A SpaceX rocket was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, carrying a NASA-designed probe designed hit a moon for test self tale method of planetary defense against asteroids can be effective.
The test Double Asteroid Redirection (DART) vehicle has been mounted on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets were launched starting at 10:20 PM Pacific time on Tuesday (01:20 Eastern on Wednesday).
This is from NASA first ‘planetary defense’ mission in the 330 million dollars program, and the first SpaceX time launched a spaceship on another celestial body. Elon Musk’s company won the $ 69 million launch contract in 2019.
“This is just the coolest mission. Thank you all for allowing SpaceX to be part of it of a really important planetarium defense mission” Julianna Scheiman, the company director of civilian satellite missions, he said in a press conference on Tuesday.
If only dinosaurs had a space program. ️The #DARTMission he is doing something that has never been done. The goal? For crash in the moon of a binary asteroid system. The reason? For test if the kinetic impact is effective #PlanetaryDefense method. https://t.co/0YPTJKV2Rlphoto.twitter.com / SmSr3kK3kj
– Johns Hopkins APL (@JHUAPL) October 29, 2021
“We are crashing into an asteroid”, said Omar Baez of NASA’s Launch Services Program. “I can’t believe we’re doing this.”
The asteroid itself is called Dimorphos and orbits a larger asteroid known as 65803 Didymos. About 10 months from now, DART is expected to hit the smallest space rock in to speed of about 6.6 kilometers per second, changing the speed of the moon by a fraction of a percent – enough to be observed and measured from Earth.
The impact will be also be documented by a smaller satellite, developed from Italian space agency and launched by DART before the kinetic strike.
NASA hopes to find out if this method can be used to “deflect” an asteroid of this dimension from a trajectory that could cause to hit the Earth.
Dimorphos himself is “Not a threat” to our planet, said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the direction of NASA’s science mission – but a rock of that dimension may be at some point in the future. While no known asteroids in this category is on a collision course with Earth in the next 100 years, NASA estimates that 60% of tale space rocks remain to discover how of October 2021.
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