NASA’s Mission To Crash a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid Is Ready To Launch – You Can Watch It Live

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test, demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology. True to its name, DART is a focused mission, proving that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it (called a kinetic impact) at roughly 4 miles per second (6 kilometers per second). Its target, which poses no threat to Earth, is the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”), which orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”).

As part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy, DART will simultaneously test new technologies and provide important data to enhance our modeling and predictive capabilities and help us better prepare for an asteroid that might pose a threat to Earth, should one be discovered…

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s first planetary defense test mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The mission will help determine if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course. DART’s target asteroid is not a threat to Earth…

Live launch coverage on NASA Television will begin at 12:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, November 24, 2021 (9:30 p.m. PST Tuesday, November 23, 2021), on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with prelaunch and science briefings beginning Sunday, November 21.

Yes, there are lots of interesting, politically-sensitive things going on, as well. This is a proof-of-concept test that just might save our butts from being vaporized by an asteroid impact, sometime in the future. Worth keeping in touch with the experiment.

6 thoughts on “NASA’s Mission To Crash a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid Is Ready To Launch – You Can Watch It Live

  1. Heads up says:

    “Skyscraper-sized asteroid coming towards Earth on Christmas Eve
    2016 TR54 is set to pass by the planet at a distance of around 6.5 million kilometers, meaning there will be no Armageddon this holiday season.” https://www.jpost.com/science/skyscraper-sized-asteroid-coming-towards-earth-on-christmas-eve-685683
    “The last known significant asteroid impact was on February 15, 2013, when an asteroid exploded in the air above Chelyabinsk, Russia. This asteroid was 17 meters wide, and while it didn’t result in any casualties, the shock wave from the explosion shattered windows in six different Russian cities and caused 1,500 people to require medical attention.
    That was just 17 meters, far smaller than 2016 TR54.
    According to NASA, any asteroid 140 meters in diameter or larger could have a potentially catastrophic impact if it crashed into Earth.”

  2. Commander Cody says:

    Asteroid 4660 Nereus, which is roughly the size of the Eiffel Tower, will come closest to Earth on Saturday, December 11, 2021. https://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-nereus-to-pass-earth-on-saturday/
    Close is a relative term. The 1,083-foot (330-meter) asteroid will come within 2.4 million miles (3.9 million km) of Earth, still about 10 times farther away than the moon. It’ll swing closest at approximately 13:51 UTC (10:51 a.m. EST; translate UTC to your time). The Minor Planet Center classifies 4660 Nereus as a Potentially Hazardous Object. Potentially hazardous doesn’t mean the asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. That’s just the label for objects that come within 19.5 times the moon’s distance and are larger than about 460 feet (140 m). So Nereus fits the bill.
    This asteroid makes close approaches to Earth several times each century. And – in part because it comes close and in part because it’s a relatively slow asteroid – space entrepreneurs have cast their gaze toward Nereus as well. By some reports, the space rock is worth an estimated $5 billion in precious metals.
    See Asterank, a scientific and economic database of over 600,000 asteroids (interactive – click asteroids name] https://www.asterank.com/

  3. Science be damned says:

    The world’s first comprehensive planetary defense test against potential asteroid impacts on Earth is being conducted by NASA as part of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) project. Researchers from the University of Bern and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS have now shown that the impact of the DART spacecraft on its target might render the asteroid almost unrecognizable rather than leaving behind a relatively tiny crater.
    “Contrary to what one might imagine when picturing an asteroid, direct evidence from space missions like the Japanese space agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 probe demonstrates that an asteroid can have a very loose internal structure – similar to a pile of rubble – that is held together by gravitational interactions and small cohesive forces”, says study lead-author Sabina Raducan from the Institute of Physics and the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS at the University of Bern.
    Yet, previous simulations of the DART mission impact mostly assumed a much more solid interior of its asteroid target Dimorphos.
    “This could drastically change the outcome of the collision of DART and Dimorphos, which is scheduled to take place in the coming September”, Raducan points out.

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