Why NASA Will Ram Into An Asteroid
Hello fellow space enthusiasts! I am so sorry I have not posted in a while, I just needed to take a break. There has been so much to cover during my break, but I will only spare you the important bits.
Tomorrow, on November 23rd at 11:20 PM MST, SpaceX will launch NASA's satellite in to an orbit around the Sun. In early October of the next year, the spacecraft will run into an asteroid at almost 20 times the speed of sound (that is 8 times the speed of a bullet). When you think of launching things, you want to avoid crashing, but in this case, you want to crash as fast as possible. NASA's DART mission (Double Asteroid Redirect Test) will ram at hypersonic speeds into an asteroid called Dimorphous. NASA is doing this to prove that asteroids can be moved off course to avoid running into earth. Dimorphous is a small asteroid that orbits a bigger asteroid, called Didymus. The plan is to slow the orbit of Dimorphous slightly to demonstrate that an asteroid can be diverted if there is ever a threat to earth. To see the effects of this test, there will be two small "cubesats" that will hitch a ride with DART. The cubesats, named LICIACube will survey the aftermath to see what has changed with the position of the asteroid, and what the surface damage looks like. This test will prove we can move an asteroid if we are on need to, and it will be very fun to watch. Here are a few helpful links: The official NASA and SpaceX livestreams, An in space demonstration of the DART test, and a helpful video with a bunch of information about this test.
That is all I have for today, thank you for reading! (There is a small chance there will be one tomorrow ;)
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