December 1, 2021

Science

The world of science and technology

Launching Soon: NASA’s First Asteroid Deflection Test

On Nov. 24, 2021, our Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will lift off on a ten-month journey to crash into a distant asteroid – on purpose.

As a test of NASA’s planetary defense technologies, DART will collide with and slightly change the speed of Dimorphos, a small ‘moonlet’ orbiting the asteroid Didymos. Dimorphos will be over 6 million miles away at the time of impact and does not pose a threat to Earth, either before or after DART’s collision. With nearby satellites and Earth-based telescopes, NASA and our international partners will track DART’s effect on Dimorphos and use this data to help protect Earth from future asteroid impact threats.

DART’s first launch attempt is scheduled for 1:20 a.m. EST (06:20 UTC) on Nov. 24. Launch coverage starts at 12:30 a.m. EST (05:30 UTC) on NASA TV, the NASA app, and @NASA social media. Be a part of DART’s historic launch day by using the hashtag #DARTMission.

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Science News Source: NASA