NASA DART saw an asteroid crash at the end of the month

NASA DART saw an asteroid crash at the end of the month

The NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test provided the first photo of its target, the Dimorphos asteroid, which is adjacent to Didimos. DART is an experimental planetary defense spacecraft that will crash into an asteroid to alter its trajectory, so scientists will see whether it is possible, using a spacecraft, to knock off potentially dangerous asteroids to the Earth. By the way, Didimos and Dimorphos do not pose a threat to our planet.

The image, which is a glue of 243 individual images, was obtained by an optical navigation camera from a pair of asteroids, so it seems indistinguishable.

" said the DART system engineer Elena Adams of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, who runs the mission. "

DART will use the DRACO optical camera automatically to navigate to a collision site with a smaller pair of asteroids. But for the time being, people are responsible for all of them. In the next three weeks, the project team will use the images received every five hours to perform a series of three trajectory correction manoeuvres that will take DART exactly to Didimos. DART will then take over the control to determine exactly the course for final convergence.

", " stated Julie Bellerows, the head of the DART navigation at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. "

DART is due to face Dimorphos on September 27, 02:14, Moscow time, a report of which will be available on NASA TV, including YouTube.