NASA To Crash A Spacecraft Into An Asteroid In 2022
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA is a well-known space organisation; and an independent agency of the United States. In a world first, it has announced the Double Asteroid Redirection Test or the DART Mission. It is a defence driven mission aimed at preventing the impact on Earth by a potentially hazardous asteroid in the future. In the DART mission, NASA will send a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid in the year 2022.
NASA DART Mission
The NASA DART Mission, as mentioned above, aims at sending a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid called Didymos to test the planetary defences of Earth. In the details revealed on the organisation’s official website, it is known the mission will be the first time the kinetic impactor technique is demonstrated. The technique will try to change the motion or path of the asteroid in space. The DART mission has swiftly reached Phase C and is managed under NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program at Marshal Space Flight Center for the organisation’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office.
The DART spacecraft launch is scheduled for late July 2021 aboard the Falcon 9 rocket made by SpaceX. It will launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California and is expected to intercept with the Didymos asteroid in late September of the year 2022. Noteworthy, the asteroid will be within a distance of 11 million kilometres from Earth at the time and poses no harm to the planet in any way. While the mission seems far fetched at first, its real-world application may be very important in the future. If the mission is successful, Earth will have gained the ability to fend off incoming threats from outer space like asteroids or meteorites. This has the potential of minimising or saving the planet from damage in case of any potential collision.