The American space agency (NASA) has just announced the results The first test to prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth.
The US Space Agency’s (NASA) DART spacecraft tested its ability to deflect a double asteroid that crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos halfway between the two rocks, sending debris flying into space and changed the trajectory of this rectangular asteroid slightly more than previously calculated.
NASA’s DART space probe crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos.
NASA’s DART spacecraft crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos. (Illustrative photo: NASA).
The above information was announced by scientists on March 1 in the most detailed report on NASA’s test using a spacecraft to change the orbit of a celestial body, thereby using vertical kinetic energy to push the planet off course enough to keep Earth safe. .
Planetary scientist Terik Daly of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, lead author of one of the DART studies published in the journal Nature, said: “The DART test was a resounding success. We now know we have a reliable technique to prevent an asteroid impact if we ever need it.”
During a test on September 26, 2022, the DART space probe crashed into Dimorphos, an asteroid 150 m in diameter, approximately 11 million km from Earth, at a speed of 22,530 km/h.
Dimorphos is the moon of Dimymos, considered a near-Earth asteroid and shaped like a top in space with a diameter of approximately 780 m. These two asteroids pose no danger to Earth.
Cristine Thomas, a planetary scientist at Northern Arizona University and lead author of another study also published in the journal Nature, said: “We are looking to change the length of time Dimorphos orbits Didymos by crashing into Dimorphos directly.”
According to scientist Thomas, the momentum of the impact and the momentum of material ejected from the impact reduced the time it took for Dimorphos to orbit Didymos by 33 minutes. This also makes Dimorphos is a little closer to Didymos.
Before the collision, the time Dimorphos spent around Didymos was 11 hours and 55 minutes. Currently, this time is 11 hours 22 minutes. The passing standard is set as a change of at least 1 minute and 13 seconds.
Scientists also carried out detailed calculations on how the collision occurred. Scientist Daly said the first of the spacecraft’s solar panels crashed directly into a large rock in the celestial body, near the impact site. Then the second solar panel brushed against another large rock. Eventually, the spaceship’s chassis crashed into the space between two rocks. Scientists believe the impact destroyed both of these rocks. After the impact, fragments are ejected from the surface for some time. Satellite and telescope images show large quantities of this material.
The study also shed light on details such as the exact location of the impact and the angle of impact.
The DART mission, which cost $330 million, took seven years to develop.
According to scientist Daly, no asteroids currently threaten Earth, but humans must prepare for such a scenario in the future.
Article source: VNA/News Journal
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The American space agency (NASA) has just announced the results of the first test aimed at preventing an asteroid from hitting Earth.