Watch Live as Spacecraft , About 6.8 million miles from home, NASA will send a spacecraft to its end. You can watch live on Sept. 26.
NASA’s DART spacecraft isn’t long for this world — and it’s going out with a bang. After launching atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Nov. 24, 2021, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test probe has its sights firmly locked on the asteroid Didymos and its tiny companion rock, Dimorphos. On Monday, Sept. 26, DART will careen into Dimorphos at about 14,000 miles per hour. You can watch along live, and we’ve got all the details here. First, we should reiterate there’s no need to be alarmed. This asteroid pair poses no threat to Earth. Watch Live as Spacecraft , The mission is designed as a test run for planetary defense with the intention of proving that a deep space collision can alter the orbit of a space rock. The carefully arranged death dive will destroy the DART and, if all goes to plan, alter the orbit of Dimorphos around its parent Didymos ever so slightly.
In recent weeks, the team from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have been assessing the asteroid pair from a distance, making sure we have a firm understanding of the asteroids’ orbits. Once DART has been destroyed, ground-based space telescopes will evaluate Didymos and Dimorphos to see just how much the orbit has changed. Watch Live as Spacecraft , The $308 million spacecraft’s lone instrument is the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) and it will be switched on for final dive, taking a photograph every second. Another tiny satellite, which snuck out of DART on the way to its target, will also be watching. About three minutes or so after the collision, the shoebox-size cube (known as the Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging Asteroids) will take high-res photos of the crash site and the damage done to the 525-foot asteroid. Another mission, scheduled to launch in 2024, will also rendezvous with Didymos sometime in 2026. But that’s for later, for now, here’s how you can see DART’s demise.
Source: This news is originally published by cnet
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