NASA's DART mission spacecraft has taken the first image of its target

10 September 2022  

By Srikanto Mandal

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Can NASA's Asteroid-Smashing Spacecraft save our earth?

NASA launched its first asteroid defense mission in 2021 known as DART (Double Asteroid Redirect Test).

Image Credit: Washington Post

 The main goal of the mission is to test newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to hit an asteroid and change its direction.

Image Credit: Physics World

The spacecraft was launched on a Space X Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Finally, NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft has reached its goal. It will hit Dimorphos in the next 17 days.

Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Dimorphos is about 160-meters in diameter. The spacecraft is expected to be 11 million kilometers from Earth when it collides with Dimorphos.

Image Credit: Physics World

Asteroid Dimorphos orbits a large asteroid called Didymos (Greek for "twin") that is 780 meters in diameter.

Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Asteroids pose no threat to Earth and the mission is to test new technology in preparation for a future asteroid heading towards Earth.

Image Credit: Washington Post

The spacecraft will collide with Dimorphos at about 6.6 kilometers per second or 24,000 kilometers per hour.

Image credit: Wikipedia

The clash is expected to take place between September 26 and October 1, 2022. This is a suicide mission and the spacecraft will be completely destroyed.

Image credit: Wikimedia

Let's see what happens in the next 17 days!! If the experiment is successful, it will undoubtedly be a great achievement for the human race and for NASA.

Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL