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Spacecraft ‘healthy and on track’ to crash into asteroid -NASA

STORY: “I can say that the team is ready, the ground systems are ready and the spacecraft is healthy and on track for an impact on Monday,” mentioned DART Project Manager Edward Reynolds throughout a information briefing in Washington on Thursday (September 22).The DART spacecraft launched in November final yr from California.The mission’s finale on September 26 will check spacecraft’s potential to change an asteroid’s trajectory with sheer kinetic drive, plowing into it at excessive velocity to nudge the area boulder astray simply sufficient to maintain our planet out of hurt’s manner.”Dimorphos is a tiny asteroid. We’ve never seen it up close. We don’t know what it looks like. We don’t know what the shape is. And that’s just one of the things that leads to the technical challenges of DART. Hitting an asteroid is a tough thing to do,” mentioned Tom Statler, a DART program scientist at NASA.The plan is to fly the DART spacecraft straight into the moonlet, known as Dimorphos, at 15,000 miles per hour (24,000 kph), bumping it onerous sufficient to shift its orbital observe across the bigger asteroid.Cameras mounted on the impactor and on a briefcase-sized mini-spacecraft to be launched from DART about 10 days beforehand will file the collision and beam pictures of it again to Earth.

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