Tuesday, October 11, 2022

NASA's DART Mission Successfully Changes Asteroid Orbit

NASA's DART Mission Successfully Changes Asteroid Orbit

The first results of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) indicate that the orbit of asteroid Dimorphos around asteroid Didymos was changed, altering the orbit of the binary asteroid system around the Sun.

On Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, DART successfully impacted its asteroid target in the world’s first planetary defense technology demonstration. As a part of NASA’s overall planetary defense strategy, DART’s impact with the asteroid Dimorphos will help to determine whether asteroid deflection using a kinetic impactor spacecraft is a viable mitigation technique for protecting the planet from an Earth-bound asteroid or come threat were discovered. 

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) manages the DART mission for NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office as a project of the agency's Planetary Missions Program Office. Neither DART’s target asteroid, Dimorphos, nor its larger asteroid parent, Didymos, poses a hazard to Earth.

DART update panel:

• Lori Glaze, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington

• Tom Statler, DART program scientist at NASA Headquarters

• Nancy Chabot, DART coordination lead at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland

More on DART: https://nasa.gov/dart

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)/Italian Space Agency (ASI)

Acknowledgement: SciNews

Duration: 7 minutes, 46 seconds

Release Date: October 11, 2022

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