New Delhi: NASA has postponed a mission to protect the Earth from an Asteroid attack. In this mission, NASA was preparing to hit its spacecraft with two asteroids, so that their direction could be changed. At present, this mission of saving the Earth has been carried forward (NASA Delays Launch of DART). Let’s know everything about this mission.
NASA’s historic move
When will NASA execute this mission? Will both asteroids hit the earth before that? This question must be bothering you. Let us tell you that NASA has put forward the Double Asteroid Redirection Test- DART to protect the Earth from asteroids. With the help of this mission, NASA is preparing to hit its spacecraft with the binary asteroid system Didymos, orbiting near the Earth.
When can it start
Elon Musk’s SpaceX company is supporting NASA in this mission. NASA said that the upcoming mission to be launched between July 21 and August 24 has been postponed. Now it can be completed between 24 November 2021 to 15 February 2022.
Why this mission had to be postponed
Significantly, the decision to postpone the mission has been taken by the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD). They said that the risk management of the DART project schedule should be studied properly before completing the mission. At the same time, NASA has claimed that by launching between 24 November 2021 and 15 February 2022, their vehicle Didymos will hit Asteroids in October 2022 itself. NASA’s motive behind this collision is to change the direction of dangerous asteroids.
NASA’s historic move in the world of science
This is the first time that a space agency is going to hit its vehicle with an asteroid to protect the Earth. The risk management investigation under this mission revealed that Didymos Reconnaissance, Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation (DRACO) and Roll-out Solar Array (ROSA) have some technical flaws.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will attempt a technique that could one day be used to prevent an impact by a hazardous asteroid. To prioritize both mission success & team safety I have directed that we pursue the secondary launch window, which opens Nov 24. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/ovZTAV9Rei
– Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) February 17, 2021
Mission success and safety NASA’s objective
Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) said that the success and safety of the mission at NASA is prioritized. After checking the risk management, we have seen a second launch window. The first launch window is not closed yet. As soon as we get all the materials, the second launch window will be sent under this mission.
NASA’s purpose behind this mission is that the spacecraft collides with the asteroids coming towards the earth and their direction is changed so that it comes out of the earth. According to NASA scientists, their spacecraft will hit Didymos Asteroid in October, but it will reach around that asteroid in September itself. This will assess the speed of the asteroid and the subsequent risk of a collision.
What is the cost of this mission
This mission of NASA is more than 69 million US dollars i.e. 499 crores rupees. In the months of September and October, both Didymos and Dimorphos will be at a distance of 11.1 million kilometers from the asteroid earth. In addition to NASA, John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Planetary Missions Program Office, Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office will monitor the spacecraft and both asteroids.