Why a NASA spacecraft will crash into an asteroid

Source: The post is based on the article “Why a NASA spacecraft will crash into an asteroid” published in Indian Express on 23rd September 2022

What is the News?

On September 26, 2022, NASA’s DART spacecraft will intentionally crash into a small asteroid named Dimorphos, however, the asteroid poses no threat to earth. 

What is a DART?

DART stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test.

Launched by: DART mission is being developed and led for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Purpose: It is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact.

Target: DART’s target is the binary asteroid system Didymos, which means “twin” in Greek (and explains the word “double” in the mission’s name). 

– Didymos is the ideal candidate for humankind’s first planetary defense experiment, although it is not on a path to collide with Earth and therefore poses no actual threat to the planet.

What is the significance of this mission?

DART is a spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid as a test of the technology. DART’s target asteroid is NOT a threat to Earth. 

This asteroid system is a perfect testing ground to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future.

Print Friendly and PDF