Astronomers, astrophysicists, scientists in general, and even ordinary people had always been wondering what humanity would do if a giant asteroid approached our planet. The scenario from the “Armageddon” movie was only sci-fi, so humanity will have to look for better ideas than sending oil drillers to blow up an asteroid.
According to NBCNews.com, NASA is preparing the DART spacecraft for conducting a kinetic impactor technique demonstration. The purpose, as you’ve already guessed, is to deflect an asteroid’s trajectory.
Long live the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)!
NASA declared, as quoted by NBCNews:
The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, but this will change the orbital period of the moonlet by several minutes — enough to be observed and measured using telescopes on Earth.
As we know from a previous piece of news, DART will be carried into space upon a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket after lift-off from Vandenberg Space Force Base will take place in November. The impact itself will happen in the fall of 2022, and the journey will last for ten months.
NASA is regularly scanning the sky for dangerous asteroids that might come too close to Earth. But even so, spotting them with 100 percent accuracy is impossible. The reason is obvious: we live in an unfathomably huge space. A good example was when a large asteroid flew by Earth recently without being detected by astronomers due to the fact that it was coming from the direction of the Sun.