In what sounds like a big Hollywood science-fiction movie script, NASA intends to redirect an asteroid. NASA will launch the mission on November 23rd, just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), as it is called, will “punch an asteroid in the face with a high-speed spacecraft,” according to Live Science.
The concept revolves around a planetary defense system that helps stave off or annihilate incoming asteroid threats. Because the truth is, an asteroid colliding with earth is more than a remote possibility. It can happen. And it can do major, if not apocalyptic, damage. Asteroids are capable of obliterating earth, check out our surviving an asteroid impact guide.
There have been a number of asteroid defense proposals, including shooting asteroids down with nuclear weapons.
In order to accomplish this mission, DART will attach to SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and head towards an asteroid field called Didymos.
“It will confirm for us what the viability of the kinetic impactor technique is for diverting an asteroid’s orbit and determine that it remains a viable option, at least for smaller-sized asteroids, which are the most frequent impact hazard,” NASA’s planetary defense officer, Lindley Johnson, said to Space.com.
DART will use a navigation system equipped with cameras to help it crash into an asteroid and divert the asteroid’s course. Something tells me its not using Apple maps and Go-Pro cameras. Instead, the idea is to alter the orbit of the asteroid, thereby changing its course.
In a situation where a live threat is present, the hope, clearly, is to divert the asteroid threat away from earth.
The mission will launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California and should take just under a year to complete.
Author: Jim SatneyPrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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