Planetary Defense: NASA’s DART Mission To Deflect An Asteroid


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While the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth soon are low, we can’t ignore them completely. A 2014 report by the B612 Foundation concluded that there was no planetary defense against a 10-kilometer-wide asteroid, but with further research and development, we can prepare ourselves if one heads our way.

Enter NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The DART spacecraft will crash into a small asteroid orbiting a larger one. NASA hopes the impact will change the asteroid’s trajectory enough to determine whether or not such an impact could deflect an incoming asteroid from Earth.


NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft in November 2021. DART will proceed with its daring crash mission in the vast vacuum of space. Its goal is not only to study what happens when spacecraft and large objects collide in space.

If everything goes as planned, it will be a step forward in proving that humans are capable of deflecting and redirecting dangerous asteroids that may pose severe threats to our planet.

Didymos and Didymoon

While Congress has opened up the topic of UFOs/UAPs on Earth, NASA has its eyes on flying objects it has studied. Asteroids are not uncommon in our solar system. For the Dart mission, NASA has chosen a binary asteroid, Didymos, with a smaller asteroid orbiting it.

Didymos gets its name from the Greek word for twin. The smaller asteroid orbiting Didymos is called Dimorphos, but people also call it Didymoon. Astronomers have known about Didymos since 1908, and radar detected Dimorphos in 2005.

Targeting Didymoon makes sense as an early planetary defense test. NASA has been studying its orbit around Didymos and will be able to measure how much DART’s crash affects Didymoon’s trajectory.

When will the crash happen?

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, launched its spacecraft in November 2021. The craft will crash into Didymoon/Dimorphos at a speed of four miles per second. Scientists hope the collision with the surface will be powerful enough to redirect the smaller asteroid from its current path. Regardless of whether DART’s crash successfully changes the asteroid’s trajectory, we’ll learn about Earth’s planetary defense capabilities. This mission will use Kinetic Impactor technology for the first time against an asteroid as large as Didymoon.

So, while we don’t know what exactly to expect from the DART mission, the results will enlighten us one way or another. Although the exact crash date will change depending on your time zone, you can track it here as we lead up to September 26th/27th.

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