NASA will test this Monday 26 the technology to defend the Earth against asteroids or comets | information

On Monday, September 26 at 6:14 p.m. (Peruvian time), NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission has the ambitious goal of crashing its spacecraft into Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting a larger large asteroid called Didymos. Although the asteroid poses no threat to Earth, this mission will test technology that could be used to defend our planet against potential hazards from asteroids or comets that may be detected in the future.

DART will travel millions of miles autonomously before deliberately colliding with Dimorphos, a small asteroid that revolves around a larger one called Didymos, in order to slightly alter its orbit.

This test will demonstrate that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to an asteroid and intentionally collide with it to alter the asteroid’s motion in ways that can be measured by ground-based telescopes, NASA said.

DART will provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that could pose a danger of impacting Earth, if one is ever discovered.

Thus, the mission will help determine if the deliberate crashing of a spaceship against an asteroid is an effective way to deflect said asteroid.

Although none of the asteroids pose a danger to Earth, the mission will help NASA testing planetary defense capabilitiesshould it become necessary to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with our planet in the future.

To date, the ATLAS system (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) discovered more than 700 near-Earth asteroids and 66 comets, as well as the detection of 2019 MO and 2018 LA, two very small asteroids that impacted Earth. The system is specially designed to detect objects that approach very close to the Earth, at a distance shorter than the Moon, at around 384,000 kilometers.

On January 22, ATLAS-Sutherland in South Africa discovered its first 100-meter asteroid that poses no threat to Earth.

Become a “planetary defender”!

NASA has activated the fun DART Planetary Defender platform that allows astronomy enthusiasts to register as “planetary defenders” and receive a certificate after answering five questions correctly.

Questions in English (for now) are related to the DART mission explained in this note. Also, users have multiple attempts if they end up answering incorrectly.

When entering, it is necessary to put the name you want to appear on your certificate. Then click “Start” and you can review the questions. NASA will offer you some clues in the form of additional information or instructional videos on the DART mission.

After completing the quiz, you will be able to download the Planetary Defender images, share them on social media, and save your certificate as a PDF to your computer or mobile phone.

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Published: 09/24/2022


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