Using SpaceX support, NASA launched the DART program module into space. The probe will hit an asteroid and humanity can count on historical meteor showers.

DART (from. Double Asteroid Redirect Test) is a mission that NASA intends to test human capabilities in changing the course of small space objects. As noted by the creators, they exist right now 23 known asteroidsIt could collide with Earth in the next 100 years. The goal: to make sure that we can save humanity from disaster.

Wednesday on the plane Falcon 9 missiles A rocket ship has been launched that will allow to practice the technology of using kinetic energy to change the orbit of the asteroid. Frankly, the machine would knock on the body, trying to change the direction of its flight.

The test will be performed on Demorphos asteroidIt orbits the largest asteroid Didymos. The mission would be successful if you could shorten the asteroid’s orbit by a few minutes. We have to see if the mission will finish as planned in the next 10 months. The second test, the most interesting from a technical point of view, takes place in parallel.

Ion drive and artificial meteor shower

NASA will also test the next generation ion drive, NEXT-C (NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster-Commercial). As with any motor of this type, the carrier medium is, of course, ions driven by the electromagnetic field, which is in turn produced by the solar cells. The performance is different.

According to scientists, the NEXT-C engine is three times more powerful than its predecessor, NSTAR. It was calculated that the DART ship would accelerate to Approximately 6.8 km/s. At this speed, the unit will hit the asteroid in the fall of next year. Meanwhile, the blasted debris will fall to Earth to form the first-ever artificial meteor shower.

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Image source: Unsplash (Fernando Rodriguez)

Text source: NASA, ed. King