Home World NASA’s DART mission spacecraft successfully hit the asteroid Dimorphos – Scientific Exploration – cnBeta.COM

NASA’s DART mission spacecraft successfully hit the asteroid Dimorphos – Scientific Exploration – cnBeta.COM

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NASA’s DART mission spacecraft successfully hit the asteroid Dimorphos – Scientific Exploration – cnBeta.COM

The spacecraft on NASA’s “Double Asteroid Redirection Test” (DART) mission successfully crashed into an asteroid called “Dimorphos” on the evening of the 26th EST. planet.The mission is targeting a “double asteroid system” Dimorphos and Didymos. The 160-meter-diameter “Dimorphos” orbits the 780-meter-wide asteroid Didymos. .

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Although the two asteroids pose no threat to Earth, the mission will test technologies that could be used to protect our planet from potential asteroid or comet hazards that may be discovered in the future.

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The picture shows the final image of the asteroid taken by the airborne camera before the impact

Launched last November, the DART probe ended its 10-month journey in dramatic fashion today. The world‘s first attempt to eject an asteroid from its orbit is considered to have been initially successful and is an important practice for how we deviate from dangerous asteroids in the future.

The spacecraft locked onto its target at more than 14,000 mph (22,500 km/h), and about 20 minutes before impact, Mission Control celebrated a major milestone, confirming that the probe had “accurately locked onto” Dimo Firth.

Five minutes before the impact, the team celebrated another, more nerve-wracking milestone. From this moment on, the team can no longer send any commands to the spacecraft, whose onboard navigation system captures images of the asteroid as it approaches and uses those images to autonomously guide itself to its target.

In the final moments before DART’s demise, larger and larger images of the malfunctioning but scientifically significant surface of Demophorus appeared on the screen. Then, when the signal died, the team erupted into cries of celebration, confirming the impact with the asteroid and the destruction of the spacecraft. These close-up images will be retrieved and studied in the coming days and weeks to better understand the makeup of Dimovers.

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As for how far DART will be able to de-orbit Dimorphos, it will be a long-term science project, facilitated by a nearby CubeSat and ground-based telescopes deployed two weeks ago. The observatories will monitor the binary asteroid system to precisely measure Demerphers’ orbit, which is expected to be shortened by several minutes.

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Along with researchers from other institutions, CNEOS members will study the rock and debris (shattered rock and dust) ejected by the impact, as well as newly formed impact craters and the motion of Dimorphos in orbit around its parent asteroid. Led by JPL’s Steve Chesley, they will examine not only data and images from DART and LICIACube, but also data from space and ground-based telescopes.

Scientists believe the impact should have shortened the orbital period of the small moon around the asteroid by minutes. That length of time should be long enough for telescopes on Earth to observe and measure these effects. It should also be enough for this test to demonstrate that kinetic impact technology — hitting an asteroid to adjust its velocity, and thus its path — can in fact protect Earth from asteroid strikes.

In 2024, the European Space Agency will also send another spacecraft to the binary asteroid system to study the effects of the DART impact up close.

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