Dimorphos will be known immediately. However, the impact it will have on the asteroid’s orbit will take a few months to be fully understood.
DART’s First Launch Took Place In November 2021
DART’s initial launch came in November 2021. At the same time as the SpaceX Falcom 9 rocket took to the skies. However, this new launch will be working to correct some trajectory miscalculations and practice some maneuvers that will help it catch up with the asteroid. One of these final maneuvers will be taking place later this weekend with NASA scientists working with DART to get just 2 kilometers away from the targeted asteroid.
NASA scientists note that if the DART is able to blow up the target asteroid on the September 26 launch it will be testing what is known as the kinetic impactor Earth defense theory. The DART mission is intended to impact the Dimorphos asteroid at a jaw-dropping 15,000 miles per hour.