Earth will have a new team of superheroes against an apocalyptic asteroid impact. NASA asked Elon Musk for help regarding the mission of deflecting an asteroid by crashing into it. So, NASA and SpaceX will be teaming up for DART, the Double Asteroid Redirection test, which will have the purpose to divert an asteroid that could threaten Earth. Dart will launch a Falcon 9 rocket in June 2021, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and this will cost $69 million.
What are the plans of NASA and SpaceX?
The plan for the spacecraft is to crash into Didymoon (that has 165 meters) at a speed of 13.500 mph, which means 6 km per second. They want to realize this plan by October 2020, and the collision is expected to take place when the asteroid comes with 11 million kilometers from Earth. When this happens, the spacecraft will try to redirect its course.
Also, the mission has another target as well. They want to target another object known as “Moonlet,” that is more of the size of an asteroid that could potentially cause some problems to Earth in case of an impact. DART mission will achieve the impact needed to crash on Moonlet with a speed of 6 km/s with the help of onboard cameras and sophisticated navigation software.
What does will happen after the space probe impacts on the asteroid?
After the collision, the speed of Moonlet will be changed in its orbit by a fraction of one percent. The telescopes on Earth will measure these changes. Moreover, the SpaceX had launched three Falcon Heavy rocket boosters, to deliver a Saudi Arabian satellite into space for the first time. After this success, Mr. Musk has posted on Twitter the photos of the Falcons. Also, he posted his joy about the collaboration with NASA and the affirmation of the new joined forces.