The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will test the DART spacecraft, which, after a collision with an asteroid, will have to change its trajectory. This was reported on the website of the American space agency.
“DART is a planetary defense-driven test of earth-impact prevention technologies for a hazardous asteroid. The DART project will be the first demonstration of a kinetic percussion mechanism that can change the motion of an asteroid in space, ”the description says.
The spacecraft will be delivered into space by the launch vehicle of the American company SpaceX Falcon 9, which will start from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California at 22:21 on November 23 local time (09:21 Moscow time on November 24). The broadcast of the launch of the device can be watched on the official YouTube channel of NASA.
According to NASA calculations, after the spacewalk, the DART spacecraft will separate from the launch vehicle, deploy solar panels and begin a rendezvous with the double asteroid Didymos – Dimorfos, which, like the Earth, revolves around the Sun. The device is expected to collide with the smaller of them – Dimorphos – at a speed of about 24 thousand km / h in the fall of 2022. As a result of the collision, the orbit of the 160-meter Dimorph, which revolves around the larger Didyma, will have to deflect “by a fraction of a percent.”