Passed a NASA course change test with a space rock. The space agency has announce. NASA says it’s the first time humanity has changed the motion of a celestial body.
NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) space probe was colliding at about 20,000 kilometers per hour with Dimorphos, a 160-meter-wide asteroid. The collision was a test to see if such a maneuver could alter the orbit of an asteroid threatening to strike Earth.
“This is a tipping point for planetary defense and a tipping point for humanity,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
NASA hits a space rock with a ‘refrigerator-sized’ probe
Demorphos, orbiting its older sister Didymus with a diameter of 750 meters, was not on a collision course with Earth. There was no danger that a collision with DART could push the Dimorphos toward Earth.
Due to the collision, Dimorphos’ orbit appears to have been shortened by 32 minutes. According to NASA, this shows that such a mission is a someday viable way to scatter a space rock on a collision course with Earth.
The scientists predicted that the effect of DART would shorten the orbital path of Dimorphos by at least 10 minutes. They also said that they would only think about the success of a change for 73 seconds.
The expedition cost about $330 million in total. DART was launched in November 2021 Launched.
A picture last week showed that the rock was expanding, comet-like tail She received from more than 10,000 km, consisting of dust and other substances. The photo was taken two days after the collision.