HomeSpace NewsNASA's DART asteroid mission might completely deform small moonlet

NASA’s DART asteroid mission might completely deform small moonlet

A new simulation of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission suggests that rather than leaving a crater behind, the DART impactor could severely deform the small asteroid it will collide with.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test is an ambitious mission that will test the viability of using a “kinetic impactor” to deflect an asteroid heading toward Earth. (“Kinetic impactor” in this case means slamming a spacecraft into the rock.) DART launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in November 2021 and is scheduled to arrive at its target, the binary near-Earth asteroid Didymos and its moonlet, Dimorphos, in September. 

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