Jul 03, 2017 10:16 AM EDT
Asteroids are one of the many dangers in space. However, NASA's upcoming project seems to prevent major Asteroids from heading in Earth's direction. The project of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The DART project will deflect asteroids before they reach planet Earth.
NASA's planetary defense officer, Lindley Johnson, stated that the DART project would be the first mission of the space agency to demonstrate the kinetic impactor technique, which will be striking the asteroid to shift its orbit and the project will also defend against future asteroid impact. The project's approval advances towards a historic test with a safe, small asteroid.
The space agency wants the DART project to target the Didymos asteroid body, which is a twin system that is anticipated to make a distant approach near Earth between 2022 and 2024. The body consists of the small asteroid Didymos B, around 160 meters wide and the larger Didymos A, which is around 780 meters in size. NASA made it known that DART will target only Didymos B, WGN-TV reported.
The DART project would utilize APL's autonomous targeting system to aim at the smaller asteroid Didymos B. The NASA flight vehicle demonstrator mission would strike the Didymos B at a speed about nine times faster than a bullet, which is about 6 km per second. Earth-based observatories would witness the impact, and allows scientists to better determine kinetic impact's capabilities.
Meanwhile, The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, Andy Cheng, said that NASA's DART project will showcase how to protect the Earth from a threatening asteroid. Nonetheless, the project is the latest initiative in the space agency's Planetary Defense Coordination Office. The Asteroid-smashing DART is overseen by The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory as well as the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, Daily Star reported.
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