SpaceX and NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission is scheduled to launch on November 23. DART Mission is the first-ever world’s planetary resistance test Mission.
NASA says that the Mission will help them to regulate if colliding a spacecraft into an asteroid is a constructive way to alter the asteroid’s development.
The DART is going to aim at an asteroid, which is not a hazard to Earth, is scheduled to launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The spacecraft is traveling at a speed of approximately 6.6 kilometers per second, which is directed for asteroid Dimorphos that orbits a bigger companion asteroid called Didymos.
The deliberate crash will change the asteroid’s orbit within the Didymos binary asteroid system when the Didymos system is inside 11 million kilometers of Earth. As per NASA, there is no known asteroid going to hit the Earth for the next 100 years.
Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, said that DART will be the first demo of the kinetic impactor technique in which a spacecraft intentionally hit a known asteroid at a very high speed to modify the asteroid’s direction in space.
As per NASA, the kinetic impact will demonstrate that a spacecraft can independently route to a target asteroid and kinetically impact it. The scientists will use Earth-based telescopes to calculate the reactions of the effect on the asteroid system, directing to improved modeling and predictive competencies.
The DART spacecraft is supported by an onboard camera DRACO and autonomous navigation software.