A NASA spacecraft will try to hit the asteroid and change its trajectory

by time news

The NASA space agency is expected to launch a spacecraft this morning on an unprecedented mission – crashing into an asteroid in an attempt to change its orbit, as part of preparations for a possible threat of hitting a giant space rock on Earth.

If there are no last-minute delays, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will take off around 8:30 a.m. from the Wandenberg Space Corps base in California with the Darth spacecraft (double asteroid redirection experiment) on board, a $ 325 million mission designed to test innovative technology To neutralize asteroid threats.

Falcon 9 missile (Photo: Reuters)

The spacecraft, which reaches a weight of 610 kg, will make its way towards a system of two asteroids that orbit each other – Didymus, which reaches a size of 780 meters, and Dimorphos, which reaches a size of 160 meters. They do not pose a threat to Earth, but asteroids Of Dimorphos may destroy entire areas if they hit the planet.

Towards the end of September or the beginning of October 2022, the DART is supposed to collide with the Dimorphos at a speed of about 15,000 km / h and at a distance of about 11 million km from Earth. Its orbit around Didymus.

A small photo satellite to be released from the spacecraft is scheduled to document the encounter, and a European Space Agency spacecraft will arrive in the area in November 2024 to test the results of the experiment. “DART will only change the duration of Dimorphos’ orbit slightly, but that’s what will be required in the event of an event where an asteroid is detected well in advance,” said Dr. Kelly Fast of NASA’s Coordinating Office for Planetary Defense.

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