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NASA will smash its DART spacecraft into an asteroid on Monday. Here's how to watch.


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft is set to slam into an asteroid on Monday (Sept. 26), in the first ever test of humanity's ability to deflect life-threatening space rocks before they collide with Earth. 

The 1,210-pound (550 kilograms) DART craft, a squat cube-shaped probe consisting of sensors, an antenna, an ion thruster and two 28-foot-long (8.5 meters) solar arrays, will smash into the asteroid Dimorphos while traveling at roughly 13,420 mph (21,160 km/h). 

The goal of the probe's test is to slow the orbit of the 525-feet-wide (160 m) Dimorphos around its larger partner — the 1,280-feet-wide (390 m) asteroid Didymos. Neither asteroid poses a threat to Earth, as they will be more than 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) from our planet at the time of DART's impact, but NASA scientists want to use the test to study how a more dangerous asteroid might one day be nudged from its deadly collision course. DART will collide with Dimorphos at 7:14 p.m. ET on Monday, with live coverage set to begin at 6 p.m. ET on NASA TV. 

https://www.livescience.com/dart-test-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

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CNN Headline ~ Tuesday September 27

Yesterday NASA applauded the 1,210-pound (550 kilograms) DART craft as a huge success after slamming into the Asteroid Dimorphos dislodging it's orbit around its larger partner — the 1,280-feet-wide (390 m) asteroid Didymos. 

Unfortunately it appears  that both asteroids have changed direction and are now on a direct path to Earth.  NASA is perplexed as to why the speed with which both asteroids were travelling has now increased significantly.  SpaceX is preparing to launch more DART craft into orbit to intercept the asteroids.  It is a race against time as both asteroids are now traveling at roughly 263,875 mph (424,666 km/h) and the velocity appears to be increasing.  

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26 minutes ago, jethrofloyd said:

NASA's DART spacecraft crashes into asteroid in first planetary defense test | full video

 

Awesome!

But where was Bruce Willis? I expected at least a mini Willis.

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Behold, The Epic Last Images Taken by NASA's Asteroid Redirection Test Spacecraft

Bullseye: A NASA spaceship on Monday struck an asteroid 7 million miles away in order to deflect its orbit, succeeding in a historic test of humanity's ability to prevent a celestial object from devastating life on Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impactor hit its target, the space rock Dimorphos, at 7:14 pm Eastern Time (2314 GMT), 10 months after blasting off from California on its pioneering mission.

"We're embarking on a new era, an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous hazardous asteroid impact," said Lori Glaze, director of NASA's planetary science division.

Below is the last complete image captured by the camera on board DART.

https://www.sciencealert.com/behold-the-epic-last-images-taken-by-nasas-asteroid-redirection-test-spacecraft

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I’ve always wondered about the forces at work in the orbit of any object around another.  Like earth around the sun..and the moon around the earth?  Isn’t it thought that there are only two forces at work?  Momentum and Gravity?     If so, then why hasn’t earth been “nudged” out of it’s orbit by one of it’s many immense asteroid impacts ?  Or the moon from it’s orbit around earth by one of it’s many Impacts?..the evidence of which are clearly visible as craters.  And yes, I haven’t forgotten the rules of an object at rest tending to stay at rest…and an object in motion tending to stay in motion.  Anyway,, I’ve always thought there must be more going on than Momentum and Gravity in the maintenance of orbits. And I know the moon’s orbit is gradually enlarging ,so it isn’t a perfect balance…   Anyone know what I’m missing? :P

 

Edited by lightly
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2 hours ago, lightly said:

why hasn’t earth been “nudged” out of it’s orbit by one of it’s many immense asteroid impacts ?

They are not immense compared to the size of Earth. They are like grains of sand. Besides, the Earth is also protected by a soup of molecules called the atmosphere, that acts like a cushion.

 

2 hours ago, lightly said:

Or the moon from it’s orbit around earth by one of it’s many Impacts?

The moon has a surface the size of the United States, so it would take a huge asteroid to knock it off its orbit, but it is possible. I suppose we're lucky it never happened.

Edited by zep73
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  DART was 1200 lbs.  slamming into Dimorphos (500ft./diameter) at 15,000 mph !   I guess it makes sense that it moved :)
    I’m not sure we could launch something Massive enough to divert an earth threatening SIZE asteroid.?   It would have to be armed with a nuke?   Would a nuke be as powerful in no atmosphere?   .  . ?

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1 hour ago, lightly said:

Would a nuke be as powerful in no atmosphere?   .  . ?

F=ma?   The explosion vaporizes a  portion of the  surface. Tons and tons of vaporized particles are accelerated at tremendous speed away from the surface.  Like a rocket motor I think the reaction mass pushes the asteroid in the opposite direction.

How about it @zep73 care to weigh in?

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I'm not really sure I trust in people playing marbles with extinction level sized boulders in space. But it's probably better than the alternative when one does finally (eventually?) pose a direct threat to earth. I guess they might as well practice now, at a safe distance, please. 

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2 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

F=ma?   The explosion vaporizes a  portion of the  surface. Tons and tons of vaporized particles are accelerated at tremendous speed away from the surface.  Like a rocket motor I think the reaction mass pushes the asteroid in the opposite direction.

How about it @zep73 care to weigh in?

Someone was talking about it on NPR podcast and they said the strategy isn't to reverse the asteroid but just to hit it enough to alter the trajectory a little bit. Since space is so large a small change has a large impact 

Edited by spartan max2
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16 minutes ago, DreadLordAvatar said:

Colossal waste of tax dollars.  

I for one enjoy not going extinct by a random astroid.

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27 minutes ago, DreadLordAvatar said:

Colossal waste of tax dollars.  

Bruce Willis won't be around forever you know.   Better learn to put out a fire before your house is burning.

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Hopefully a great deal of planetary science against major impact destruction will come out of this.

A great achievement!

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Now that that's over with, everyone can go back to raising the percentages of reliable and successful rocket ship launches 

~

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29 minutes ago, SHaYap said:

Now that that's over with, everyone can go back to raising the percentages of reliable and successful rocket ship launches 

~

NASA/JPL are the most sophisticated and successful launch authorities, EVER.

Did you know SpaceX directly and closely collaborates with NASA/JPL???

 

Edited by pallidin
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50 minutes ago, SHaYap said:

Now that that's over with, everyone can go back to raising the percentages of reliable and successful rocket ship launches 

~

It’s not over with at all. The main reason for this is to observe the aftermath of the impact.

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5 minutes ago, Timothy said:

It’s not over with at all. The main reason for this is to observe the aftermath of the impact.

Correct. Optical telescopes and other instrumentation will be following this for however long.

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1 hour ago, pallidin said:

NASA/JPL are the most sophisticated and successful launch authorities, EVER.

Did you know SpaceX directly and closely collaborates with NASA/JPL???

 

:rolleyes:

~

53 minutes ago, Timothy said:

It’s not over with at all. The main reason for this is to observe the aftermath of the impact.

"mission accomplished"

~

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15 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

Did it work do we know yet?

As far as it was made known, it is a test, and a very limiting factor test at best, no more, no less. 

Best not to buy into the trend of such scratches on the surfaces, be it over or under statements. Especially at times like these. 

Looks and sounds like a pitch for funding moneygrabs at a time of avarice with no money for spending governments.

But hey, if the military spending can get billions to the trillions, I guess it is normal for some spare change to knock space rocks around. 

~

 

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