(Photo = NASA)
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has partnered with SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, to launch an unmanned spacecraft. NASA planned this mission, dubbed the ‘Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)’, to prepare for the danger of an asteroid impact.
NASA plans to launch the unmanned spacecraft ‘Dart’ aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 at 1:20 am on the 24th (5:20 pm Korean time) from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA. This is the first experiment to change the orbit through a collision between an asteroid and a spacecraft.
The unmanned spacecraft launch scene is broadcast live on NASA’s official YouTube channel.
(Photo = NASA)
NASA’s goal is to measure whether changes in the asteroid’s orbit are possible through this test. The asteroid designated by NASA as a test target is ‘Dimorphus’, one of the ‘Didymos’ binary stars.
“(After the impact), the orbit of the asteroid Dimorphos changes slightly,” said Dr.
The drone Dart will collide with the asteroid Dimorphus orbiting the asteroid Didymos in October next year, and the speed of Dimorphus is expected to change by about 1%.
(Musk retweeted SpaceX’s post / Photo = Twitter)
The reason NASA chose the two asteroids Didymos and Dimorphus as test subjects is because they can be observed with terrestrial telescopes.
Andy Rivkin, director of the Johns Hopkins University Physics Research Institute, who led the creation of the darts, said, “It is to save mankind from natural disasters.
Meanwhile, in the movie ‘Armageddon’, which was released in 1998, NASA used the scene of returning to Earth after digging into the ground of an asteroid to put a nuclear bomb in it to prevent an asteroid impact.
The drone launch does not use a drastic method like in the movie, and the degree of modification of the orbit of Dimorphus is planning a fine collision, but it is analyzed that it can reduce the potential collision risk between the Earth and the asteroid.