Nasa on asteroid mission: “Important step”
Sounds like Hollywood, but it’s a real NASA mission: For the first time, the US space agency has deliberately steered a probe into an asteroid to test whether defense would be possible in an emergency.
The UN agency for space affairs (UNOOSA) has described the “Dart” mission of the US space agency Nasa, during which a probe intentionally crashed into an asteroid for the first time on Tuesday night, as “an important step in protecting the earth and humanity ” greeted.
The mission was registered with the United Nations Space Agency in early January, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday. In June, the competent UN committee was then informed again in detail.
During the defense test on Tuesday night, an unmanned probe from the “Dart” mission (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), equipped only with a camera, was guided into the asteroid Dimorphos as planned. This was a first attempt to see if it might be possible to alter the trajectory of an asteroid in this way.
According to NASA calculations, Dimorphos, a kind of moon of the asteroid Didymos with a diameter of around 160 meters, currently poses no danger to Earth – and the mission is designed in such a way that the asteroid should not pose a danger even after the probe has hit it. From the approximately 330 million dollar mission, Nasa hopes to find out how the earth could be protected from approaching asteroids.