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NASA picks SpaceX to crash rocket into hazardous asteroid and divert it

NASA has selected SpaceX for a mission to crash into a hazardous, asteroid’s moon, knocking it. The rocket company, helmed by Tesla chief Elon Musk, will begin the mission in June 2021. However, SpaceX will not really intercept Didymos little moonlet, until Oct. 7, 2022, when the asteroid is likely to be approximately 7 million kilometers from Earth. NASA has been mulling the double asteroid redirection test mission for years.

However, this week, NASA picked SpaceX as the launch partner for the mission, making use of its competent rocket systems. NASA describes DART as the first mission to demonstrate the ability to divert an asteroid by colliding a spacecraft with it at high speed. In other words, NASA and SpaceX are going to send a probe into space which will crash into, asteroid Didymos moon. DART is a planetary defense-driven test of one of the technology for preventing the Earth effect of a dangerous asteroid: the kinetic impactor, NASA explained. DART’s primary aim is to demonstrate an impact on a small asteroid.

While the primary body of Didymos is roughly 800 meters round, its secondary body has a 150-meter size, which is common of the size of asteroids which may pose a common threat to Earth. Didymos is classified as a hazardous asteroid, and near-Earth object, so it is high on NASA’s list of distance priorities. It had been first discovered from the University of Arizona in 1996, utilizing a telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. It orbits the Sun once every 770 times and rotates quickly every 2.26 hours. NASA’s DART probe will intentionally crash itself rdquo, in the moonlet at about 6km /s.

The probe will probably be helped by an onboard camera and autonomous navigation program. NASA expects that the collision will alter the rate Of the moonlet in its orbit around the primary Didymos asteroid by a fraction of one percent. This should be sufficient to measure using telescopes letting NASA track the achievement of the mission. Fortunately, Didymos is not destined to hit Earth but is deemed hazardous, owing to its proximity to our planet.

However, NASA proves that its technique may work, the asteroid deflection could serve as planetary defense, a system for future generations. The mission will not be economical: it will cost NASA $69 million to start. But that is a small price to pay for rescuing mankind, of course.

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Mavis Babcock

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