The image shows the moment before DART “hit” the asteroid – Photo: NASA
According to the news site Ars Technica, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) program will target an asteroid called Dimorphos. This asteroid orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos, forming a binary system.
If everything goes according to plan, the DART spacecraft will steer itself toward a head-on collision with the small asteroid Dimorphos. This operation is intended to slow down and change the orbit so that Dimorphos does not collide with a larger planet, such as Earth.
This collision is expected to slow the orbit of asteroid Dimorphos by about 1%.
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said The impact was only intended to deflect the asteroid, not blow it up into pieces, and pose no threat to Earth.
On September 26, from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), NASA will live stream this collision on their YouTube channels.
We’ll know right away whether the collision went as planned. However, it may take several months before it is known for certain that the orbit of asteroid Dimorphos has been successfully modified.
This test is part of NASA’s Earth defense program.