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NASA to launch DART to crash into asteroid

18:23, 20 November 2021
NASA to launch DART to crash into asteroid Photo: pixabay.com

NASA plans to launch a rocket to crash an asteroid on November 23 within a program called Double Asteroid Redirection Test. 

The collision between an asteroid and the DART in space is needed to find out how to make large objects approaching the Earth redirect and therefore to avert the possible threat to a part of the planet.

The launch is set to happen on November 23 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. DART will be carried to space onto SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The chosen object for DART is a binary asteroid with two bodies Didymos (the Greek word for “twin”) and DART aims at colliding with its smaller follower, the moonlet, Dimorphos. Thus it will help scientists to collect data on how the planned collision will affect the course of the asteroid.

The binary asteroid is expected to safely pass the Earth in 2022 and one more time in 2024. Didymos poses no threat to the planet and is considered to pass the Earth at a vast distance.

NASA has spotted 23 asteroids which create a possible danger for the Earth within the next 100 years.