NASA’s Dart mission, live: Last minute of impact against asteroid

NASA’s Dart spacecraft has crashed at full speed against the asteroid Dimorphos, turning its trajectory in space. Humanity’s first attempt to protect Earth From the collision of futuristic space objects.

This Monday at 7:14 p.m. (local time in the eastern United States, 01:14 a.m. Tuesday Spanish Peninsular time), the ship crashed against the surface of the located asteroid Dimorphos at a speed of 6.4 kilometers per second. about 11 million kilometers Ground.

Although its effect can be seen on NASA’s live broadcast, scientists will have to wait days or even weeks To see if the unmanned spacecraft managed to change the asteroid’s orbit slightly.

This is the first time in the history of mankind that an attempt has been made to change the trajectory of a celestial body. protect the earth from meteorites As it caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The traveling spacecraft is known as DART, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirect Test. It is almost the same size as a refrigerator. Or a food vending machine, and it cost more than $330 million to build.

For its part, the asteroid it crashed into is called Dimorphos (“two forms” in Greek). it is a space body 160 km in diameter It is similar to a moon and revolves around another large asteroid named Didymos, 780 meters in diameter and whose name means “twin” in Greek.

Together they form part of what is called a . is referred to as double asteroid system And they were chosen by NASA because they are no threat to the Earth.

NASA scientists believe Dart may have had an effect on Dimorphos made a pit and launched small rock fragments into space.

A small satellite developed by the Italian Space Agency followed the operation remotely take pictures of the effect And send them to scientists for evaluation in the next few hours or days.

Adriano Campo, physicist with a doctorate in astronomy involved in the DART mission.

Before the impact, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson explained the purpose of the test on Twitter and Compare it to a science fiction movie armageddon, Where the character played by Bruce Willis is part of a mission to destroy an asteroid that is dangerously close to Earth.

big difference between armageddon and NASA’s mission is that, in this case, The goal was not to destroy the meteorite, Since hundreds of rocks falling on the earth a strong impact can end in disaster.

NASA does not have any such object on its radar that can pose a direct threat to Earth during this time. next 100 years, But he has decided to test his technology to get ready.

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NASA’s Dart mission, live: Last minute of impact against asteroid

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