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NASA’s Spacecraft ‘Right on Track’ to Crashing an Asteroid for Testing of its Planetary Defense Systems

Written by Techjuice Team ·  1 min read >
Right on Track’

(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) NASA, just recently announced that its DART spacecraft is right on track and is expected to collide with a large asteroid named ‘Dimorphos’. Once hit successfully, this would be the world’s first testing of a planetary protection system, that would protect it in case of an asteroid attack.

The DART as its name suggests is a small spacecraft, however, its high speed is what increases its velocity and impact power. Hovering through space at a massive speed, the spacecraft will hit ‘Dimorphos’ and attempt to change its orbit around its parent asteroid.

NASA scientists in a recent blog said that the measurements they conducted at the start of 2021, are proven to be correct and the spacecraft is going at the right speed towards the right target. This means that the space agency will not have to make any changes in the direction of its spacecraft. The spacecraft is already “right on target”, said Andy Rivkin, the DART investigation team co-lead.

Speaking about the DART mission, astronomer Nick Moskovitz said that “the before-and-after nature of this experiment requires exquisite knowledge of the asteroid system before we do anything to it. We don’t want to, at the last minute, say, ‘Oh, here’s something we hadn’t thought about or phenomena we hadn’t considered.’ We want to be sure that any change we see is entirely due to what DART did.”

The technique being used by NASA’s DART is called ‘kinetic impactor’, but is the targeted asteroid really a threat to earth? No, they aren’t, but this technique once proven effective will save us from a lot of threats. Each week around 30 asteroids are discovered near our planet, making protection against them is important