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Nasa to slam spacecraft into asteroid in mission to avoid future Armaggedon

Started by Rick, Nov 22, 2021, 19:19:40

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Rick

Nasa to slam spacecraft into asteroid in mission to avoid future Armaggedon

On Wednesday, Nasa will launch a mission to deliberately slam a spacecraft into an asteroid to try to alter its orbit – the first time humanity has tried to interfere in the gravitational dance of the solar system. The aim is to test drive a planetary defence system that could prevent us from going the same way as the dinosaurs, providing the first real data about what it would take to deflect an Armageddon-inducing asteroid away from Earth.

More: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/nov/22/nasa-slam-spacecraft-into-asteroid-to-avoid-armaggedon

Rick

NASA boffins seem to think we're worth saving from fiery asteroid death so they're shooting a spaceship at one

NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory's (APL) Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is under way following a successful launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9.

It was the third flight for this particular booster, and launch was from Vandenberg Space Launch Complex in California at 0620 UTC. The booster went on to make SpaceX's usual crowd-pleasing landing on a drone-ship.

As for DART itself, the mission is a demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid. The targets, a binary near-Earth asteroid dubbed Didymos, and Dimorphos, its moonlet, will be intercepted by the spacecraft next September.

More: https://www.theregister.com/2021/11/24/double_asteroid_redirection_test/

Rick


RobertM

Oh dear !  Asteroids have been sorting out their orbits for billions of years so I hope this won't lead to some catastrophic butterfly effect ...

Rick

They've slammed a comet in the past. Not sure how much effect that had on the target's orbit. I guess slamming objects a good distance away from Earth is slightly less crazy than smashing satellites to smithereens. There's a whole lot more emptiness out there, for a start.