Smashing Into Asteroids: NASA's DART Mission
While there is no imminent asteroid threat to our planet for the next century, in fall 2022, Earth takes the first step toward addressing this possibility with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, NASA's ﬁrst mission to demonstrate a planetary defense technique. The target? A small moonlet in the binary asteroid system Didymos. In a scenario ripped from Hollywood blockbusters, experts will direct an autonomous spacecraft into an asteroid, and measure its orbital change using powerful telescopes on Earth. Developed and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, DART is a carefully planned experiment set to determine if kinetic impactor technology could be a reliable deflection method in case we ever need it in the future.
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