Updated: Mon, 26 Sep 2022 01:47 PM IST
A NASA DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft is set to smash with the asteroid Dimorphos at approximately 7.14 PM EDT on Monday, in a bid to test a technology to defend Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards in the future. DART is the first mission that tests a method that could provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that might pose an impact hazard to Earth, should one ever be discovered.
NASA's DART Mission: When And Where To Watch
NASA will be live streaming the whole mission online on NASA TV, the space agency’s app and its YouTube channel. The mission is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at 7.14 PM EDT and as per IST, it will be live streamed on Tuesday, September 27 at 4: 44 PM.
"This test will show a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it to change the asteroid's motion in a way that can be measured using ground-based telescopes," the US space agency said in an update.
1 day til impact!🛰️🪨— NASA's Launch Services Program (@NASA_LSP) September 25, 2022
After DART's final maneuver today, the navigation team will know the position of the target asteroid within 2 km. From there, DART will be on its own to autonomously guide itself to collision.#DARTMission will make impact Mon, Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:14pm EDT. pic.twitter.com/t4PDU3GGIq
DART's target is the binary, near-Earth asteroid system Didymos, composed of the roughly 780-metre diameter "Didymos" and the smaller, approximately 160-metre size "Dimorphos", which orbits Didymos. DART will impact Dimorphos to change its orbit within the binary system, and the DART Investigation Team will compare the results of DART's kinetic impact with the asteroid to highly detailed computer simulations of kinetic impacts on asteroids, according to NASA.
"Doing so will evaluate the effectiveness of this mitigation approach and assess how best to apply it to future planetary defence scenarios, as well as how accurate the computer simulations are and how well they reflect the behaviour of a real asteroid," the space agency added.