NASA’s DART probe rammed the asteroid Dimorphos
NASA’s $324.5 million DART mission, which launched last year, is nearing its dramatic climax — on the night of September 27, one of the automated probes is expected to collide with the asteroid satellite Dimorphos at a speed of 6,258.56 m/s. This is the first attempt by mankind to deflect an astronomical object in this way (an impact by a manned spacecraft). The NASA broadcast, of course, is planned and there is a nuance – the video in real time will not be shown for obvious reasons. The DART probe successfully rammed the asteroid Dimorphos – the DART camera recorded the moment of collision. Interestingly, with the help of the new SMART Nav autonomous optical navigation system in real time, the probe independently aimed precisely at the center of the astronomical object. This is a first-of-its-kind test of the ‘kinetic impactor’ method to protect Earth from potentially dangerous asteroids. Over the next few days, astronomers will monitor the object and make the necessary measurements to determine whether the probe has succeeded in changing the asteroid’s orbital period. IMPACT SUCCESS! Watch from #DARTMIssion’s DRACO Camera, as the vending machine-sized spacecraft successfully collides with asteroid Dimorphos, which is the size of a football stadium and poses no threat to Earth. pic.twitter.com/7bXipPkjWD — NASA (@NASA) September 26, 2022 ESA also released the most detailed image of the entire Dimorphos system and surface ever obtained by DART. === news text before update === According to the plan, the collision should take place on September 27 at 2:14 Kyiv time, and the NASA broadcast dedicated to covering this important event will begin at 00:30 at night. As already mentioned above, the moment of collision of the probe with the asteroid will not be shown on the video (technology does not yet allow making streams from space), however, it is likely that a photo and maybe even a video will appear later, as was the case with the landing of Perseverance on Mars. You can also follow updates on social networks — the official NASA LSP and ESA Operations Twitter accounts — 1 and 2. Official NASA broadcast DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) is a NASA mission to demonstrate the kinetic effects of a planned collision between an impactor probe and an asteroid in order to develop a strategy to protect the Earth from potentially dangerous asteroids. The probe was launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Block 5 launch vehicle on November 24, 2021, and now it has reached its target – the 160-meter asteroid Dimorphos, which is part of the binary system ‘65803 Didymos’. Dimorphos itself poses no threat to the planet, but is a convenient target for testing the concept. A comparison of the dimensions of Dimorphos and Didymos and various famous architectural structures on Earth On September 24, the DART and LICIACube probes (the Italian CubeSat separated on September 11, it will observe the culmination of the mission from the side and transmit images to Earth) tested their cameras, taking several images of the Earth, the Jupiter system and the Pleiades cluster, and on September 25, the DART probe successfully made the final trajectory correction maneuver and went into autonomous operation mode — a new SMART Nav (Small-body Maneuvering Autonomous Real Time Navigation) autonomous optical navigation system was developed specifically for the mission, which will take control of the vehicle in the last four hours before the collision. 1 day til impact!🛰️🪨 After DART's final maneuver today, the navigation team will know the position of the target asteroid within 2 km. From there, DART will be on its own to autonomously guide itself to collision.#DARTMission will make impact Mon, Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:14pm EDT. pic.twitter.com/t4PDU3GGIq — NASA's Launch Services Program (@NASA_LSP) September 25, 2022 The impact of the 550-kilogram vehicle is expected to change the speed of Dimorphos by only a fraction of a percent, which in turn will change the asteroid’s orbital period by a few minutes and signify the success of the experiment. The collision and its aftermath will be observed by ground-based and space-based telescopes, including Hubble and James Webb. Image of Didymos composed of 243 frames taken by the DRACO onboard camera on July 27, 2022 Animation of the collision of the DART probe with the asteroid-satellite Dimorphos Tonight, @NASA intentionally crashes their #DART spacecraft into a 160m asteroid, to nudge its orbit in a world-first test of #AsteroidDeflection🛰️↩️🪨 And yes, the live feed will be streaming down to watch on #NASATV & #ESAWebTV from midnight CEST!🔴📹👉https://t.co/3gn2kMXoXb pic.twitter.com/mjptlJBIla — ESA Operations (@esaoperations) September 26, 2022 As for the LICIACube satellite mentioned above, it is assigned a key role in the observation. This is a 6U format satellite with two cameras — with a wide and narrow field of view. It should ‘see’ and record in a photo the emission of dust from the surface of the asteroid at the moment of collision with the probe. In addition, 3 days after the impact, LICIACube should take and transmit to Earth a photo of the man-made impact crater from an altitude of about 55 km. In the future, the cubesat can be sent to another asteroid – provided that there is fuel left and the satellite itself does not fail by then. According to the plan, in 2027, the European station Hera and its two cube satellites APEX (Asteroid Prospection Explorer) and Juventas will reach Dimorphos, with the latter having to land on the object at the end of its mission. The devices will study the physical properties of the binary system and should confirm the change in the orbit of Dimorphos. It is believed that life on the young Earth originated mainly thanks to asteroids, which brought organic compounds and water ice to the planet. However, with the appearance of life forms on Earth, such bombardments became extremely undesirable and deadly – as in the case of an asteroid with a diameter of about 10 km, after which the Chicxulub crater with a diameter of about 180 km was formed in the Gulf of Mexico. The generally accepted version is that it was the fall of a body with a diameter of more than 10 km that caused the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction, a part of which was the extinction of the dinosaurs. According to researchers, such cataclysms may recur once every 250-500 million years. It is assumed that the Chickshulub crater was formed about 66.5 million years ago. That is, before the occurrence of such an undesirable event, it is not bad to have technology that will allow to successfully deflect a certain space body, in case of its possible collision with our planet. Therefore, such tests must be carried out before there is a real need for planetary protection. In theory, there are other methods to deflect an astronomical object, including an elegant gravity tractor and a crude detonation, similar to the iconic Armageddon. Interestingly, the Americans believe that protecting the Earth from potentially dangerous asteroids should be among NASA’s top priority projects. In all seriousness, DART is a kick-ass mission. In public survey after survey, Americans have said protecting Earth from asteroids should be among NASA's highest priorities. This is an important step toward that goal, and the agency should be commended for it. — Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) September 26, 2022 Please donate for our edition and Ukrainian people. How to Donate?
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9 of December 2022
9 of December 2022