American space agency NASA will test a technology to defend planet Earth against asteroids that could crash into it. For this, she set up the mission Double Asteroïd Redirection Test (DART), which will aim to crash on an asteroid, a spaceship in order to change its trajectory when it is close to Earth. This, in the name of the “Planetary defense”.
It is 750 meters against 160 on the side of its moon
NASA has already prepared everything for the DART mission, since it has already set the take-off date of the spacecraft scheduled for November 23, 2021 in California. According to its calculations, the impact will take place in September 2022. For the first test of this technology, the US space agency has chosen the asteroid Didymos. This choice is justified by the fact that the latter could constitute a danger for the Earth, if it gets too close to our planet, because of its diameter which is greater than that of its moon. According to scientists, it is 750 meters against 160 on the side of its moon. In addition, the two blocks will get relatively close to Earth in September 2022. This is a good time for NASA, which has chosen this period to send a spacecraft to crash on the moon in an attempt to change the movement of the asteroid in space.
The consequence of the impact is the change in the orbit speed of the asteroid moon by almost 1%. According to NASA, this modification can be observed on telescopes on Earth. In the words of Tom Statler, scientist in the NASA DART program: “Astronomers will be able to compare observations from ground telescopes before and after DART impact to determine how much Didymos’ orbital period has changed.”.