NASA’s risk focus adds up and so does the US Fed’s

Source: The post is based on an article Nasa’s risk focus adds up and so does the US Fed’s” published in The Live Mint on 27th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Science and technology development

Relevance: problems associated with space weaponization.

News: NASA is estimated to have invested above $320 million in Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test). It is the US space agency’s project to protect the planet from hitting any asteroid headed for earth.

NASA launched its Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft in November 2021 with Didymos in its target sights.

Didymos is a large asteroid which is 11 million km away. NASA is planning to hit the asteroid with Dart.

What is the use of Dart project?

America’s Dart project assures everyone on the earth to save the world from any such situation arising out the asteroid hitting the earth.

It would coordinate with other space agencies of the countries to execute the mission in saving the earth.

What are the problems associated with such space missions?

Cost: The cost of the mission is huge when compared to the probability of an asteroid hitting the Earth.

Alteration in data: Further, drones at over 25,000 kmph may alter the orbiter’s speed and make it difficult for NASA to detect and study.

Probability: The probability for an asteroid to hit the earth is very low. Till now, Nasa knows of no asteroid or comet that is on the course to hit the earth.

For example, last year Asteroid Bennu’s was estimated to crash into Earth till 2300 CE. Its probability was 1 in 1,750 and it’s still highly unlikely to happen.

However, Dart can be useful in the bad times when such situation arises.

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