Zhitong Finance APP learned that Tesla (TSLA.US) CEO Musk’s SpaceX company will launch a pioneering planetary defense mission for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the early hours of Wednesday morning, allowing its spacecraft to deliberately on the way Crashed into an asteroid.
This mission, called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (or DART), aims to test a collision avoidance method for near-Earth objects (NEO). The mission will deliberately crash a space probe into the dual asteroid Didimos to test whether the kinetic energy effect of the spacecraft impact can successfully deflect an asteroid that will collide with the Earth.
The dual asteroid Didimos is a dual asteroid system in which one asteroid is surrounded by another smaller asteroid. The diameter of the main asteroid (Didimos A) is about 780 meters (2,560 feet); the diameter of its small satellite Dimorphos (Didimos B) is about 160 meters (520 feet), located about 1 Km (0.62 miles) of track. DART will target the smaller asteroid Dimorphos.
Thomas Zurbuchen, deputy director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said: “The space agency is trying to understand the threat to the Earth’how to shift or come.'”
SpaceX will use the Falcon 9 rocket to launch DART from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, starting at 1:20 AM Eastern Time on Wednesday. The DART mission cost a total of approximately US$330 million, of which SpaceX won a US$69 million launch contract in 2019. This is not only NASA’s first planetary defense mission, but DART also represents SpaceX’s first mission to launch a spacecraft to another planetary body.
Although this mission is to test a way to avoid impacts, Zurbuchen emphasized that NASA does not believe that the Earth poses any risks. There are billions of asteroids and comets orbiting the sun, but only a few have the chance to hit the earth in a long time. Zurbuchen said: “Of all the near-Earth objects we know today, none of them pose a threat within 100 years or so.”
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