NASA's DART mission will crash craft to redirect asteroid, scientists say

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  13 comments

By:   Tim Fitzsimons

NASA's DART mission will crash craft to redirect asteroid, scientists say
NASA said the DART spacecraft will conduct "the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique" to change an asteroid's direction in space.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



NASA hopes a mission that is expected to launch next month will demonstrate a technique that could prevent an asteroid from striking Earth.

The mission, called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is led for NASA by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

"DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space," the space agency said.

DART will hitch a ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to a near-Earth asteroid system called (65803) Didymos.

It comprises a 780-meter-wide body orbited by a 160-meter-wide moonlet, "which is more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose the most likely significant threat to Earth," NASA said.

Radar images of the near-Earth asteroid Didymos and its moonlet from 2003.NASA

Aided by cameras and autonomous navigation systems, DART will crash into the moonlet at 6.6 kilometers per second, NASA said.

"The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, but this will change the orbital period of the moonlet by several minutes — enough to be observed and measured using telescopes on Earth," NASA said.

The launch is scheduled for 10:20 p.m. PT Nov. 23 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The spacecraft will separate from the rocket and cruise for about a year before it is expected to intercept (65803) Didymos in September 2022.

DART will also use solar panels to charge electric ion thrusters, demonstrating another emerging space propulsion technology, NASA said.

"By utilizing electric propulsion, DART could benefit from significant flexibility to the mission timeline while demonstrating the next generation of ion engine technology, with applications to potential future NASA missions," NASA said.


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1  TᵢG    3 weeks ago

Just amazing.  

Hit a bullet with a bullet.

 
 
 
TTGA
Professor Quiet
1.1  TTGA  replied to  TᵢG @1    3 weeks ago
Hit a bullet with a bullet.

They can do it too.  I see a couple of things here that are very interesting.  First, I do hope that, when the experiment takes place, the onboard computer doesn't drop a couple of decimal points and, instead of sending the asteroid into a new orbit around its primary, sends it directly toward us.  Perfect case of the operation being completely successful while the patient died.  jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

On a more serious note, the concept of an ion drive is something that really needs to be tested and further developed.  Since it can draw its electrical power directly from the Sun and convert it to thrust, it is likely to be a constant boost engine.  Make it powerful enough to produce a constant thrust of 1/10 G, and you have an Earth/Mars trip of about two weeks.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
1.2  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1    2 weeks ago

A bullet hitting a bullet more than a year distant. Amazing and fascinating. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

Aha, Deep Impact (the movie).  Bo Radner becomes an astronaught. 

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
3  al Jizzerror    3 weeks ago

"DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space."

"DART will hitch a ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to a near-Earth asteroid system called (65803) Didymos."

"DART will also use solar panels to charge electric ion thrusters, demonstrating another emerging space propulsion technology."

Wow, Wow and Wow!

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Masters Guide
4  Drakkonis    3 weeks ago

Well, I can see a new chapter of PETA emerging. People for the Ethical Treatment of Asteroids. You just know someone's going to do it. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
4.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Drakkonis @4    2 weeks ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
4.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Drakkonis @4    2 weeks ago
Well, I can see a new chapter of PETA emerging. People for the Ethical Treatment of Asteroids. You just know someone's going to do it. 

As long as it doesn't include Neil deGrasse Tyson's posing naked except for an asteroid in a PETA ad.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5  Trout Giggles    2 weeks ago

I understand the need for testing it's just too bad they can't bring it back to earth. Will they construct additional ones if this one works?

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
5.1  bccrane  replied to  Trout Giggles @5    2 weeks ago
it's just too bad they can't bring it back to earth.

Which one, the asteroid or the spacecraft?  Of course if they did this wrong it would be both.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  bccrane @5.1    2 weeks ago
Which one, the asteroid or the spacecraft?

The asteroid of course!

j/k...but you're right, one false move and both come home to Planet Earth

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
6  1stwarrior    2 weeks ago

Don't know if anyone notices, but the pic looks like two guitar necks - frets, strings, etc.

Just sayin'

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1  Gordy327  replied to  1stwarrior @6    2 weeks ago

Well, now I can't unsee that, Lol

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online




GregTx
Hallux
shona1
CB
XXJefferson51
JohnRussell


38 visitors