NASA is launching the DART Mission (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) on a SpaceX Falcon 9.
DART is an attempt at trying to deflect an asteroid by kolliding with it at a high velocity.
Target is Didymos B, a 160 m diameter asteroid, on the 2nd of October 2022.
The expectation is that the 500 kg impactor will crash with a velocity of 6,6 km/s into the asteroid and result in a velocity change of the asteroid of around 0,4 mm/s.
The mission is called Double Asteroid because Didymos B is orbiting the much larger asteroid Didymos A.
If the test was successful can be observed by a change of orbital period of Didymos B. Didymoon is currently orbiting every 12 hours. The change of period is expected to be around 10 minutes.
Observing the changing period around an asteroid is much easier than observing the change in period around the Sun. That is the reason why a double asteroid system is an ideal experimental setup, instead of a lone asteroid orbiting the sun.
The payload will launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on a twice flown Falcon 9 rocket.
A secondary objective is to test new technologies that have not been to deep space yet:
- new roll-out solar arrays (that have been installed on the ISS before)
- new xenon thruster engine
- new antenna
- new asteroid camera
Check your local time of launch at: www.timeanddate.com
Where to watch:
- Watch NASA’s DART Mission Launch (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) Official Broadcast/Stream
- SpaceX Livestream
Background information about previous SpaceX launches: Wikipedia
Useful links to stay up to date on launches:
Spaceflightnow.com: Launch Schedule
Everyday Astronaut: Prelaunch Previews
NASA Spaceflight nasaspacefight.com
Vote for my witness: @blue-witness
Posted with STEMGeeks