NASA’s mission to ram the spacecraft into an asteroid will provide the first evidence technology can save us from catastrophe, says an expert

THE NASA mission to deliberately collide a spacecraft with an asteroid will provide the first evidence that technology can save us from catastrophe, an Irish tinkerer has said.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is scheduled to dramatically impact the giant space rock 11 million miles from Earth at around 7:14 p.m. tonight.

An illustration of NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft prior to impact with the Didymos binary asteroid system

2

An illustration of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft prior to impact with the Didymos binary asteroid systemPhoto credit: Reuters
Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of Queens University Belfast said the mission will give us our first evidence that technology can prevent a small asteroid from hitting Earth

2

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of Queens University Belfast said the mission will give us our first evidence that technology can prevent a small asteroid from hitting EarthCredit: Alan Fitzsimmons

The DART spacecraft was launched last November to target an asteroid called Dimorphos in the Didymos asteroid system.

The spacecraft will impact Dimorphos and researchers will measure whether the impact shortened its orbital period.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen’s University Belfast said the mission will give us our first evidence that technology can prevent a small asteroid from hitting Earth.

Fitzsimmons, who is a member of Nasa’s DART Investigation Team, said: “I’ve waited 20 years for a Planetary Defense test to be conducted.

Inside Nasa plans to smash a spaceship into an asteroid to test defenses against the apocalypse
Nasa releases the

“The teams at Nasa and APL are doing exactly what we need to do.

“This will give us the first proof that we have the technology to prevent a small asteroid from hitting Earth.”

DART will work by hitting the asteroid Dimorphos at over six kilometers per second. That’s enough to slightly change its orbit around the larger asteroid Didymos.

Telescopes on Earth will measure this deflection and how much the asteroid’s orbit has changed.

Speaking about the likelihood of an asteroid hitting Earth one day, Professor Fitzsimmons said: “The successful film might have been called Don’t Look Up, but we did a good job.

“Asteroids the size of Dimorphos or larger only hit our planet about once every 35,000 years, but we only know what a small fraction of that is.

“So one could be heading our way in the near future, and smaller asteroids are hitting us much more frequently.”

The Didymos asteroid system is not on a crash course to Earth and would have passed unharmed without intervention.

Assessing the outcome of the DART mission will require the work of technology in space and ground-based telescopes.

In early September, the DART spacecraft ejected the LICIACube, a 31-pound box equipped with cameras to capture the moment of impact and the aftermath.

There is no known danger of a sizable asteroid colliding with Earth, but this test will come in handy if one ever shows up.

You've got a hawk's eyes if you can hide the dog in 10 seconds
I'm the Guinness guru, here are the best and worst districts for a pint of black stuff

Space experts have already identified at least 26,000 so-called “near-Earth objects”.

An estimated 4,700 are more than 500 feet in diameter and will fly within 4.7 million miles of Earth, meeting NASA’s criteria for “potentially dangerous objects.”

https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9469817/nasa-mission-space-probe-smash-asteroid-disaster-technology/ NASA’s mission to ram the spacecraft into an asteroid will provide the first evidence technology can save us from catastrophe, says an expert

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button