Throw a DART at an asteroid

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Science Fiction Sci Minus Fi Throw a DART at an asteroid

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    Earl
    Earl
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    This makes a bit more sense than the Asteroid Redirect Mission that has all but been stripped of its feathers. [LINK]

    “DART would be NASA’s first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique — striking the asteroid to shift its orbit — to defend against a potential future asteroid impact,” said Lindley Johnson, planetary defense officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This approval step advances the project toward an historic test with a non-threatening small asteroid.”

    While current law directs the development of the DART mission, DART is not identified as a specific budget item in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

    The target for DART is an asteroid that will have a distant approach to Earth in October 2022, and then again in 2024. The asteroid is called Didymos — Greek for “twin” — because it’s an asteroid binary system that consists of two bodies: Didymos A, about one-half mile (780 meters) in size, and a smaller asteroid orbiting it called Didymos B, about 530 feet (160 meters) in size. DART would impact only the smaller of the two bodies, Didymos B.

    The Didymos system has been closely studied since 2003. The primary body is a rocky S-type object, with composition similar to that of many asteroids. The composition of its small companion, Didymos B, is unknown, but the size is typical of asteroids that could potentially create regional effects should they impact Earth.

    The impactor technique has already been demonstrated with a comet as a target by the Deep Impact mission.

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