NASA announces test of asteroid redirection method: ‘the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test’

Published: Friday, 05 November 2021 09:39

NASA has announced a full scale test of its asteroid redirection capabilities, which enable the organization to protect the Earth from future asteroid impacts.

The ‘Double Asteroid Redirection Test’ (DART) will be ‘the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test’ says NASA, demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection.

DART aims to prove that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it (called a kinetic impact) at roughly 4 miles per second (6km per second).

The target of DART is the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos, which orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos and which poses no threat to Earth.

DART will simultaneously test new technologies and provide important data to enhance NASA with modeling and predictive capabilities to help it better prepare for an asteroid that might pose a threat to Earth, should one be discovered.

More details.