NASA and SpaceX Will Smash the Spacecraft With an Asteroid To Protect the Earth
On November 23, the American space agency NASA launched the DART device on a SpaceX rocket, and its goal is to literally crash into an asteroid. DART will test the planetary defenses, and in the fall of 2022, it will hit a 160-meter satellite to change its flight path. The launch was broadcast on the NASA website and the SpaceX YouTube channel.
It is believed that life on the young Earth originated mainly due to asteroids, which brought organic compounds and water ice to the planet. However, with the advent of life forms on Earth, the celestial bombardments became highly undesirable and deadly. According to researchers, such cataclysms can recur once every 250-500 million years.
DART is the first of its kind to test planetary protection in practice. It provides for the ramming of the asteroid with a special striking apparatus in order to change its momentum and, therefore, correct the trajectory of motion. The project was approved by NASA in 2018, and its implementation costs amounted to 324.5 million dollars over three years of work. The collision itself is expected to occur on October 2, 2022.
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