This Monday (26), the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission from NASA will travel about six kilometers to collide its spacecraft with an asteroid in an attempt to change the trajectory of this celestial body.
While the asteroid in question is not a threat to Earth, the agency explains that the mission will test technology that can be used to defend the planet against potential risks in the future.
DART will find a binary asteroid system composed of “Didymos”, of approximately 780 meters in diameter, and by “Dimorphos”about 160 meters in size, which orbits “Didymos”.
According to NASA, the mission will collide with the smaller celestial body to change its orbit within the system.
The spacecraft is about 100 times smaller than Dimorphos, so it won’t destroy the asteroid.
During the mission, the first photos of Dimorphos will be taken. Although it was discovered more than two decades ago, scientists have never seen what this asteroid looks like.
The photographs will be taken by the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation, or DRACO, which will act as DART’s eyes.
This instrument is also a high resolution camera that aims to capture images of the two celestial bodies.
Photos will be transmitted back to Earth at a rate of one frame per second in what will almost look like video.
DRACO will still allow the spacecraft to identify the double asteroid system and distinguish which space object it should hit.
The result of the collision, scheduled for 8:14 pm, will be broadcast on the agency’s YouTube channel.
Check out the live stream from NASA:
Check out the images made by DRACO:
*With information from CNN International
Source: CNN Brasil