NASA launched a spacecraft this Tuesday in lieu of finding out the asteroid defense concept. The spacecraft was launched to check whether it is possible to knock down the speed of the asteroid with the help of a spacecraft in case one is heading towards planet earth to hit.
The spacecraft known as DART which is a short form of Double Asteroid Redirection Test was lifted above from the Vandenberg Space Force Base which was stopped over a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
This NASA project is estimated to be approximately $330 million and gives the vibes of the famous Bruce Willis film “Armageddon.”
The DART technique might prove to be useful if this mission is successful in order to alter the course of the asteroid which might be heading towards earth bringing in a potential catastrophe or a disaster which the planet might not be able to curtail.
If everything goes according to the plan, the DART spacecraft will slam into a Dimorphos in September 2022. Dimorphos is an asteroid about 525 feet across. It is anticipated that at the time of the collision, the spacecraft’s speed would be 15,000 mph.
An official of the mission, Nancy Chabot from the John Hopkins applied physics laboratory stated “this isn’t going to destroy the asteroid. It’s just going to give it a small nudge.”
He further added, “a small nudge would add up to a big change in its future position, and then the asteroid and the Earth wouldn’t be on a collision course.”
Scientists are always on a search to test the potential of the latest technology with the already circulating catastrophes in outer space.
“Although there isn’t a currently known asteroid that’s on an impact course with the Earth, we do know that there is a large population of near-Earth asteroids out there,” said Lindley Johnson, planetary defense officer at NASA. “The key to planetary defense is finding them well before they are an impact threat.”
The DART spacecraft will take almost 10 months to reach the dimorphos. It is expected that the collision will take place about 6.8 million miles away from the earth.