Nasa tests Armageddon-inspired global defense

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Nasa tests Armageddon-inspired global defense

Nasa will try to achieve something that humanity has never attempted before in the past: intentionally crashing the spacecraft against an asteroid, causing it to slightly shift its orbit. It is the most crucial test of our capability to prevent cosmic objects from destroying the life of Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft was began its journey from California in November last year, and is rapidly moving towards its goal that it will hit around 14,000 miles (22,500 kilometers) per hour.

It is certain that Dimorphos’ moonlet moon, as well as or the larger brother that orbits it, Didymos could pose a threat because the two orbit around the Sun and travel around seven million miles away from Earth in the closest approach.

However, Nasa has determined that the research is essential to be carried out prior to the need for it is identified.

If everything goes according to schedule, the collision between the spacecraft of the size of a car along with the huge 530-foot (160 meters which is equivalent to the equivalent of two Statues of Liberty) Asteroid is expected to occur between 7 and 14 pm Eastern Time (2314 GMT) It is possible to follow the event via the Nasa livestream.

By striking Dimorphos head-on, Nasa hopes to push the spacecraft into a smaller orbit, cutting ten minutes off the amount of time it takes to circle Didymos in the present 11.55 hours mins — a shift that can be seen with ground telescopes during the months to will follow.

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The proof-of-concept project will create the possible what’s previously been only seen in science fiction, specifically, films like Armageddon or Don’t Look Up.

Technically difficult

As the craft flies across space and is flying on its own in the final phase of the mission the camera will begin beaming down the first images of Dimorphos.

A few minutes later, a small satellite dubbed LICIACube was split off from DART about a week earlier it will make a fast traverse of the site to record images of the collision as well as the exodus — the pulverised rock that is ejected by the impact.

Images from LICIACube will be returned over the next few weeks and months that will follow.

The event is also being watched by a variety of telescopes both on Earth as well as in spacewhich includes one that is now operational James Webb — which could be able to detect the brightening of a dust cloud.

The final image of what the system is like will be revealed when an European Space Agency mission four years from now named Hera is launched to look over Dimorphos’s surface as well as measure the mass of the system, something scientists cannot even guess at the moment.

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