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Editorial of the Day (21st March): NASA’s DART Mission

Context: NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission was a groundbreaking endeavour aiming to assess and demonstrate the capabilities of planetary defence by altering the trajectory of an asteroid.

About Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission

  • Mission Goal: DART was a NASA mission designed to test a planetary defence method by hitting an asteroid (kinetic impact) to deflect its path.
  • First of its Kind: This mission marked the first time a spacecraft intentionally collided with an asteroid to alter its trajectory.
  • Scientific Collaboration: Researchers and scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and other institutions worked collaboratively on this mission.
  • Target: The target was Dimorphos, a 160-metre-wide asteroid orbiting the larger Didymos.
  • Launch and Impact: Launched in November 2021, DART successfully impacted Dimorphos on September 26, 2022.
  • Results: The impact resulted in a 33-minute change in Dimorphos’s orbit, demonstrating the effectiveness of the kinetic impact technique.
  • Milestone: This mission marked a historic moment, signifying humanity’s first attempt to intentionally alter the motion of a celestial object in space.

NASA's DART Mission, Objective, Target, Results_4.1

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