Nasa is about to complete the stages of its Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission and will begin the countdown for DART as the launch window begins in November. The mission’s goal is to target an asteroid and create a proof system capable to divert asteroids that could approach our planet.
Now, the asteroid is Didymos, and NASA hopes to gain understanding and expertise in such matters while testing for planetary defense-driven technologies.
According to NASA, ‘DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous asteroid. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space. The DART mission is in Phase C, led by APL and managed under NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program at Marshall Space Flight Center for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. ‘
The shuttle will be equipped with a suite of onboard cameras, as well as self-sufficient navigation software to monitor the mission, while the company is aiming to alter the speed of the moonlet in its orbit.
Powered by Roll Out Solar Arrays (ROSA), DART will thrust aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, reaching the asteroid in about a year.