HomeSpace NewsLICIA Cube will witness DART smash into asteroid Dimorphos in real time

LICIA Cube will witness DART smash into asteroid Dimorphos in real time

When NASA’s DART spacecraft smashes into asteroid Dimorphos on Sept. 26, it will have a silent witness: An Italian cubesat called LICIACube will watch the ground-breaking experiment in real time for eager scientists on Earth. 

LICIACube, or the Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids, is a 31-pound (14 kilograms) micro-satellite that has hitched a ride on DART (the Double Asteroid Redirection Test) to the Didymos-Dimorphos binary asteroid system. DART deployed the cubesat on Sunday (Sept. 11) at 7:14 p.m. EDT (2314 GMT) to give LICIACube 15 days to assume a safe position to observe DART’s collision with Dimorphos. The impact is a first-of-its kind experiment designed to alter the orbit of a space rock in a crucial test of a planetary defense concept that may one day save the lives of millions of people on Earth.

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