NASA plans to deliberately cause a collision between the spacecraft and an asteroid, in order to test to save Earth from a possible apocalypse caused by an asteroid impact.
Source: B92, klix.ba.
Photo: Shutterstock / Dotted Yeti
The US space agency plans to launch a mission to test methods designed to potentially change the path of an asteroid moving toward Earth.
The planned project would be activated only if necessary in the future, that is, if such an asteroid was discovered.
The program is called DART or “Double Asteroid Redirection Test” and begins on November 24.
If there are any unforeseen activities related to the program, it will begin in February 2022.
After a year of travel, the spacecraft will reach the medium-sized asteroid Dimorfos, which orbits a much larger asteroid, Didimos.
The mission involves a collision of a DART spacecraft and an asteroid at a speed of 6.5 km / s, and the size of the spacecraft corresponds to the size of a car and weighs a third of a ton.
If all goes according to plan, it will change the orbit of Dimorphos, which lasts almost 12 hours.
Five years later, the Hera mission, planned by the European Space Agency (ESA), is scheduled to analyze the situation to determine if the plan worked.
The collision should have only a minor effect on the asteroid, but enough to knock the asteroid out of its path leading to Earth.
However, this method is effective only if we know in advance that the asteroid is approaching.
NASA claims that the goal of the program is to prevent a natural disaster, of course, if you notice its clues.
When DART hits Dimorphs, the energy of the impact will be roughly equal to the explosion of three tons of TNT, and the result will be the scattering of thousands of pieces of debris into space.
The impact will not immediately have a noticeable change in the orbit of Dimorfos, but the changes will be noticeable a few days after the explosion.
The ultimate goal of the mission is to serve as evidence to save Earth from an asteroid-induced apocalypse, but the success of this method requires the study of a complex phenomenon, from chaotic rotation to the effects of sunlight and scattering. of heat.
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.