NASA’s spacecraft to deflect the asteroid Dimorphos already has its target in sight

Spaceship Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) of NASA is closer to reaching your goal. Later this month, it will hit Dimorphos, a natural satellite of the asteroid Didymos.

The DART mission was launched into space in November last year and, with it, the US agency intends try your technology antimeteorites for possible cases that may be of concern to the Earth in the future. Specifically, his test on Dimorphos wants to discover the ship’s effectiveness in redirecting his movements.

According to a statement From NASA, after so many months of flight, the DART team had received information about the light reflected from the asteroid Didymos. after combining 243 images taken by DRACO (Reconnaissance camera and Didymos asteroids for optical navigation), the space agency has shared its results on its website.

The ship already has the asteroid Didymos and its satellite Dimorphos in sight, against which it will impact.
The ship already has the asteroid Didymos and its satellite Dimorphos in sight, against which it will impact.
NASA JPL DART Navigation Team

Elena Adams, a DART systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, reported that the image quality is similar to what could be obtained with ground-based telescopes: “It is important to show that DRACO is working properly and can see its target to make any necessary adjustments before we start using the images to guide the spacecraft to the asteroid autonomously.”

Thanks to the information captured by DRACO, professionals on Earth can optimize software and navigation systems of the DART.

The goal of DART

NASA estimates that the DART will collide next september 26 against Dimorphos, the natural satellite that orbits around the asteroid Didymos. When this happens, the engineers will have to look for facts about how the impact affected the trajectory, analyzing the change in the orbit with respect to the asteroid major.

Your deviation is just an experiment. Neither Dimorphos nor Didymos represent a threat to the earth. However, the test results could be useful in case an asteroid one day poses a real threat to humanity.

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