NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is set to collide with Dimorphos which is a small asteroid satellite that was discovered in 2003. It is the minor-planet moon of a synchronous binary system with 65803 Didymos as the primary asteroid. DART, self-driving suicidal spacecraft, is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact. This mission of DART is a test of NASA’s ability to achieve a kinetic impact on an asteroid and observe the asteroid’s response, it is a global planetary defense.
NASA launched spacecraft to test the technology on 24 November 2021 that will change their orbits by hitting asteroids that are at risk of hitting Earth even though they are not risk for now but they are close to the Earth. As part of the DART mission, the spacecraft placed on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was fired from the Space Force Base.
It was stated that the asteroid is not intended to be completely disintegrated with the impact, which is planned to take place 11 million kilometers away from the Earth. It will be attempted to change the orbit of the asteroid with the impact velocity.
Why is this mission important is because it is really hard to hit a very little object in space, and now it is about to be achieved. And if it can be succeeded, I mean DART and Dimorphos connect as planned, the small asteroid’s orbit will get closer to the larger Didymos. Dimorphos is solid and DART carves only a small crater, then two objects collide and stick together. Since DART is moving in the opposite direction of Dimorphos, it will reduce some of the asteroid's angular momentum, causing it to approach and accelerate towards Didymos. That is one of the two options. And the other option is that the orbit of Dimorphos will descend even closer to Didymos if Dimorphos is more like a pile of rubble held together by gravity, then the impact will create a deep crater and send a shower of debris flying into space.
Do you think DART will succeed in this mission and will it hit the asteroid or not?
Either way, we will witness a historical time! The universe and science are full of amazing moments!
Let's watch the collision on NASA’s live broadcast at 7:14 p.m. Eastern time today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21X5lGlDOfg
Also, Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, and LICIACube will capture images of the collision.