Spacecraft Event

NASA DART Impact

Falcon 9 Block 5 | Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, will impact its target asteroid to change its motion in a way that can be measured using ground-based telescopes.

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Falcon 9 Block 5 | Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

SpaceX | USA
Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA
Nov. 24, 2021, 6:21 a.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is the first-ever mission to demonstrate the capability to deflect an asteroid by colliding a spacecraft with it at high speed, a technique known as a kinetic impactor. DART is a planetary defense-driven test of one of the technologies for preventing the Earth impact of a hazardous asteroid: the kinetic impactor. DART's primary objective is to demonstrate a kinetic impact on a small asteroid. The binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos is the target for DART. While Didymos' primary body is approximately 800 meters across, its secondary body has a 150-meter size, which is more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose a more common hazard to Earth. The DART spacecraft will achieve the kinetic impact by deliberately crashing itself into the moonlet at a speed of approximately 6 km/s, with the aid of an onboard camera and sophisticated autonomous navigation software. The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, enough to be measured using telescopes on Earth.

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