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  • 28 September, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) recently struck Dimorphous with success.


  • First planetary defence test for humanity:
  • With the collision, the test was successfully accomplished in a mission that went without a hitch exactly as anticipated.

Test purpose:

  • The asteroid's orbit around Didymos, the larger asteroid, should have been subtly altered by the impact.
  • In order to compare this alteration to computer simulations, measurements of this change will be taken by telescopes on Earth and in space.

Dimorphos: Why?

  • Didymos is the ideal system for the test mission because it is an eclipsing binary, which means it has a small moon that orbits the main asteroid on a regular basis and can be observed when it passes directly in front of the main asteroid.
  • There is no chance that the deflection experiment might result in an impact risk because the Didymos system is not an asteroid that is travelling toward Earth.
  • This brightness variation can be investigated by telescopes on Earth to determine how long it takes Dimorphos to orbit Didymos.

About the DART Mission

  • It is an experiment in planetary defence technology meant to stop a dangerous asteroid from hitting Earth.
  • In order to lessen the risk of an asteroid hitting Earth, DART is the first technological demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique.
  • The asteroid is impulsively deflected via an abrupt increase in motion as part of the kinetic impactor mitigation approach. In order to modify an asteroid's orbital period, DART is launched to collide with it.

The following mission: Hera

  • Hera, a spacecraft being developed by the European Space Agency to conduct a thorough reconnaissance and assessment, will be launched to Didymos in 2024 and arrive there in 2027 (5 years after DART's impact).

About Asteroids:

  • Asteroids, sometimes known as minor planets, are rocky, airless leftovers from the early stages of the solar system's creation, which occurred around 4.6 billion years ago.
  • The main asteroid belt, which extends between Mars and Jupiter, is home to the majority of this old space debris.
  • Trojans are asteroids that pass in front of and behind Jupiter.
  • Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are the shorthand name for asteroids that approach the Earth. NASA closely monitors these asteroids.
  • Asteroids range in size from the largest, Vesta, which has a diameter of around 329 miles, to things that are about 33 feet wide. The cumulative mass of all asteroids is less than that of the moon of Earth.
  • As opposed to planets, asteroids are not spherical. Their shapes are erratic and jagged.
  • The majority of asteroids are composed of various types of rocks, although some also contain clays or metals like iron and nickel.

Mission to Find Asteroids

  • Assessment of Asteroid Impact and Deflection (AIDA): This includes the Hera Mission and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) missions from NASA.
  • Hera Mission: This European Space Agency (ESA) asteroid deflection mission will launch in 2024 and assess the impact crater left by the DART encounter as well as analyse how the asteroid's orbital course has changed. In 2027, it will reach the Didymos system.

Read Also: NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar

Source: The Indian Express

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