DART Hits Bullseye: NASA Successfully Changes Dimorphos Asteroid’s Direction

Smashing orbits is a reality now!

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Blasting an asteroid into smithereens or changing its direction to prevent the human is a cliche in the superhero universe. But NASA tested that theory in reality and successfully became the first space organization to change the direction of an asteroid in an orbit. NASA achieved the feat by smashing the DART spacecraft into an asteroid to alter its course.

DART spacecraft struck the Dimorphos asteroid and changed the orbit by 32 minutes. The result was beyond the scientist’s expectation, who estimated that it would only change to 10 minutes maximum.

NASA’s DART was successful but was it necessary?

For mere mortals, slamming a million-dollar spacecraft into an asteroid might sound like an utter waste of money and resources. But NASA has another idea in mind – planetary defense. Until now, it was a theoretical idea to crash into an asteroid approaching the earth to change its course. But with the DART spacecraft, NASA managed to prove and successfully demonstrate that planetary defense is indeed possible.

NASA DART
Image: WordPress

LoriGlaze, the director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA, said, “For the first time ever, humanity has changed the orbit of a planetary object.” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson was very happy with the success of the DART in altering the asteroid’s course. He added that NASA is ready for anything that the universe throws at us. In addition, he congratulated the team at NASA who envisioned and executed this mission.

Dimorphos is just one of many asteroids located in the near-earth orbit. They do not pose any direct threat to the earth, as per the researchers’ study. NASA picked Dimorphos as a test asteroid to check if the theory could be proved in reality. It was also because of its massive size, which is considered life-threatening to earth. The work isn’t done as scientists are now estimating the impact and why the debris split into two trails. They will gather and publish the results in the coming months. The collected data will fix the incapabilities of the current DART mission.

Abhishek Mishra

Abhishek Mishra

I love exploring technology and devote my time to curating detailed posts and supplying credible information to inquisitive users. I wish I had some spare time to play a few RPGs or clean my desk.
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