NASA successfully launches NASA asteroid DART mission Described as the first Earth Defense mission, Dart is trying to find out if the trajectory of an asteroid can be changed by crashing into it. Dart is targeting the tiny asteroid Deformus, which orbits the giant asteroid Didymus. The impact of the thunder is expected to change the trajectory of the Deformus. Dart will reach its destination by September next year. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the Wandberg Space Force Base in California.
Dart stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. If an asteroid ever lands on Earth, can it be redirected? Is the change of direction practical? Is it possible to do that with current technology? NASA is looking for the answer to these questions through Dart. Didymos-Deformus asteroids have been selected for the experiment.
Dart will hit the small asteroid Deformus, which orbits the giant asteroid Didymus. Scientists expect a slight change in the trajectory of Deformus due to the impact of the thunder. If the mission is successful, the Deformus will orbit Didymus a little faster, with a slight change in trajectory, and scientists will study the changes in the thunderstorm and devise strategies for future missions. This is the idea.
Didymus and Deformus are not asteroids that threaten the Earth in any way, and this mission is for study only. Experiments with a solitary asteroid will have to wait a long time to see if the thunder will work. That is why Deformus was chosen for the mission.
The spacecraft will reach the asteroid by September 2022. There is also a small satellite inside the Audart spacecraft to film the collision. Before landing on the asteroid, this small satellite, the Lysia Cube, will be released from the main spacecraft. No asteroids have been identified that could hit Earth in the near future, but the information provided by Dart will be crucial in the event of such a situation in the future.
For a successful joint mission, one spacecraft, DART would impact the secondary of the Didymos binary system in October 2022 while AIM would first characterize the target asteroid (surface and internal properties), observe the impact event and measure any change in the relative orbit