The Dart mission– The story begins in 2017 when astronomers predicted that an asteroid would hit Japan in the next decade. And the size of that asteroid would be like a cruise ship. Scientists and government officials from NASA and other space agencies gathered in Tokyo for the annual planetary defense conference. This happened in a hurry to devise plans to move the asteroid off its path to Earth. The fate of the island hinges on a fleet of robotic spacecraft to be launched over the next few years.
In 2020, the space agencies get together to launch four ships into the ominous space rock. The ships, known as kinetic impact elements or impactors, hit their targets directly. Japan was spared the evacuation of Hercules and the cities and neighborhoods were saved from destruction.
Last year in 2020, the space agencies get together to launch four ships into the ominous space rock. The ships, known as kinetic impact elements, hit their targets directly. Japan was spared the evacuation of Hercules and the cities and neighborhoods were saved from destruction.
None of these events actually happened. It was a simulation, a kind of board exercise for role-playing that employees did on a regular basis. And deflecting an object from space on its way to a fatal rendezvous with Earth is the preferred solution to this hands-on exercise in protecting the planet. But no one knows if the technology actually works. Never in the history of mankind has our species tried to expel an asteroid from our world.
Launching the DART by NASA-
On Wednesday at 1:21 p.m. Eastern Time, NASA launched a “Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)” mission from the US space base in California (local time on Tuesday). A 1,200-pound spacecraft will orbit the sun to hit a small asteroid called Dimorphos at 25,000 miles per hour next year. The size of this spacecraft is kinda refrigerator-sized.
If successful, the mission could demonstrate. For the first time, humanity’s ability to crash into a potentially dangerous asteroid from Earth.
But no one knows if the technology actually works. Never in the history of mankind has our species tried to expel an asteroid from our world. But the $324 million DART mission is not normal for NASA.
Here is why,
A civilian agency primarily focused on research, climate monitoring, and hunting for traces of past life in our solar system. While coordinating and relying on certain activities of the Department of Defense, NASA has traditionally not been responsible for directing efforts to protect the United States – or, for that matter, Earth – from security threats.
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NASA then set up the Office for Planetary Defense Coordination in 2016 after an observer report urged the agency to better regulate its asteroid tracking efforts. This office, headed by Mr. Johnson, tasked with alerting the Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency about the impending asteroid, is one of the few roles NASA has played in the national response to the threat of a major disaster.
The DART probe will visit Dimorphos and another asteroid, Didymos, in September or October 2022. The two asteroids, known as the dual system, orbit the sun every two years in an egg-shaped orbit that extends near Mars and returns around Earth. Dimorphos is a smaller pair, it is orbiting Didim like the moon about a mile away. It is rotating the larger rock every 11 hours and 55 minutes.
What’s the authority has said?
This is the only natural disaster we can prevent. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Associate Science Administrator, said at a press conference that he was confident that the DART effect would impact the asteroid’s orbit.
“It’s a 100 percent chance,” he said. “It’s really hard to imagine a scenario where someone enters a body like that with a lot of inertia, creates interaction and nothing happens on the other side.
But it all depends on DART’s ability to achieve its goals.
“We keep working harder so we don’t miss anything,” says Ed Reynolds, DART project manager at the Applied Physics Laboratory. However, he admits that there are “restrictions” on the DART-mounted sensor and he could deviate from his tracks.
However, the spacecraft will have about 90 percent of its fuel by the time it hits the asteroid next year and could fly to other space rocks if it doesn’t connect to Dimorphos.
“We currently don’t have a list of multiple asteroid replacements to target anymore,” he said. – But the opportunity is there.
You can read more on the official page of NASA & Regarding the mission, NASA has posted several tweets on their official site-