The NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission launched a small space spacecraft at asteroid Dimorphos, crashing into it in order to divert its path using kinetic impact energy. While this asteroid wasn’t a threat to Earth, this was the first planetary defense test of its kind and will be ready should larger asteroids threaten our planet.
As a part of NASA’s overall planetary defense strategy, DART’s impact with the asteroid Dimorphos demonstrates a viable mitigation technique for protecting the planet from an Earth-bound asteroid or comet, if one were discovered. …This test hopes to show that kinetic impact is a viable technology that could be deployed someday to prevent an asteroid from hitting the Earth.
The entire amazing scene was captured with the Missions Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) Camera embedded within the spacecraft.
The spacecraft’s sole instrument, the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO), together with a sophisticated guidance, navigation and control system that works in tandem with Small-body Maneuvering Autonomous Real Time Navigation (SMART Nav) algorithms, enabled DART to identify and distinguish between the two asteroids, targeting the smaller body.
On Sept. 26, 2022, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will intentionally crash into a small asteroid, Dimorphos, in a first-ever test of planetary defense, should we ever need it. The
Here’s more information about the improbable danger of asteroids.
Have burning questions about asteroids? Our experts have answers! (Spoiler Alert: none of them will hit Earth.) Our solar system is littered with asteroids and comets, and sometimes they get a little close to Earth. When an asteroid or comet looks like it could come near our home planet, we keep a close watch to warn of any potential impacts.